The American Bar at The Savoy
This glamorous cocktail lounge has been the hotel bar of choice for famous faces including Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe since it opened in 1889. Drinks are served by smart waiters in jackets and ties and a pianist plays every night on a baby grand. The cocktails may be pricey but there's a reason why this elegant spot scooped the 'Best Bar in Europe' title at the World's 50 Best Bars awards in 2016.
The Bloomsbury Club Bar
This sultry Art Deco-style bar takes inspiration from the Bloomsbury Set, a group of influential writers that hung out together in this part of town in the early 20th century. The cocktails are named after the group's best-known authors including Virginia Woolf and E. M. Forster and the cozy wood-paneled space has the feel of a private library. For an atmospheric aperitif, head to the vine-clad terrace which is lit by twinkly fairy lights and lanterns.
Hoxton Holborn Lobby Bar
Open until 2 am Monday to Saturday, this buzzy bar attracts a creative crowd. It's as popular as an after-work hotspot for Londoners as it is a lobby bar for hotel guests. It has a laid-back Scandinavian look with chunky wooden floors scattered with comfy velvet sofas and serves a selection of quirky cocktails, wines by the glass and craft beers. Bar snacks including truffle fries and baby back ribs are served from the neighboring restaurant's open kitchen.
For classic cocktails in elegant surroundings, you'd be hard-pressed to beat Dukes, an intimate bar in the heart of Mayfair. The martinis are the drink of choice here; the bar is said to have inspired former patron Ian Fleming to write the classic James Bond line 'shaken, not stirred'. Keep things simple with an authentic gin and vermouth combo or pick a quirky variation like a white truffle martini.
Radio Rooftop Bar at ME London
For a taste of the high life, head up to the 10th floor of ME London on the Strand. This rooftop bar has an impressive terrace strewn with bright white sofas and overlooks London landmarks including Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. The building once belonged to the BBC and was where they broadcasted from regularly in the 1920s (hence the bar's name). Drink in the views and the history as you work your way through the extensive gin and tonic menu.
If it's champagne you're after, Claridge's is your bar. This sophisticated Art Deco spot serves an impressive array of rare and vintage champagnes by the bottle and glass. Sink into one of the stylish armchairs or perch on a red leather stool at the marble bar. For a more intimate affair, check out the hotel's Fumoir, a secret drinking den with room for just 36 people. It's a favorite haunt of glamorous stars including Kate Moss and Dita Von Teese.
The Cocktail Lounge at The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell
On a quaint cobblestone square in Clerkenwell, this award-winning bar has the feel of a cozy lounge owned by an eccentric relative. It's packed full of treasures and trinkets and the red patterned walls are lined with oil paintings and black and white photographs. The cocktails are as quirky as the interiors and are laced with homemade tinctures and infusions. It's a great spot for an afternoon drink by the fireside or a nightcap before retiring to one of the beautiful suites.
The Punch Room at The London EDITION
This wood-paneled drinking den has a reservations-only policy inspired by London's private members' clubs of the 19th century. It's decked out in teal velvet banquettes and a crackling fire and cocktails are served to a cool soundtrack of vintage jazz and soul. Go with a group and order one of the punch bowls designed for up to eight people. This fashionable hangout feels a world away from bustling Oxford Street, which is just around the corner.
The Artesian at The Langham London
This theatrical bar at the Langham London has scooped the Best Bar in the World award four years running. The dramatic interiors feature a pagoda-style bar, chairs made from purple crocodile leather and huge chandeliers. It's hard to pick a drink from the innovative menu which features creative concoctions including a cocktail served with edible shards of glass.
Dandelyan Bar at Mondrian London
With interiors by top British designer Tom Dixon and cocktails designed by award-winning bartender Mr. Lyan (Ryan Chetiyawardana), the Dandelyan is a winning combination. On the ground floor of the Mondrian London, this stylish bar sits right on the South Bank and overlooks London landmarks like St Paul's Cathedral and the river Thames. The cocktails are inspired by modern botany and each comes with a story and a guide to the kind of mood it should put you in. Visit on a Sunday when drinks are served to a soundtrack of Old School hip-hop.