If you’re looking to visit London in the coming months, chances are you’ll want to book a room in as central accommodation as possible. Yes, because, no doubt, you’ve quite rightly heard the very centre of town – basically, the West End – is where so much of it happens. There’s no getting away from it; this is absolutely true. For here’s where you’ll discover the biggest and best shopping options, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and, of course, nightlife in London – pubs, bars and nightclubs and so on.
Moreover, should you make the most of the excellent offers and deals available with various accommodation (for instance, through the likes of The Montcalm Club), you can also very affordably stay at hotels near Oxford Street. In which case, what are the nightspots not to be missed in this diminutive but oh-so happening district of London…?
(31 Duke Street W1U 1LG)
A cavernous rum bar with a party atmosphere, Burlock stocks over 200 of the world’s finest rums available under one roof, making it one of the UK’s largest rum houses. The abundance of Latin spirits extends to cachaca, rhum agricole and mezcal with some high end 21-year-old Appleton Estate, one of Jamaica’s finest. A vintage styled lounge area, with a bookable area for up to 40 guests, and a Havana style barber shop which doubles up as a drinking area set the perfect scene for signature cocktails like Mary’s Pickled (made with pineapple, clementine juice and pomegranate) and daiquiris made with sugar and fresh, in season fruit juices. Take on the grasshopper challenge and, once you’ve washed down a nutritious edible grasshopper (the mascot of Burlock) with a shot of rum you can ring the bar’s ship bell. Bar snacks and small plates vary from Brazilian cheese buns to seabass ceviche to enjoy while partying the night away.
(23 Orchard Lane W1H 6HL)
David Beckham, One Direction and Pixie Lott have all partied at Chakana, a late-night Inca-inspired lounge bar brought to you by Nick House, the entrepreneur behind famous London nightclubs Mahiki and Whisky Mist. Since opening at the end of 2013, Chakana has become something of a celebrity hotspot with well-known celebs like Lindsay Lohan and Gordon Ramsay entertained by resident DJs including London-born Andrew Dax, a familiar name on the Ibiza scene. With Argentinian curator Augusto Rossillo on board, The Inca theme is felt in the decor – think heavy wood, rich golds and reds, and snakeskin banquettes – as well as the drinks menu which features pisco’s, rare tequilas and dark rums spiced up with Chia seeds, maca root, Inca berries and coca leaves – all ‘super foods’ of the Andes.
(5th Floor, 240 Regent Street W1B 2EL)
Part of the Aqua Restaurant Group, which also includes aqua nueva and aqua kyoto, aqua spirit is a stylish cocktail bar in central London. Situated on the fifth floor of the former Dickens and Jones department store off Regent Street with roof-terraces that provide impressive views across London, it’s a great spot for pre- and post-dining drinking destination. The round bar is a centre of Japanese glamour, with a halo of hand-crafted charcoal – symbolic of Zen purity – and booth seating continues the theme with Japanese kimono silk backdrops. The bar’s signature cocktails include the Rose & Li, which combines Veuve Clicquot Champagne with rose liqueur, lychee and flowering rose buds; the Nueva Cobbler, a combination of Tio Pepe sherry, fresh blackberries and raspberries, vanilla sugar and orange.