Take refuge from these chilly winter nights in one of these cosy underground bars, all of which are within walking distance from the Strand Palace Hotel.
Tucked away on a side street next to Charing Cross Station, this vaulted cellar bar is filled with rickety candlelit tables and secret coves, while walls are plastered in old newspaper cuttings and historic memorabilia. Thought to be the oldest wine bar in London, Gordon’s was established in 1890 and was even home to Samuel Pepys in the 1680s. There’s an award-winning wine list, and sherries and ports are served straight from barrels behind the bar. Note that wine is the only tipple on offer at this bar. Feeling peckish? The intimate bar also serves up a range of home-cooked food, tapas and cheese platters.
All aboard! Nostalgia seekers will love this subterranean drinking den that has been decked out to resemble a 1940s Tube station with a wooden escalator-like staircase, a vintage-style Tube carriage, an air raid bunker seating booth and retro signs. Upon arrival, staff dressed in 1940s clothes will issue you with a ticket to board the underground carriage. Spend the night listening to a soundtrack of jazz, swing, lindy-hop and rock’n’roll, while sipping cocktails and black market liquor from hip flasks, tins, old mugs and vintage milk bottles; the perfect antidote to the January blues.
Just off Leicester Square is this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cellar bolthole, which homes more than 300 varieties of wine from across the globe. Open since 1978, this popular wine bar is a great spot to escape the West End crowds and hunker down in a cosy vault. Because the bar believes that “great wine deserves great food”, there’s an impressive menu of tempting mains, snacks and cheese. Snuggle up to a hearty dish of tartiflette, baked camembert, shepherd’s pie or the bar’s famous ham and cheese pie (more than 850,000 portions have been sold since 1978!).
Loosen your belt before rounding off your evening with something sweet at this basement dessert and cocktail bar. With a classy vibe, this Soho pudding palace is kitted out with wood panelled snugs, low lighting and green leather seating. Perfect for sweet-toothed hedonists, the beautifully-presented puds have been designed to match the tasting notes of the cocktails. The ever-changing cocktail list is made up of inventive creations, using unusual ingredients like seaweed and salted caramel, as well as experimenting with traditional ingredients such as beetroot and homemade syrups. A recent cocktail creation is the brilliantly-named Toffee Bum, containing salted caramel and rum. Yum!
Don’t Forget, we have our very own hideaways to get a well-deserved refreshment after a long day wandering London. Be sure to drop in at the Gin Palace for our wonderful list of Gin based concoctions, or if you’re in hunt of some sports entertainment the Nook Bar is a our very own sports bar.
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