5 hippest London hangouts
Charlie Burns has scouted the streets of England’s capital to discover the 5 hippest London hangouts for backpackers to kick back and enjoy a tipple or five… Cheers to that!
1. The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, Shoreditch
Photo by Ewan Munro
Of the many hidden speakeasies in London, the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town ranks amongst the most infamous, and with a name like that, undoubtedly the most quirky. Tell the hostess you’re “here to see the mayor”, enter through a fridge, and begin your descent down the crooked, dark stairway. At the bottom you’ll be greeted by candle lit tables, some of the most sumptuous cocktails in London and, perhaps you’ll even catch a glimpse of the elusive ‘mayor’ – sadly not Sadiq Khan himself though!
2. Jamboree, Limehouse, East London
Photo by Ewan Munro
Jamboree, with its twisting stairways and hot-potch of furnishings, offers an entirely unique atmosphere, where music and dance are integral parts of the drinking experience. Located in an old art studio, this Edwardian-Vaudeville inspired hangout is famed for showcasing the best local, alternative talent. Suspender-clad staff and regular live world music (including Celtic, folk and Latin) transform this swinging bar into London’s very own Moulin Rouge.
3. Callooh Callay, Shoreditch
A stone’s throw away from Scaredy Cat is Callooh Callay, specialising in equally innovative (and equally delicious) cocktails, with perhaps a hint more sophistication. That’s not to say Callooh Callay is without its curiosities. Discover secret lounges behind Narnia-style wardrobes, and indulge in an Alice in Wonderland-inspired drinks menu. Specialties include ‘the Mad Hatter’, served inside a gramophone (no that’s not a misprint!).
4. Oscar Wilde Bar, Regent Street, Leicester Sq.
Inject a bit of glitz and glamour into your London experience with the Oscar Wilde Bar, named after the famous poet who found love with Lord Alfred Douglas under its very roof. The likes of David Bowie, The Beatles and Mick Jagger have all enjoyed a tipple and a dance among the golden, mirrored walls, baroque inspired décor, and sumptuous furnishings. Honoring the venues lavish past is champagne and equally stylish supper menus, all served alongside the usual splash of ales and beers.
5. Ye Olde Mitre Tavern, Camden
Located in Camden, although hidden from the mania of central London, is Ye Old Mitre Tavern, historically rich and bursting with character. Originally built for servants of the nearby Ely Palace in 1540, the pub is today a hot spot for veteran locals, alongside those who have the fortune to stumble across it. With its classic décor and a vast range of cask ales and beers, this treasure of a pub is as quintessentially English as they come.