If your mum’s a little like Regina George’s mum from Mean Girls (“I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom!”), sidestep the usual afternoon tea or stuffy lunch this Mother’s Day and take her to a bar instead. We’re not suggesting the local ‘Spoons or Tiger Tiger, but there are plenty of chic, sophisticated bars in the capital that serve up lashings of mother’s ruin, have plenty of seats and music just the right volume to hear yourself think – not that we’re making any judgements.
From pretty interiors bursting with chintz to epic views of London and cocktail menus inspired by fashion and music of the ’70s, here are 17 mum-approved bars to take your mama out to…
Step out of the grey streets of the gloomy Tottenham Court Road end of Oxford Street to find a bar that is guaranteed to bring joy. The Coral Bar is a feast for the eyes as soon as you step in, from the pinkish-red walls to the jewel-hued velvet sofas and the kooky artwork on the walls.
The cocktails do not disappoint either – we love the Bloomsbury Blush (for its colour if nothing else) and the excellent selection of English sparkling wines. Oh, and for mums with a taste for music, the Coral Room plays host to regular jazz and live music sessions, too.
The Coral Room 16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3NN
There are two things mums like in a bar – a seat and the ability to hear themselves think. 34 Mayfair has both, plus plenty more reasons to take her there, from the delicious bar menu – we love the smoked salmon blinis and truffle fries – to the Lychee Blossom Martini.
Now’s the time to visit, as the restaurant and bar has decided to keep the stunning rose installation which covers the ceiling until spring. Over 4,000 red and pink roses have been suspended above the dining room, making it one of the prettiest places to take mum to this Mother’s Day.
34 Mayfair, 34 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HD
Glamourpuss mums will have no problem pulling up a pew and sipping on a martini at the impossibly chic Donovan Bar at Brown’s.
There’s no denying it, The Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel oozes sophistication and glamour, making it the perfect spot for treating Mum. The bar is named after friend of the hotel owners, the Rocco Forte family, famous photographer Terence Donovan, and the walls are adorned with his works. Plus, the exceptional cocktail menu is named after those he used to photograph.
The drinks hark back to stars and artists from the ’60s and ’70s, such as the “Je T’aime,” inspired by Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, ‘The Twiggy’ which needs little introduction and ‘The Biba,’ inspired by the famous fashion boutique of the ’60s and ’70s.
It’s sure to be a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
The Donovan Bar. Brown’s Hotel, 33 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4BP
Old school charm is what Dickie’s Bar exudes and your mum is going to love it. Pull up a pew at the bar and catch up over cocktails with giggle-inducing names such as the Convent School Chorus Girl.
Dickie’s Bar, 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7EH
One of London’s best-loved neighbourhood restaurants, Daphne’s is the type of place you can take the girls, a breakfast meeting, a date, the family and definitely your mum.
With cosy seating, vibrant art, charming staff and a delicious Italian menu, it’s sure to get the thumbs up. It’s also right beside a plethora of mum-approved shops from J.Crew to ME+EM, Joseph to Chanel – you might want to take your credit card or hide it entirely.
Daphne’s, 112 Draycott Avenue, London SW3 3AE
With marble-clad walls and a shining copper bar paired with a varied wine list, Boyds Grill & Wine Bar, in all its old school glamour, is sure to impress mums visiting their sprogs in the city.
Treat her to a wine and cheese pairing focusing on English wines for something more special than your average Sunday roast.
Boyds Grill & Wine Bar, 6th Floor, 2 London Wall Place, London, EC2Y 5AU
A beautiful terrace with views across London, charming waiters and pretty cocktails, this place has “mum” written all over it.
For a special Mother’s Day treat, book into one of the cute, cosy igloos that take up residence on the terrace during winter and earn some daughter or son points immediately.
Aviary, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DX
Cool mums with appreciate a Mother’s Day out in Shoreditch, where at the Green Room bar at The Curtain, the mixologist will be serving up an exclusive Veuve Clicquot cocktail just for mums.
The cool, east London hangout will also be putting on their weekly Gospel Brunch party at the Red Rooster soul food restaurant. So book in for tasty tacos or posh fried chicken, all set to the sounds of a live, gospel choir. Plus, each mum will be gifted a cute succulent plant. It won’t be a Mother’s Day she’ll forget in a while.
Red Rooster & Green Room, 45 Curtain Road London, EC2A 3PT
If you want to pair your cocktail drinking with some culture, head to The Royal Academy for their current Picasso on Paper exhibition, before taking a pew at its hidden back bar, The Shenkman Bar and Garden by Peyton and Byrne.
Specialising in mother’s ruin they know their way around a gin and tonic – tell the team what you and your mum like and they’ll mix the perfect tonic, botanicals, gin and garnishes to suit.
Shenkman Bar, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD
Tucked away in one of Mayfair’s hidden courtyards is Mews of Mayfair. Their USP is rare wines and charcuterie, encouraging customers to experiment and explore the menu. But we suggest going ahead and ordering the Coco Chanel cocktail if you’re really keen to impress mum.
Mews of Mayfair, 10 Lancashire Court, Mayfair, London W1S 1EY
Whimsical interiors and a cocktail menu designed by London’s King of Cocktails, Mr Tony Conigliaro, is the perfect choice for Mothering Sunday. The cocktail bar simultaneously feels cosy and like a grand stately home in the country – a win win to keep all generations of the family happy.
Seymour’s Parlour, 28-30 Seymour Street, Marylebone, London W1H 7JB
Only the best for mum will do and the team behind Lyaness and driving force, Ryan Chetiyawardana AKA Mr Lyan, has won countless awards for this place. It’s even been voted as one of the 50 World’s Best Bars.
Sink into the velvety blue chairs and order from the carefully curated menu of cocktails you won’t find anywhere else.
Lyaness, Sea Containers London, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
Mix beauty treatments and pretty cocktails this Mother’s Day at 10º, where iconic beauty brand Kiehl’s have partnered the chic bar. They’ll be pampering mums with on-site hand massages and a pop-up stacked with Kiehl’s products and insider tips.
There will also be specially crafted cocktails, delicious snacks and an unrivalled 360 degree view across London and Hyde Park.
10° at Galvin at Windows, 22 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1BE
GôNG at Shangri-La Hotel, The Shard, London
Take her to the lofty heights (in fact, the highest hotel bar in Europe) of GôNG at Shangri-La at The Shard for a Mother’s Day to remember. Elevated on Level 52, this is the perfect place for sunset cocktails and late-night drinks, featuring the dramatic backdrop of London’s skyline, with views to the west, north and east.
One for mums that would rather choose Tanqueray over afternoon tea.
GôNG Bar, Level 52, Shangri-la Hotel, At The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9QU
Fitz’s is the kind of bar that defies age groups. It’s a little bit mad and flamboyant but that’s its beauty – think a giant glitterball suspended over velvet, shell-shaped seating, live music and heady cocktails inspired by the free spirits of Bloomsbury’s past and present – from ‘Spy Princess’ Noor Inayat Khan, to French/Italian novelist Emile Zola.
It sits inside the grand Kimpton Fitzroy hotel on the edge of Russell Square, which is quite possibly London’s most spectacular hotel entrance ever. It’s definitely not going to disappoint.
Fitz’s, Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5BE
Spread across the 35th, 36th and 37th floors of London’s famous ‘Walkie Talkie’ building, and covered head to toe in an exotic garden oasis of botanicals, few modern buildings are as jaw-dropping as London’s Sky Garden.
Located 155 metres up, the floor-to-ceiling windows that span the incredible three floors look out onto The City below. Start the celebrations early by heading to the Sky Pod Bar on Saturday for live music, creative cocktails and tasty sharing boards.
Sky Garden, 1 Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF