The River Thames is almost as famous as London itself. Winding its way through the heart of the city, it draws in locals and...
If you’re not from London then you may not know that East London was once a part of the city that didn’t come with the best of reputations. Today, the area tells a very different tale as East London (aka the East End) has been the “it” place for decades. Notoriously a mecca for hipsters, foodies and artists, heading East means visiting some of the coolest and trendiest areas of London.
The East End is littered with incredible spots, especially if you’re looking for food & drink. So to help get your night started, we’ve hand picked four of the very best establishments that the area has to offer.
Three words: raw, industrial, chic – that’s the best way to describe the interiors at 100 Hoxton, the first stop on your East End night out. Revellers flock to the spot for its incredible drinks menu, especially the cocktails, but it’s the food that really shouldn’t be overlooked.
The concept is simple: Asian / European fusion that focuses on small sharing plates. And no time of the day has been overlooked as 100 Hoxton serves breakfast, lunch AND dinner.
Eat: The crispy pork belly and the soft shell crab, finishing off with Hoxton mini donuts.
Drink: The eponymous 100 Hoxton cocktail - lychee, lemongrass, chilli and ginger topped with prosecco
Discount Suit Company
Look out for buses 149, 242 or 67, as they will take you to your next stop in only 15 minutes – if you take a cab, you’ll only be looking at about 9 minutes of travel time.
Discount Suit Company, named after its location in the storeroom of an old suit firm, has been making waves in the London bar scene for a number of years now. It focuses on a laid back atmosphere and an astonishing collection of cocktails that you’d struggle to pick just one.
If you’re not having alcohol, head bartender Dorian is always happy to whip up a “mocktail” that will rival any booze-filled option on the menu.
The drink? The Rum Clipper - a mix of dark rum, spiced liqueur, absinthe, black tea, pomegranate, apple and lime
The sound? Motown
The nibbles? Neal’s Yard cheese platters
So just push open the small black door, ignore the shopkeepers’ doubtful glances and step back into time – no time machine needed.
Whisky lovers, this stop’s for you! Merchant House on Fleet Street, houses more than 500 varieties of whiskey, so you might need a few return visits if you plan on trying them all. The bar is also suitable for those aspiring whiskey drinkers, as tasting notes are included within the drinks menu, helping visitors make an informed choice.
But if “on the rocks” is simply not for you, there’s a cocktail menu that could challenge any bar in the city. It even comes with a table of contents – how cool is that?! Each drink is imbued with a “sense of place,” celebrating the rich history and culture of Scotland and Ireland.
Look out for: The bespoke spirit masterclasses – you can find more info on the Merchant House website.
Drink: “Sea Nor Skye” – we guarantee you’ve never had anything like this before
This tour terminates here. Just 10 minutes away from Merchant house, hidden deep inside the old Smithfield meat market, you’ll find Oriole - Nightjar’s flashy little sister.
There’s an element of “theatre meets speakeasy” when it comes to Oriole, and most people don’t really know what to expect when they pull back the curtain. Add to that some live jazz and gold in leather furnishings – what would you make of this room?
The cocktails served here are separated into three chapters: Old World, New World and the Orient –and it has the décor to match their mantra. The setting is as superb as the cocktails, but a night out here doesn’t come cheap. Drinks start at £10, reasonable for London, but we think you’ll struggle to keep your promise if you’re out to have just one drink.
There’s bar food too, in case you get hungry, but other things will keep your interest at peak. Palm-tree-covered landscapes, crooners and trinkets – the perfect end to any night out in London.
Travel Tip: If you’re staying at Thistle City Barbican, you’re only a 7 minute cab ride from your hotel room!