No walk-ins allowed! You need to first crack the secret code to get into these trendy watering holes…
Squirreled away under London’s oldest whisky den in Soho is The Vault – the secret entrance being behind a bookcase at the end of the shop. Serving a host of fantastic whisky cocktails in a no-frills environment, here you can even pet the house dog Chester.
(3 Greek Street, London W1D 4NX)
Discount Suit Company
This one, you guessed it, is in a disused suit storeroom in the East End of London, hidden behind a nondescript black door, down a narrow set of stairs to a tiny bar – look up and you will see umbrellas poking out of the ceiling. Their cocktail Pina Fumada with mescal, velvet falernum and pineapple is a hit!
(29A Wentworth Street, London E1 7TB)
In the heart of Chinatown, Soho this is reminiscent of 1920’s Shanghai – this late-night den offers dim sum and cocktails. What’s unusual here is that there is a “secret bar within a secret bar” – you’ll have to search for it! There are also stand alone bars within the bar, each having different themes such as Apothecary and Peony. I’m not saying anything more – it’s a secret, go check it out.
(The Jade Door, 15-16 Gerrard Street, London W1D 6JE)
This Spanish style bodega is in Hoxton and what’s the secret? The door is hidden behind a neon-lit telephone where you need to crack the code to get in, and if you strike it lucky, you can enter one of London’s most debauched drinking dens with live DJs performing too. The party gets started at around midnight so get cracking!
(232 Kingsland Road, London E2 8AX)
By Diane Bilimoria, London