By Susanna Borio
The end of this cuffing season is soon approaching, and some of us are still looking for the right person to cosy up on the couch with and help us forget about the dreadful weather outside.
Unfortunately, before you can drag said ‘special’ someone around the final days of Winter Wonderland, to prove that “yes, I told you he just spent the holidays with his family, Carol” or start wondering whether it’ll last past Valentine’s Day, you will have to go through the whole ‘first date’ ordeal.
From the traditionally European to a classic speakeasy vibe, here are five of the best cocktail bars to help you become a first date pro.
Bottle & Rye, Brixton
Inspired by classic Parisian bistros, Bottle & Rye provides the perfect date spot. With an intimate and close atmosphere, they offer a well-curated and ever-changing wine selection, a characteristically French menu riddled with items like barbecued anchovies, pigs head, and glazed lamb, and an incredibly varied cocktail menu. This bar will make you forget you are not actually in Paris.
Location: Ground Floor, 404-406 Market Row, London SW9 8LD
The Bar With No Name, Islington
A small bar tucked away from the chaos of the main road. The Bar With No Name has been at the forefront of the cocktail-making business for over a decade. Mainly associated with its address, this retro establishment creates a speakeasy-like environment that feels intimate and passionately romantic. However, don’t let the fancy atmosphere intimidate you, with their simple yet refined menu, they offer an extensive range of drinks, mainly done in an Italian style.
Location: 69 Colebrooke Row, London N1 8AA
Seed Library, Shoreditch
Hidden inside the building’s basement, the Seed Library is the perfect cocktail bar for anyone interested in flavour instead of the cocktail’s name. Focusing on what they call an ‘analogue form’ of drinking, you’ll be able to enjoy your evening on the laid-back bar’s couches and armchairs while impressing your date with tasty cocktails and a live DJ set.
Location: 100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ
Bar Termini, Soho
Bar Termini is a charming 1950s-inspired Italian bar in the centre of Soho. Whether you are looking for perfectly executed coffees and pastries or venturing to find the perfect Negroni, this tiny bar and its intensely Italian staff will take care of you. You will be able to enjoy a classic Bellini and engage in intimate conversation thanks to the locale’s tight capacity.
Location: 7 Old Compton St, London W1D 5JE
Satan’s Whiskers, Bethnal Green
While it might look like a typical dive bar from street level, Satan’s Whiskers is considered one of the best classic cocktail bars in the city. They house an interesting collection of vintage booze posters, taxidermy, and hip-hop soundtrack and offer a new menu on a daily basis that’s always filled with stylish yet simple drinks. You can pop by and expect to find the perfect fizzy French 75 or ice-cold Manhattan and be sure to impress your ‘guests’.
Location: 343 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9RA
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