London, meet the rest of the world.
In just a few days all eyes will be on the humble city of London. Part of me is relieved to be avoiding the Olympic chaos, but part of me is very sad indeed to be missing out on the most exciting few weeks the capital shall ever experience.
In saying that, i'm sure that many of you will be visiting London during the games so I thought i'd give you a little insight to the city I have come to love dearly, even though i've only been here a year!
What is so very magical about London is that every district is full of surprises, there are so many hidden treasures and I firmly believe that every day in London is an adventure (oooh cheesy!).
I am not for one second claiming to be a London-er, I still love irn bru as much as the next Scot (try a Malibru if you're feeling adventurous- Malibu and Irn Bru, so wrong, but so right!), but I do feel like a know of a few lovely places in London that I would certainly recommend to you lot.
The first instalment of The London Edit relates to my favourite hobby: cocktails! (Cocktails do count as a hobby. It's called Mixology. I am aware that this is only really the creation of the cocktails, but the drinking is an art form as well. Especially when wearing wedges.)
London is full of many a lovely cocktail bar and I thought i'd edit it down for ya. If anyone has any other suggestions for me to try just drop it in the comment box (i'm always looking for an excuse for a cheeky G&T) or tweet me @SWfashion_
Even in this Olympian chaos, an indulgent cocktail is a godsend. Here are my top picks, in no particular order, natch.
|1. The Experimental Cocktail Club, China Town|
This is a hidden gem if ever there was one! It looks like a seedy club from the outside, simply a plain black door with no sign and no fuss, but when you get inside (after making a reservation, ideally) it's a nonchalant but stylish cocktail club with a charming retro feel. Book a table in advance and come here on a weekend for a totally relaxed but fantastic night out with the best atmosphere in London. Not one ounce of pretention and some of the most delicious cocktails I have tasted to date. My pick is the St Germain based St-Germain-des-Prés which is a zingy creative mix of elderflower, Hendricks, frothy egg white, cucumber, lime and a slight heat of chilli. This is a gorgeous cocktail experience that I would highly recommend.
|2. Aqua Spirit, Regent Street|
If you're looking for somewhere infinitely chic to look out over London and simply bask in your utter gorgeousness, then Aqua is probably the place for you. The Aqua building is just around the corner from Liberty making it the perfect central bar. I only went once for the Nelly shoes party but I loved the venue. It is spacious with a dance area and, the best part, a beautiful roof terrace looking out over London. They have some delectable cocktails as well, of course, including their collection of Champagne cocktails called the "Twisted Bubbles". My pick is the totally breathtaking Rose & Li which is Veuve, rose liqueur, syrupy lychee with beautiful floating rosebuds. So sweet and delicate- perhaps a little too drinkable I think!
|3. Barrio Central, Poland Street Soho/ Barrio North, Angel |
Sometimes all you need is some great music, great company and a couple of drinks to have a fantastic night, and that's what I love about Barrio. It's totally chilled with no posh Mayfair crowd and plenty of normal folk! It does get undeniably busy at the weekend, but it is a fun bar with such a friendly atmosphere. The cocktails are relatively cheap for London and split into different continents for a really fun menu that will have you totally spoilt for choice- also, very apt for the Olympics, I reckon! A lot are tequila based, but I would recommend the Sakura- cherry brandy and plum liqueur- mmm!
|4. Shochu Lounge, Charlotte Street |
Part of me really wanted to put Nobu Berkeley here, but I thought i'd ring the changes and mention this sexy Charlotte Street lounge. Beneath my second favourite Japanese in the capital (Roka) lies the Shochu Lounge, and it really is a treat. Plush cushioned seats surround a central bar which is crazily buzzing at the weekend! Japanese influenced cocktails are always refreshing, and Shochu has some really gorgeous offerings for a bit of a change. If you're getting bored of your faithful Mojito, then why not try the poetic Setting Sun, a soft marriage of Kumquat Shochu, elderflower syrup and champagne, served with a zingy grapefruit twist.
|5. Lounge Lover, Shoreditch |
It's all about East London this summer, but Lounge Lover is my favourite Shoreditch haunt. With a cool, slick interior and spacious tables flickering with candles and dimly lit chandeliers, Lounge Lover is such a treat! It is a little bit out the way, but if you're spending a day trawling the vintage shops of Brick Lane, I would suggest you recharge your batteries here! Read more about Lounge Lover in my review here.