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Stella Katterman's Top 5 places for cocktails in London

By Stella Katterman on Sep 06 2013

Hi I am Stella, a not quite English, not quite German, London girl and fortnightly new contributor to Styl.sh! As both fashion blogger and budding restaurant critic I will be giving you my favourite places to eat and drink in London and what to wear for every occasion, whether afternoon tea or sunday brunches. To start off with here are my top five places to enjoy a cocktail in London, from al fresco prosecco to making the most of the last of the summer rays or hidden speakeasies to impress any date with!

If the weathers good….

The Filling Station

There is no better place to watch the world go by and enjoy an al fresco drink than at this rather unusual spot. Overlooking Kings Cross station and Regent’s canal, it may not be the most obvious location to enjoy an after work glass of prosecco but the beautifully converted petrol station in which forecourt you can enjoy your cocktail is one of the most mesmerizing places to enjoy a warm evening in London. With its big neon letters lighting up when the sun sets and the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest stations in London all but a few dots in the distance, you can sit back shielded from the rest of the world and sip on one of their great frozen margaritas.

If you want a little dance after your cocktail…

Ridley Road Market Bar

It may not look very promising walking down Ridley Road in the middle of Dalston at night, boarded up market stalls and a distinct smell of meat still in the air from the butchers shifting their goods during the day, but keep on going and you will find this little gem and with it one of the best places to spend a night out in London. Imagine a suburban town hall circa 1973 throwing a Hawaiian themed party and you get a pretty accurate impression of the slightly off the wall but very fun interior at Ridley Road. Drinks are incredibly good value for money and very very good for that with bartenders that know their stuff. Famous for their Ginger Mojitos and Pina Coladas ( £5 a pop) and with a dance-floor in the back where you can enjoy changing DJ sets most nights, playing anything from Hip Hop to French Pop, you are almost always guaranteed a fun evening amongst a diverse and creative crowd at this London gem.

If you are a cocktail buff…..

69 Colebrooke Row

At 69 Colebrooke Row cocktails are a science and the bartenders in their dapper 1920’s style waistcoats are committed to serving you delicate, interesting and unusual alcoholic concoctions that will leave you in awe. The whole place has a touch of decadent jazz age to it and makes you feel rather special if you manage to snag one of the 30 seats in this tiny and hidden bar a short walk from Angel station. The menu utilizes unusual ingredients like patchouli infused mint and apple puree with a hint of hay and puts unique twists on cocktail classics on their short but enticing menu. The service is excellent and every cocktail is tailored to your taste, a place that makes cocktails the star of the show and does so rather elegantly and effortlessly at that

If you want some great food to go with your drink…

Hawksmoor Bar

Housed in the premises of a former strip club, all tiled teal walls, brass details and mirrors, Hawksmoor bar has become a culinary destination of its own since opening in the basement of the Hawksmoor Spitalfields restaurant which is known for serving some of the best steaks that London has to offer. Inspired by American bar food and classic cocktails, it’s an ideal place to forget any healthy eating pretension and tuck into what is best in life, burgers, sundaes and very good cocktails. With a monthly changing cocktail menu, created by one of their expert bar tenders, every creation is well sourced in terms of ingredients and perfectly executed. Whether the Climpson coffee used for their delicious espresso Martini or the tangy orange marmalade infused into their signature marmalade cocktail, it’s a place to spend a whole evening drinking and eating ( their poutine; triple cooked chips, gravy, cheese and meat; is so so bad for you yet so so good) in a laid back environment where flavours and quality are second to none.

If you want that cozy speakeasy feel…

Happiness forgets

Hidden down some metal stairs in the middle of Shoreditch (Hoxton square to be precise), Happiness Forgets is no doubt the perfect place for a first date. Dimly lit and with dark walls and dark wooden floors you cannot help but nudge a little closer to your company to study the diverse menu. Not that you have stick to the fine selection of both classic and more experimental creations, every time I have been the charming bartenders clad in suitably speakeasy braces and bow ties were more than happy to create a cocktail based on my favourite spirits and flavours, a flawless and intimate service that at £8.50 a pop for a cocktail is a rarity in London and a place that will become your best kept secret.

And what should you wear to look perfectly composed while sipping away your cocktail of choice.. here are my picks from BuyMyWardrobe.

Stella Katterman x