This Valentine’s day treat your date (or your mates!) to a drink or two. We’ve brought together some of the coolest, quirkiest and most romantic cocktail bars across East London, serving some of the tastiest and most innovative drinks around…
(Pic credit: Nightjar)
Think cosy low lit rooms and slick service. This is the perfect bar to impress your date. Ideal for an early evening drink before heading on somewhere else, or to make a night of it. Nightjar kicks off the evening with chilled jazz before things get lively with bands later on.
The cocktails are inspired by history, with the menu divided by era (Pre-Prohibition and Post-war). They also have an exciting array of original signature drinks. If you’ve decided to shun Valentine’s this year and are hitting the town with friends, Nightjar is still a great choice; their sharing cocktails go way above and beyond the norm.
Cocktail Trading Company, Bethnal Green
(Pic credit: Cocktail Trading Company)
If you want a drink that’s out of the ordinary, look no further than Bethnal Green’s Cocktail Trading Company. Located just off Brick Lane, this has to be one of the most theatrical cocktail bars in London – the large and very creative cocktail menu will be enough to keep the conversation lively, making this a great spot for first dates. Highlights include The Guido Forks, a whiskey cocktail served with a small explosive (seriously) and the One In A Million, a cocktail with a chilli kick and a lottery ticket.
Original Sin, Stoke Newington
(Pic credit: Original Sin)
At Original Sin you won’t find dull run of the mill cocktails (as well as the usual suspects, you’ll find a whole host of interesting specialty spirits that you might not have seen before). You’re in good hands with their expert bartenders. Look forward to little twist on familiar classics, such as the Negroni Rosa; not your usual Negroni this one has strawberry and balsamic. They also do top quality bar snacks including pate and cheese and charcuterie boards, so you and your date won’t be falling off your bar stools.
69 Colebrook Row, Islington
(Pic credit: 69 Colebrooke Row)
Impress your date with your local knowledge by taking them to this tiny hidden gem of Islington (also known as The Bar With No Name). Tucked away in a backstreet, identifiable by the lantern burning above the door, 69 Colebrooke Row’s reputation has been built off the back of their cocktail making masterminds who mix truly original creations, many of the ingredients created in-house in the upstairs laboratory.
They’re also running a Valentine’s cocktail master class on 9 February and a whiskey cocktail masterclass on the 16th.
Happiness Forgets, Shoreditch
(Pic credit: Happiness Forgets)
Happiness Forgets don’t feel the need to big themselves up, their drinks speak for themselves. Their website promises “Great cocktails. No wallies.” And they deliver what they promise. A stylish but laid back vibe, it’s high end cocktails in a basement bar. The service is what really stands out, with dedicated staff and exclusively table service throughout the evening. They take some bookings but reserve the majority of tables for walk-ins, so get there early.
Read another local bar or restaurant guide on our blog HERE