Looking for a fantastic time in London? Then Covent Garden is definitely worth a visit! Located in the West End area of the city, ‘London’s most exciting district’ is a mere stone’s throw away from such popular tourist destinations as Soho, Trafalgar Square and The River Thames and is just a five minute drive away from the University of London (and wherever there are students, you’ll inevitably find fantastic bars!). So get yourself down, and be part of the action!
The area caters for all occasions, whether you’re looking to enjoy a relaxing chat with friends over a few drinks, or taking over the area with a mass bar crawl that will test your drinking stamina to the limit! Just be sure to set the alarm for a decent hour the next day (if you have to set one at all!). Make your way over to The Nags Head for the traditiional London pub experience, with true hand-craft ales and a number of fine wines working alongside some world beers that really add a sense of diversity; before moving onto the warm, cosy atmosphere of 21 and the Print Room, where you can enjoy some delicious cocktails whilst being entertained by one of their weekly DJ’s; call in between 5pm and 8pm and take advantage of some fantastic offers in their happy hour! Take in the fantastic street performances from the balcony of the world famous pub and restaurant ‘Punch and Judy’; before indulging in a little bit of style and luxury at Henry’s Café Bar overlooking the historic cobbles of the famous piazza. Choose from an extensive list of wines, draught lagers, traditional English Ales and spirits alongside 35 delectable cocktails! Indulge in a piece of Dublin at the largest bar in London, The Porterhouse, where you will find a selection of genuine Irish beers handcrafted in the capital alongside a number of wines, make your way to the basement bar and enjoy some of the best live music London has to offer; and for a venue jam-packed with fun, look no further than Adventure Bar; ‘a great place to meet, eat, drink and party any day of the week’.
There are also a number of underground haunts and hideaways to be found that will provide a delightful experience for anybody willing to hunt them down. Party the night away at London’s iconic bar ‘Foundation’ on Langley Street (or at least until it closes at 1am), where independence of thought and expression is everything; choose from an extensive wine and international craft beer menu, or enjoy one of their weird and wonderful cocktails served out of a variety of crazy containers, from jam jars to tattoo garnishes! Indulge in the intimacy of Cellar door, where you’ll be treated to nightly live acts and the UK’s first ever SMS jukebox, Hang the DJ; or appreciate the grandiose and contemporary style of Sway, a basement bar and club on Queen Street with multiple rooms that play a variety of music genres. For the wine lover, Gordon’s wine bar on Villiers Street can boast to being the oldest of its kind in the city (a wine bar that experienced must surely be good right?). Walk down the creaking stairs and experience a Victorian backdrop whilst choosing your tipple from their extensive, award winning menu. The cocktail fanatics should get over to Rules on Maiden Lane, a light-hearted take on the famous gentleman’s club. The bar offers superb mixes crafted by masters of the trade. For something just that little bit unique, BYOC (Bring Your Own Cocktail) is a play on the old party line ‘Bring Your Own Bottle’ (or BYOB for short) and it means exactly what it says on the tin; hidden below the Bedfordbury area of Covent Garden, the quaint little bar encourages customers to bring their favourite spirits with them to create their favourite cocktails using an encyclopedia of syrups, juices, spices, herbs, salts, fruits, cordials and bitters that are on their shelf. Exposed brickwork, a unique fireplace, a gramophone and 1920’s vintage signs make the secret underground London hideaway a unique, interactive experience for cocktail fiends across London and beyond!
For the night owls (of whom I know most of you are!) there are a fantastic number of clubs and late night bars in and around the Covent Garden area that will serve to satisfy all comers; from those looking for a wild night of fun and frolics, to those looking to sit, chill and chat without the threat of that dreaded last orders bar bell! Seen to be at the forefront of the London party scene, Roadhouse is situated at the heart of the district and offers a wide variety of music ranging from live bands performing Indie and rock covers to a Blues Rock night fusing Rhythm and Blues with Soul and Southern Rock; get there early and watch some live sport and be sure to stick around for their happy hour between 5:00pm and 7:30pm to take advantage of some fantastic offers! Just round the corner in the cobbled backstreets lies the hidden gem that is Jewel, with decadent interiors, rustic food and an exemplary list of fresh fruit cocktails that really add a sense of style, glamour and intimacy. For the biggest party atmosphere in the tiniest of bars, make your way over to B@1 (that’s ‘be at one’ for those unfamiliar with the secret language of text), where cosy, intimate corners (wink wink) and old school bar stools are teamed up with all-bar sing-a-longs, just be sure to book your party early as the place fills up fast! Alternatively, to enjoy a night of a more erotic nature, make your way over to the world famous ‘Stringfellows’, with beautiful girls, tableside dancing and the finest wines and vintage champagnes transporting you into a world of stylish luxury; perfect for any stag do. The area is also home to one of London’s largest and most famous gay clubs, ‘Heaven’. Dance the night away to a broad range of genres, from house to dance.
By Calum Dewsbury