Two new London hotels — the Ace and the London Edition — are ushering in a new breed of hip hotel, each housing an equally cool drinking spot. Here’s our guide to London’s best hotel bars from the traditional to the quirky.
Fashionable: Lobby Bar at London EDITION
Best for the creative crowd
Ace Hotel, Shoreditch
New York’s Ace Hotel is one of Going Out’s favourite international hipster hangouts. So when we heard Ace was opening a hotel in Shoreditch, we jumped for joy. You’ll have the choice of two bars: the Lobby bar (opening at the beginning of October) and the late-licence Basement Bar, which will be open until 3am (hurrah). Designed to be a social hub, the focal piece of the lobby bar will be a 16-seater communal table made from cast iron, oak and copper. Full details are currently scant, but we’re pretty sure it won’t skimp on the cool factor and will be the ideal place for a drink pre- or post-dinner at Hoi Polloi, the in-house restaurant by the Bistrotheque guys.
Lobby Bar at London EDITION, Fitzrovia
Ian Schrager, the man who gifted the world with Studio 54 and practically invented boutique hotels, now gives us Lobby Bar, at his latest hotel, London EDITION. What a beauty it is: marble walls, elegant seating and a giant silver egg-like sculpture suspended from the ornate ceiling makes for a super-slick hangout — Lobby Bar is the new place to see and be seen. Join the glamorous set for drinks pre-dinner (Jason Atherton’s beautiful new restaurant is just next door) or stop by for a night cap; the cocktails are exquisite. We loved the Yakuzu, made from Tanqueray Gin, lemon juice and yuzu (an East Asian citrus, similar to mandarin) juice charged with champagne. Try the Clearer Colada too — it’s an original spin on the Pina Colada: it tastes like one, but it looks like a martini…
NYC-style grandeur: the Lobby Bar at EDITION
Best for excellent signature cocktails
Artesian Bar at the Langham
The drinks here also cost a small fortune, but for a good reason: the Artesian has been voted the world’s best bar in 2012 by global beverage journal Drinks International. A nostalgic Victorian beauty with nods to the Orient, its interior, designed by David Collins is a beautiful mix of antique mirrors, purple scalloped leather banquettes and Art Deco fittings. If you’re lucky, your drink will be made by the head mixologist and the bar’s secret weapon: Alex Kratena — ask for the signature cocktail, the Langham Martini. Interestingly, it also has the largest collection of rums in London.
Artesian Bar at The Langham