Neon just makes everything look so much sexier doesn’t it?! Neon was discovered in 1898 by the British scientists Willian Ramsay and Morris W. Travers (give a point to us Brits), and since it’s become increasingly popular, especially with the advent of Insta and the ability to grab a snap posing next to the signs. Neon signage was in fact an important cultural phenomenon in the United States, which is why we see neon whizzing about on billboards and in busy city scapes.
There’s no denying that we love neon, and if you slap any word up on the wall and in neon it’ll be enticing, no matter its meaning. So, we had a lightbulb moment and decided to scope out all of the London eateries/bars/cafes championing neon signage…
Whoever disagrees with the fact that well behaved women don’t make history definitely isn’t allowed inside Tonight Josephine. The neon filled bars in Waterloo and Shoreditch have seen influencers a’plenty hugging up to the neon signage to clasp a photo for their feeds. Tonight Josephine is already well known on the gram as being one of the most Instagrammed venues in the UK, emanating serious mum from Mean Girls and Legally Blonde vibes. Neon can be found in the form of a peace sign, a door leading you out to the lady garden and much more. It’s neon fever at its finest!
Where: Various Locations
Trust Peckham to have neon signage! We’d be totally surprised if they didn’t seeing but Near & Far bar has kept our minds at ease that, yes, Peckham Levels still remains to be one of the most millennial places, ever. The concept behind the space is Peckham meets Palm Springs and inside you’ll find flora and fauna and neon signage galore alongside vivacious colours. It’s a real cocktail hot-spot and fits into the realm of quirky bars you need to try!
Where: Level 6, Peckham Levels, 95A Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST
If you’re feeling naughty and want to impress a date with your knowledge of underground London, this one’s for you. The gaudy neon sign outside reads ‘sex shop’ and you’re greeted at the door by a mannequin in a PVC gimp suit, casually lounging by a very adult toy cupboard. Descend into a heady Mexican underworld, a subterranean lair of tequila barrels, tacos and a weird deconstructed piano thing hanging off the wall. This is a place to see and be seen. Better make sure you’re there then (gimp suit optional)
Where: 9 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 5JF
The door tells you to go in, and go in you should! The wickedly intriguing Eve Bar in Covent Garden allures the senses with a bursting cocktail menu and tempts with its red neon signage.
Where: 34 Southampton Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7HF
Modelled after an renowned basement bar in New York, Genuine Liquorette is the real deal when it comes to neon signage with roots that come from the city that started it all! The bar resides in a former Victorian pub in Fitzrovia and boasts interiors similar to that found in a diner – think high stools and chequered floors. If you’ve got the gram, it’s highly likely you’ve seen this gem pop up once or twice – especially its vivacious Liquorette sign.
Photo credit here
Where: 6 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, W1T1HJ
Don’t let the name distract you, as Venn Street Records is in fact a quirky little bar that does a great happy hour and boasts some awesome neon. Neon signage inside encourages you to spread love and also wraps itself around the bars name. This bar knows how to raise the roof and certainly doesn’t wait until the weekend for the spreading of shenanigans; sourdough pizzas, bans and DJs are on offer too so delve in and thank us later!
Where: 78 Venn Street, SW4 0BD
Love made them do it and the sign made us go in! Mabel’s Bar & Kitchen in Covent Garden is filled with cocktails, Champagne, light bites and a neon sign that you’ll really want to grab a photo with!
Where: 30 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, WC2E 7JS
Imagine a drunk oyster – what a thought! Like its namesake this bar is a real whacky mix of neon lights and head-spinning cocktails and even features an oyster downing a martini in neon… just as we thought we’d seen it all!
Where: 2, Sir Simon Milton Square, Westminster, SW1E 5DJ
The King/ Queen/ Prince and Princess of neon, God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow is a funky art store featuring colorful neon, lightbulb signs and other eclectic pieces with a whole load of neon thrown in.
Where: Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, Walthamstow, E17 9HQ