Nowadays it’s not enough for a bar to serve killer drinks and being in the trendiest spot or having a celebrity clientele doesn’t cut it nearly as much as 150 Insta likes. So where are the best spots to get those likes pouring in?
One of London’s best know clubs has had undergone a total makeover that would make even Gok Wan gasp, going from a much loved basement nightclub to a multi-storey club with some of the most stunning interiors. And the interiors are beautiful. The reported £65m refurb, the work of interior designer Martin Brudnizki, is apparent round every corner. The loos, even, have become Insta famous. The Rose Room is hands-down one of London’s best looking bars, get it on your feed.
With two Damien Hirst mermaids guarding the corner of the bar and the giant, iconic Frank Gehry fish floating overheard, a list of Instagrammable bars in London wouldn’t be complete without Sexy Fish. This isn’t just a bar tacked onto a restaurant, but very much a restaurant in its own right, with the world’s largest collection of Japanese whisky (400 bottles and counting) behind the bar and they’ve recently launched their own lager which has been specially brewed to match with the seafood on the menu.
Where: Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BR, UK
Nearest station: Green Park (0.3 miles)
Sketch must, hands down, be the most Insta-friendly bar in London. There’s so much to point your phone at. From the moment you cross the threshold this place will light up your newsfeed. There’s even a choice of bars, with the pod-like East Bar and its sunken bar to the The Glade, the woodland themed bar with gorgeous art on the walls, foliage and furniture being Instagram-ready.
There is something really special about The Shard. It’s not just the extraordinary architecture or that its an iconic London landmark, but what’s within also matters, and never less when it’s all in the aid of some social media love. Which is exactly what you’ll get at Aqua Shard. Aqua’s Oxford Street outposts were already Insta magnets, but their dark and alluring Shard restaurant is well worth a visit.
Where: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)
Londoners don’t spend enough time sat on the tube, clearly, because bar Cahoots is endlessly Instagrammable and it’s built around a tube car. Channelling a speakeasy vibe and set in a 1940s rationing era the creative decor is very taggable.
It may no longer be called Rumpus Room (we loved that name, by the way) but the re-branded 12th Knot Bar is no less stunning. The hotel, itself a bastion of cool, is topped off with the 12th Knot and while it’s totally Instagrammable itself, the furniture and decor are very cool, it’s physically impossible to not to go to the balcony and take a picture across the river to St Pauls. Okay, perhaps not physically impossible, but basically.
To Fitzrovia and The London Edition Hotel. The Berners Street hotel contains Berners Tavern, with a Michelin-starred menu under chef Jason Atherton, the bar is pretty damn funky. Whip out your phone, catch it on camera just to prove you were there.
Gerald Scarfe’s paintings and drawings have been in the public eye for decades,generally via the medium of print media, in books, newspapers and so on. So it’s only right that Scarfe’s drawing should be exposed to the Instagram generation. So head to Scarfe’s Bar for a real eyeful.
The Bloomsbury set would have been well into social media, Virginia Woolf and John Maynard Keynes would have vied for Insta follows, blates. Were they around today they would certainly have been attracted like moths To The Lighthouse to The Bloomsbury Club Bar where they’d be found taking photos of their food and other scholarly activities.
Another day another rooftop, and Pergola on the Roof, over in Olympia, is an ideal place for a post-work drink. The beach club vibe and a pergola covered in foliage, not to mention the rooftop view make it difficult not to whip out the old selfie stick (not a euphemism).
One of the sexiest London bars, Sushisamba sits at the top of a City skyscraper with predictably incredible vista before you. The restaurant serves a fabulous Japanese/Peruvian menu but the bar is where the Insta’s at. With an unexpected tree, at several hundred feet from ground-level, basking in the limelight it’s the perfect spot for a selfie.
Not gunna lie, I’m slightly obsessed with the springbok peacock (springcock? peabok?) that dominates the bar at Waeska, the bar in The Mandrake. And now I’ve discovered it I fully intend that it’s going to dominate my Insta stories! Their new ethnobotanical cocktail menu sounds pretty alright too!
The looks of the Daisy Green collection need no introduction, famed for their eccentric and rebellious art work booming out against chipped grey walls, issuing a run-down art gallery in a desolate warehouse vibe. Scarlett Green doesn’t shy away from this either, with neon head-turners lining the walls and a wanderlust worthy photograph of Bondi beach, in keeping with the Aus theme. The bar is awash with jumbles of spirits, wines and atmosphere, with pastel washed stools lining the marble bar. Plush sofas, quite 80s reminiscent outline the restaurant below hangings of Roy Lichtenstein-style art. Over all, it’s a sexy Antipodean-inspired space worthy of getting snap happy and overloading on the hashtags.
Poor Gloria, she’s getting a lot of stick at the moment. Not least because they’ve gone and named a bar Blame Gloria. The Leicester Square bar is named after a (presumably fictional) landlady, reputed to have the best legs in Soho and happens to throw the best parties from her basement. Enjoy a slightly psychedelic subterranean club experience in the heart of the West End at Blame Gloria and get snapping away.
The Connaught is endlessly sophisticated, probably far too sophisticated for your common or garden Instagrammer. It’s a place for those who enjoy the finer things in life. Guests at this knockout, award-winning establishment can expect a dazzling cocktail menu where each and every option is lovingly crafted with meticulous detail by the bar staff. Innovative cocktails, the Connaught’s signature Martini Trolley and a refined interior, featuring huge mirrors and shimmering walls coated in platinum silver leaf, make this bar the perfect place to bring friends, colleagues or that date you’re trying to impress.
Where: Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.5 miles)
Anything up The Shard is going to be splashed all over Instagram, the challenge is to create something that’s actually visually stunning inside too. And Hutong delivers. Gong Bar upstairs (up-lift, at least) may have some of the most Instagrammable cocktails, but Hutong takes the prize on the bar front. That said, you’ll still probably just Insta the view.
Where: Level 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)