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Time Out Bar Awards: London's Best Six Bars
Connaught Bar at The Connaught
The Connaught, Carlos Place, London, W1K 2AL
Mon-Sat 4pm-1am Sun CLOSED
Award: Classiest Bar. The Connaught Bar is elegance personified, and as the judges say, it's incredibly classy. So we're starting here for obvious reasons. Sashay in looking fresh and dapper, and pretend you are always this god damn classy. In any other circumstance we'd say order one of their crisp and sharp Martinis but tonight we're hitting six bars so don't under any circumstance be tempted with the Martini trolley. You won't make it to the third bar let alone the sixth. And no, that's not a challenge. Order something suitably classy, may we suggest a champagne cocktail such as a French 75? Load up on the olives and crisps (you'll need it) and drink up. Order an uber, if you want to impress the doorman make it a luxe, and punch in 10 Berners Street. Punch Room here we come.
Punch Room at The Edition
The London Edition, 10 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NP
Award: Bar of the Year AND Most Stylish Bar. With only one drink under our belts we still look fiercely stylish, and completely at home in London's Bar of the Year. This bar, in the back of the Edition hotel, was originally intended as an honesty bar for guests but the management, very wisely, decided to turn it into this delightful mecca of mixed drinks. Punches range from light and floral to those with a stronger flavour kick. Discover the wonder of a well-made punch, surely the most convivial of serves, and for goodness sake don't let the staff convince you to take any tequila shots. We still have four more bars to go. Drain your bowl and order a taxi to the South Bank, we're heading to the home of modern botany.
Mondrian Hotel, 22 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD
Mon-Thu 4pm-1am Fri-Sat Midday-1.30am Sun Midday-12.30am
Award: Best Bar Team. Super stylish, modern and with riverside views, Dandelyan is one beautiful bar. But that's certainly not why it's famous, instead the talents of the staff here are second to none and the drinks are absurdly tasty. Perch at the bar to appreciate the talent up close and be sure to study their menu meticulously - each cocktail has a botanical story behind its creation. Reading the whole thing may be a tad anti-social but with this much work behind each drink it's rude not to. Now's a great time to stock up on some bar snacks as well; food here is frankly excellent. We love team Lyan so much our next stop is their other London outpost. Slurp up the last drops of your cocktails, lick your plates clean and say a massive thank you to the dandelyaners. We're heading to Hoxton now so loosen that tie and make sure you're wearing something ironically.
153-155 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6PJ
Award: Most Creative Bar. The original Lyan bar might be from the same parents as Dandelyan but these siblings couldn't approach drink making more differently. Which is why visiting both in a night will still guarantee two different experiences. You've now just catapulted yourself through the door of the most unique bar in London, possibly the world (we haven't been to every bar out there but we're pretty sure this is where it's at). Order the most intriguing thing on the menu and don't be afraid to ask the fabulous boys and girls here any question you like. They're pretty open about how they create flavours, and if you remember high school science you might understand about 50% of what they're saying. Cool vibes, banging drinks and a few hand-drawn pornographic lions make this a real DrinkUp.London favourite. But we can't hang around all night with two more bars on this list. We're swapping science for hiphop and heading east to Satan's Whiskers.
343 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9RA
Award: Hippest Bar. It's possibly about time I break through the journalistic forth wall and declare a vested interest in Satan's Whiskers - I waitress here on the weekends. Because it's one of the best bars in London - it's always fun, the cocktails are the best-made classics you'll find and the music is fantastic. Pop in and be delighted by Nas, Jay Z and the Notorious B.I.G while sipping Dark 'n Stormies, Charlie Chaplins or a delicious Yellow Bird. Now we're on our fifth bar, and having given up all pretences of being classy, you can let loose, rap along to your favourites or find a dark little corner to pimp out in. Whatever hippest bar means, this place is about as unpretentious as you will find and you don't have to be king of the cool cats to get in either - a reservation does help however. Don't get too comfy though because our final destination is up the road and waiting for us.
129 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0PH
Mon 6pm-11pm Tue-Wed 6pm-Midnight Thu-Sat 6pm-1.30am Sun 6pm-11pm
Award: Best New Bar. Original Sin is beautifully designed. Each detail, from the pineapple glass wall lamps to the carved railings makes the place shine. We love their refreshing and slightly bitter long drinks here but are equally happy to trust staff recommendations, this is one well-oiled cocktail machine. If the pool table is free jump in or relax in one of the slick booths while cocktails, beers and shots (it's the last bar so be as raucous as you want) are delivered straight into your waiting hands. Best New Bar is a plaudit well-deserved and the space has certainly brought some new culture to Stoke Newington's growing young population. And here, London, ends your tour of the six best bars currently serving up mixed drinks across our fair city - according to Time Out.