They might look like shops, cafés and public toilets to the casual observer, but they’re hiding a secret. Take a peek at the best hidden bars and in the capital.
We all love the feeling of being included in a secret. Even as a kid, games that involved you selectively allowing members of your family into your ‘hideout’ via password provided a special thrill. So it’s no wonder that London is capitalising on our obsession with the unknown with its underground bar scene. There’s a plethora of not-so-secret London speakeasy bars on offer. If you know where to look for them, that is.
1. Evans & Peel Detective Agency, Earl’s Court
Step through a shabby black door in Earl’s Court and you’ll find the Evans & Peel Detective Agency, a discrete operation specialising in ‘blackmail, missing persons and armed personal protection’. Err, no, wait a minute, this place is actually a cocktail bar, and a seriously cool one at that.
Even their website hardly gives anything away. Make an ‘appointment’ to see a detective, ring the doorbell to enter, and step into their office to present your case. This place is themed to perfection and it also happens to be a great spot to snap a few funny photos while enjoying your drinks.
2. CellarDoor, Aldwych
This intimate affair is located below The Aldwych in an underground space that used to be a public toilet. Expect live entertainment across various cabaret, blues and burlesque shows. CellarDoor even hosts a secret cinema every Sunday afternoon, featuring a cult movie and a classic silent comedy with live piano. This underground bar is made for alternative entertainment (and cocktails, of course).
3. The Mayor Of Scaredy Cat Town, Spitalfields
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town would probably be the winner of the Secret London ‘Bar with the Most Whimsical Entrance’ award, if that was a thing. Step through the Smeg fridge at the back of the Spitalfields branch of The Breakfast Club into a dimly lit speakeasy. All you have to do to gain entry is tell staff that you’re ‘here to see the Mayor’. You’ll be sat in this hunting lodge style speakeasy sipping on a ‘Bonfire Banana’ or a ‘Naked In Madeira’ in no time.
4. BYOC, Camden
BYOC Camden not only provides you with the thrill of entering a bar though an inconspicuous unmarked black door, it also gives you the opportunity to indulge in all-you-can-drink cocktails made with a spirit of your choice. A slightly different way to drink, this bar asks you bring along a bottle of your favourite spirit and pay a flat fee of £25 on arrival, in exchange for a tailor made cocktail experience.
Once you’ve got yourself settled you’ll have a series of spirit-specific cocktails whipped up for you by one of their expert mixologists. All while enjoying their vintage blackjack, roulette and poker tables. This one is definitely best enjoyed in groups.
5. Discount Suit Company, Aldgate
This place has cunningly embraced its humble beginnings as – you guessed it – a discount suit company. Behind it’s ramshackle facade is a hip and happening cocktail bar that ‘focuses on great cocktails with traditional methods and forgotten classic recipes’. Oh, all accompanied by a soul-music soundtrack that’s bound to relax even the most uptight accountant-type person. Find out more about Discount Suit Company on their website.
6. Call Me Mr Lucky, London Bridge
Another secret Breakfast Club bar, but this one has an atmosphere with a difference. Located beneath the London Bridge branch, Call Me Mr Lucky has a wheel of fortune theme guaranteed to get the party started.
Because who doesn’t love hearing their drunken mate stumble over all the words in the Fresh Prince theme tune? It’s guaranteed Snapchat gold.
This charming little hideout in Kentish Town reopened last November to much enthusiasm from the Secret London staff. Knowhere Special‘s innovative menu pairs each expertly mixed cocktail with a small side dish, so there’s definitely no need to feel uneasy about the slightly above average price tag on each drink. Its unassuming entrance just amplifies its wow factor – your date will definitely be impressed with this one. Just make sure you book in advance via email to guarantee you get in.
More top secret Secret London:
🚂 Take A Ride On An Abandoned Underground Train Track
🍧 Frozen Éclairs Now Exist And Our Entire Summer Has Been Made
🍜 This Free Food Festival Celebrates All Of London Bridge’s Culinary Delights
⚡️ Now You Can Magic Your Way Out Of A Harry Potter Themed Escape Room