Stop! You’re under a rest…
Music. It makes the word a much funkier place and life without it, well, it would b flat…
OK, sorry. Serious now! Music is the food of love and we certainly want it to play on, so we’ve taken a look at the London bars and restaurants where playing on is a popular pastime. From Park Chinois and its Chinese food and table theatrics, to the Latin American rhythm of the Leaf & Cane, here’s where to shake your tail feather (and listen to something other than pop…)
In a world where pop songs, Justin Beebs, and the “dun dun dun” of night clubs swamp our auditory ear-ways, jazz is a much needed tonic that can be found in various inconspicuous places across the city. Ninety One Living Room is East London’s favourite hideaway to catch the new generation of jazz stars for those in the know…
Nestled in the heart of Brick Lane at the historic Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, the hideaway is modelled on an idealistic living room, lowly lit with plush velvet and teak furniture, rose pink walls and a neon love-heart, all done with effortless style. Ninety One is frequented by a daytime Shoreditch freelancer clientele, while evenings make way for their free “Jazz Lates”, when a livelier crowd of music aficionados come to rub shoulders with London’s underground jazz stars into the early hours every Friday and Saturday…
Look out for surprise guest appearances, as revered musicians who you didn’t notice sitting next to you in the crowd are invited up on stage to join the party. Alternatively, you can grab a seat outside on the terrace under the NINETY ONE emblazoned white neon sign, sip on the signature Pink Pepper Sour from the cocktail list, and taste dinner from an exciting rotation of resident kitchen pop ups!
Ninety One Living Room wows with its personality and intimate, free jazz sessions – next up, Vitor Pereira Quintet on the 15th of September. Book your table now for dinner or drinks and dance the night away…
Where: 91 Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6QL
Mayfair’s most luxurious haunt, Park Chinois, is such a known spot for tail feather shaking! With cabaret and table theatrics rife, the plush space wills you to have a cocktail in one hand and some of its divine Chinese food in the other. With live entertainment inspired by the glamour of 1930s Shanghai supper clubs and cabarets, Park Chinois is all about early evening to late night revelry, flaunting DJ’s, artists and more. Don’t miss it!
Where: Park Chinois, 17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8EA
Nearest station: Green Park (0.2 miles)
Coining itself London’s newest ‘secret’ bar, The Leaf & Cane is prohibition-y and speakeasy-y and hidden in a basement which makes it instantly cool. Expect fine cigars and premium rums and the guarantee that you’ll have a cocktail-in-hand for the duration of the evening. Food and drink unite epically in the space that balances Art Deco Batista era elegance, and Latin American rhythm.
If you’re interested, then get excited as The Leaf and Cane are offering those who watch Strictly with their mouths wide open, the chance to finally take to the stage! They’re offering a Latin inspired sip and savour hour, every Wednesday and Friday, where you can indulge in authentic Latin bands, tropical cocktails and signature dishes.
Where: 19 New Bridge Street, London, UK
Nearest station: London Blackfriars (0.1 miles)
Sometimes after the stress and strains of life, all we need is to sit Martini in hand gazing at some dark, handsome stranger tinkling his fingers across a grand piano. The Wellesley understands, and has jazz embedded in its very culture. So come along and enjoy weekly jazz nights in the jazz lounge where jazz greats such as Jamie Cullum, George Melly, Amy Winehouse and Barbara Cook regularly performed.
Where: 11 Knightsbridge, London, England, SW1X 7LY
Why not explore the exotic climes of new bar, The Parrot, a dimly-lit mystery of a spot that’s housed at The Waldorf Hilton. Who’s behind it? Oh, only Idris Elba.
That’s right the Luther star and director of Yardie teamed up with twins Lee and Nicky Caulfield to open the bar and we were simply whisked away by the opulent nature of it all, oh and the incredible man playing guitar like it was going out of fashion. Seated in velvet chairs, you’ll delve into one of the best cocktail menus I’ve you’ve ever come across. Seriously. Bespoke mixed drinks are on the menu, created exclusively by head bartender Daniele Panzanaro, and all are served in glasses that have been inspired by a different member of the Parrot family. The tropical theme sees you slurping Maker’s Mark bourbon out of a Parakeet’s bum, or downing Don Q dark rum from a big ol’ coconut.
All of this can be accompanied by a dedicated house band plays three sets of singalong pop and theatre hits every night!
Where: 45 Aldwych, Holborn, WC2B 4DW
Boisdale of Belgravia really covers all bases when it comes to jazzing things up. The up-beat location is equipped with cigar terraces, whisky bars, private dining rooms and, of course, jazz! So, you can really get your Rat Pack on in this Scottish venue, and escape the modern day world of slogan T’s and unicorn glitter… (I was totally born in the wrong era!).
Where: 15 Eccleston St, Belgravia, SW1W 9LX
Ronnie Scott’s isn’t just brimming with sax notes blowing out the door, but a really rich history dating back to 1959; the year when Miles Davis released Kind of Blue and John Coltrane tooted out Giant Steps. In 1959, saxophonist Ronnie Scott opened the door to a small basement club in London’s west end where local musicians could jam. Today, fast forward however many years (I never was good at maths…), and Ronnie Scott’s is one of the most popular jazz joints to have existed, located in buzzing Soho.
Where: 47 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4HT
Cosy Scarfes Bar has serious gentleman’s club meets living room vibes. There’s live jazz every night of the week and cocktails to boot, plus the cocktails don names just as quirky and up-beat as the music, with each named after a famous figure. For each musical genre, be it pop and jazz or electro and funk, a legendary musician has been selected and a duet of contrasting drinks have been created! Help yourself to a light and refreshing Piano, to the medium and characterful Mezzo Forte, this cocktail menu really is a jazzy one!
Where: Scarfes Bar, Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN
If the name doesn’t give it away, the rambunctious nature of the venue will. Jazz Cafe in Camden serves as a live music venue ideal for those who love a Friday night gig and beer sloshed over the head! Exciting up-coming events can be found here, including The Sounds of Otis Redding and Fela Kuti’s Birthday.
Where: 5 Parkway, Camden Town, NW1 7PG
Find an entrance hidden behind a butcher’s kiosk and you’ll stumble upon Jack Solomons Club. The space used to be a boxing gym (owned by the bar’s namesake – a prominent boxing promoter in the 1950s). Now, it’s a space punctuated by opulence, velvet chairs and a large bar serving anything you’ve got your eye on… that’s the spirit! The eclectic music switches between a guy on a keyboard to a full jazz ensemble, making it a perfect and funky live music venue in Soho!
Where: 41 Great Windmill Street, Soho, W1D 7NB
If you love to break out a move or two then you can also check out the bars that’ll jazz you up here!