What neighborhood of London to stay in?
September 23, 2019 1:26 PM   Subscribe

My partner and I (M-F couple in our early 40s, no kids) are thinking about a short trip to London. Our chief interest is visiting craft cocktail bars. What parts of town should we considering staying in? Thanks!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell to Travel & Transportation around London, England (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
1) Shoreditch - the Night Jar, Happiness Forgets, Looking Glass Cocktail Club, Callooh Callay
2) Fitzrovia - Punch Room, Bourne & Hollingsworth, Reverend JW Simpson
3) Angel - 69 Colebrooke Row
posted by moiraine at 1:35 PM on September 23, 2019 [4 favorites]

I would lean toward Shoreditch or Soho. Soho has Bar Termini (from 69 Colebrooke Row genius Tony Conigiario), Bar Américain, Milk and Honey, Tea Room, Blind Pig, Mark's Bar.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:53 PM on September 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

I stayed in Seven Dials last time I was in London and I loved it. It's near SOHO, a bit closer to the theater district.
posted by nikaspark at 3:06 PM on September 23, 2019

nthing Soho/Fitzrovia or Shoreditch, or anywhere in a straight line between, really.

There's Cub in Hoxton too (the old White Lyan space) though it's more a restaurant than bar now, and Lyaness on the South Bank near Blackfriars Bridge. And I wouldn't overlook at least one of the iconic bars in the fancy hotels, especially the American Bar (which is different from Bar Américain) in the Savoy.
posted by holgate at 4:06 PM on September 23, 2019

On day 5 of my first stay here. Currently in SoHo. It’s pretty great and nicely central, especially good for rambling along the river at night.

On the other hand, Shoreditch is super hip and smacked me in the face with its Brooklyn-ness (especially Bushwick). In a good way. For me. On Sunday there was a guy at a tiny “shopfront” selling fresh oysters and bloody Mary’s. No seating, no menu. Just take one or the other and walk away to look at the vintage shop across the lane.

This may not directly help you decide, but give you raw impressions of the two places being mentioned a bunch.
posted by itesser at 4:28 PM on September 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Definitely Shoreditch. SoHo is nice, but maybe somewhat tame.
posted by Everydayville at 4:34 PM on September 23, 2019

No need to stay in central London. You'll find and cheaper nice accommodation a bit further out and you can walk / cycle the canals or use public transport to get around and do just fine. I like Stoke Newington and Dalston but you might prefer some other area like Fulham or Southwark.
posted by rustipi at 4:59 PM on September 23, 2019

So, if it helps, I think of Soho/Fitzrovia/Seven Dials (which are all very geographically close, so the distinction between them isn't terribly important) as being more for "grown up craft cocktails"; and Shoreditch/Hoxton as "achingly hip craft cocktails". Soho is very much central London; Shoreditch is east London.

It's not 100% accurate, but might also be relevant: the crowd in Shoreditch will skew younger and marginally more local; the Soho crowd will be more mixed, both in age and in tourist-vs-local provenance. I'm mid thirties and these days I can feel a little irritated by east Londoners - maybe you're less uptight than me though :)
posted by citands at 1:04 AM on September 24, 2019 [7 favorites]

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