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15 London Bars You Should Drink at More

Forget the latest hot opening - these places are the backbone of the London bar scene and we wished we spent a lot more time drinking in them.

There's a few bars in London which feel like home, whether its your first time inside the front door or you have a dedicated bar seat with your bottom imprint sunk into the cushion. These are the bars which you sit down at and think 'I wish I came here more - why do I not come here more?' Bars so rock solid in their service and offerings they seem a part of the city's furniture.

Eschew the hottest new opening, the latest pop-up or the place the be seen and visit one these fabulous bars. Guarenteed you won't regret it. 

1. Mark's Bar Soho
Find it: 66-70 Brewer Street, London, W1F 9UP
One of Soho's best cocktail bars, Mark's is a stalwart of the central scene and while some drinkers remember that very well, the rest of us tend to have little lapses in memory, especially when complaining of the lack of decent bars in the West End. Running with the theme best of British, the drinks here lean towards local recipes from years ago and are packed with plenty of delicious booze. It's a warm and comfortable basement filled with expertly-made cocktails and a great selection of gin and whisky. No more complaining about Soho - we just need to drink more in Mark's Bar. 

2. Stillwaterundefined
Find it: 206 Trinity Road, London, SW17 7HP
Wandsworth may seem like the ends of the earth to some but those that do brave the journey will find this hidden gem of a neighbourhood bar. This owner operated venue have clearly put love in to all of their decisions about the bar from their menu of twists on classic cocktails to the New Orleans inspired food everything is designed to make you feel at home in this space. If you're worried about the journey head over for their brunch offering and you'll soon find you've spent the entire day there. 

3. Mint Gun Club
Find it: 4a Brooke Rd, Stoke Newington, N16 7JN
While yes, it might have only opened a few months ago, but this little neighbourhood gem is not one to be missed, with it's owner Richard Hunt, a three-time International Bartender of the Year winner.. I mean really... need we say more? A hole in the wall cocktail bar serving up £5 gimlets and cleverly crafted cocktails to delight and inspire any who venture into this Stokey local. Swing by, stay a while and get comfy. You'll probably see one of us there! 

4. Discount Suit Company
Find it: 29 Wentworth Street, London, E1 7TB
It has some of the best cocktails alongside some of the best cheese in London. How do I not live here? Discount Suit Company is a tiny candle-lit basement bar off Petticoat Lane that is simply sublime. Drinks are ingeniously thought up and executed to perfection. Then to top it all off you can order a Neal's Yard cheese board. Everything from the crooked floorboards to the tailors dummy and the music is just right, making the place go off with a bang while still feeling intimate. More nights spent down here being racous please.  

5. Scarfes Barundefined
Find it: 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN
Scarfes is a big high-ceilinged chamber of comfort and cocktails, decorated with marble, thick fabrics, grandfather armchairs, chandeliers and a beautiful fireplace. It was made for drinking in - something we wish we did a lot more. Cocktails are perfectly prepared, from whisky-heavy big boy drinks to lighter refreshing tipples. As it's a hotel bar you'll hear that familliar American voice ordering their Dirty Martini, which somehow adds even more charm to the whole experience. Oppulent yes, but affordable oppulence, in one of the most comfortable bars in London. 

6. Dukes Bar
Find it: Dukes Hotel, 35 St James's Place, London, SW1A 1NY
Ok so it's vaguely impossible to get a seat in this minuscule bar, and the Martinis are ridiculous in all the right ways so perhaps it's best we don't spend every evening in here...but...imagine if you did. The old shcool glamour, the intimacy, Alessandro wheeling his trolley over with his frozen glasses, gin and those beautiful little twists of Amalfi lemon... it simply brings you to raptures. 

7. Spiritland
Find it: 9-10 Stable Street, London, N1C 4AB
This venue has a lot going for it. First - an absolutely killer sound system that makes all music sound - basically - perfect. Secondly - the wine list is outstanding, maybe better than the cocktails, but thats ok because wine is delicious. Thirdly - unless you're there on one of their 'nights' it's fairly easy to get a table and be really well looked after by their really nice staff and finally - sometimes Jarvis Cocker DJs there, who two of the older members of Team DrinkUp have a long standing crush on and still get a bit giddy when he turns up. 

8. 69 Colebrooke Row
Find it: 69 Colebrook Row, London, N1 8AA
Drinks at 69 Colebrooke Row are created with incredible amounts of finesse, so much so you can practically taste it in each drop of delicious liquid. It's a brilliant local for Islington residences but also a destination bar for those who enjoy craft and booze in equal measures. This is one bar that has never fallen off the radar, with the famed Tony Conigliaro at the helm it would be unlikely to do so, but we never get to it as much as we'd like to with its exceptional service and mouth-watering cocktails. And doesn't everyone need more Prairie Oysters in the their life? We think so.

9. Rotorino
Find it: 434 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AA
A delightfully converted bank, Rotorino is a local Italian restaurant with an open-plan bar area serving great wines and aperitif-style cocktails. With industrial chic decor that still manages to feel homely and small plates of delectable cheeses, cured meats and sharply executed veggies, you can spend an entire evening at Rotorino quite happily grazing and imbibing. A real addition to the east London scene, it deserves our presence much more frequently than we currently give it. 

10. Sager + Wilde Wine Barundefined
Find it: 193 Hackney Road, London, E2 8JL
There are so many fabulous things about this pokey wine bar on Hackney Road, with its rustic decor and flowing vino, but let's start with its wine, such delicious wine. With a reguarly updated list there's always something new to try by the glass no matter your palate or preference, rich reds, intense aromatic whites, zippy citrus or heavy tannins. To top it all off you can take bottles away with a discount. Secondly the food, nibbles of cheese, small seasonal plates and toasties dripping with melted cheddar. Infallible service and let's not forget its refurbed pavement bartop with its cool glass squares to trace while perched at the bar. One of the best, if only every night was a Sager + Wilde night.

11. Martello Hall
Find it: 28 Brixton Water Lane, London, SW2 1PE
Moving into a former East-End pub, Martello Hall is a trendy open-plan modern space known for specialising in wines on tap and wood-fired pizzas. The venue caters for all tastes, accompanying its cocktails list with a food menu composed of various Italian breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. The perfect Hackney hang-out spot aimed at E8 hot-deskers by day then morphing into a party bar at night open till 3am on the weekends.

12. Ceremony
Find it: 131 Fortess Road, London, NW5 2HR
Ceremony is a fairly new addition, we know, BUT it's basically family and family should always take care of each other. Yes it's a restaurant (with outstanding reviews) but the diminuative cocktail bar has pride of place in the centre of the room, raised up on it's lofty, tiled pedestal and always with someone excellent behind it. With a short, often changing drinks list this is a great place to while away a few hours - plus you know that the bartender will always be able to rustle up a tip top classic if that's what you fancy. 

13. Punch Roomundefined
Find it: The London Edition, 10 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NP
Punches are great; they're balanced, aromatic and always beautifully presented here in The London Edition. The space is equally fantastic, with banquets to sink into, a roaring fire place for the winter evenings and impeccable service. It feels intimate and discreet, as if you've been happily cut off from the rest of the city to sip booze and nibble on endless cheese bites. We deserve more visits to sit snuggled in a corner and let the hours slide by. 

14. Satan's Whiskers
Find it: 343 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9RA
Bethnal Green is often just that little bit too far away unless you live east, making this awesome little gem of a bar one we wish we drank at a lot more. Of course if you're a local then lucky you, for moments down the road you have £8 cocktails (unheard of in good London bars), banging hip hop music and the tastiest sweet potato fries for miles. Cocktails here aren't just £8 though, they're unmissably great, properly crafted classic drinks that are always balanced whether you're ordering a blended Pina Colada or a Satan's Manhattan. Devilishly good. 

15. ECC China Town
Find it: 13a Gerrard Street, London, W1D 5PS
Possibly London's most beautiful bar, Experimental Cocktail Club is just south of Soho and we should cross Shaftesbury Avenue a lot more to take up residence in front of the bar and work our way through all the terribly delicious Parisian cocktails. Opulent, cosy, unique and wonderfully French this is the ultimate bar to visit when presented with the West End's streets of chain bars. We wish we came more often. 

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