Mayfair might be the most expensive property on the Monopoly board, but there are still plenty of cool things to do that don't require you to be one of the elites, especially if you like drinking. When you see the W1 postcode, images of fancy hotels with butlers standing outside might instantly pop into your head, which is, in fairness, accurate. But Mayfair is also brimming with bars of every genre for the discerning drinker, from hula-inspired hangouts to rooftop bars with sweeping city views; here's our guide to the best bars in Mayfair.
Guide to the best bars in Mayfair
In this guide
The best bars in Mayfair
- The May Fair Bar – Residencies within a bar
- 28°-50° – Mayfair's best-kept secret
- Connaught Bar – One of the best bars in the world
- Dukes Bar – The best martini in the world
- Coburg Bar – The Connaught's little sister bar
- Le Magritte – A nod to American surrealism
- Mr Fogg's Residence – A bar synoynymous with adventure
- Below – Crafted with excellence
- Claridge's – For those with a refined palette
- Sexy Fish – Glitz, glam and Japanese whisky
- Ziggy Green – Come for the food and the drinks
- FAM – Cool and casual
- Purl – A multi-sensory adventure
- Aviator at Hush – Prepare to travel around the world
- The Luggage Room – Step into the roaring 20s
- Manetta's Bar – One for the literary greats
- Donovan Bar – Flashy and sophisticated
- 10° Sky Bar – For sweeping city views
- The Bar at The Athenaeum – All things whisky/whiskey
- The Dandy Bar – A chilled-out respite
- Smith & Whistle – Cigars and cocktails
- The Fumoir – The glamorous 1930s
The best bars in Mayfair
Residencies within a bar
The May Fair Bar is a stylish drinking den serving a menu of cocktails and small plates to the background thrum of a live DJ. The vibe is calm and collected, with a striking bright blue bar glowing amidst the dim lighting. Cocktails are created based on whatever residency is taking place at May Fair Bar, with the most recent being VIVIR with spicy Mexican fare and music performed by the resident djembe player. Enjoy small plates when you need a pit stop between each cocktail, and munch on everything from grilled lobster tacos and oven-baked nachos to Peruvian beef skewers and buttermilk chicken lollipops.
Mayfair's best-kept secret
This industrial-style wine bar is the kind of place you want to take someone you’re trying to impress. It’s fancy but not too fancy and is uber-stylish yet relaxed; it’s got the balance just right. The menu is predominantly European, featuring the best seasonal ingredients and a list of carefully selected wines by bottle and glass. It’s the perfect spot for a casual date or after-work drink.
One of the best bars in the world
The Connaught Bar is a multi-award-winning bar that offers a multi-sensory drinking experience in the heart of Mayfair. It's a regular of the World's 50 Best Bars list, as judged by drinks industry experts, and serves an extensive menu of thoughtfully crafted cocktails made by some of the best mixologists in the game. Before you take a seat and pick a cocktail from their list of timeless classics, soak up the surroundings that evoke English and Irish Cubist art of the 1920s.
The best martini in the world
It’s all about the martinis at this internationally-acclaimed bar inside Dukes Hotel. The classic drink here has earned a reputation for being one of the best in the world. It's also supposedly the inspiration behind the classic line ‘shaken, not stirred', which makes sense since it was frequently visited by Ian Fleming, the author of James Bond.
The Connaught's little sister bar
The Coburn is the little sister bar of The Connaught and although they might be related, they couldn’t be more different in terms of design, decor and vibe. The Connaught oozes elegance with a hint of Art Deco, while The Coburn is sophisticated and classic. The drinks menu at The Coborn is extensive, devised with each ingredient carefully selected to create a list of classics and more creative selections. Hungry? Enjoy a selection of posh bar snacks, like caviar from Aquitane and foie gras crème brûlée.
A nod to American surrealism
Le Magritte has been described as a work of art on more than one occasion, not just thanks to its creative cocktail menu. This stunning surrealist-inspired, American-style bar features rattan armchairs surrounded by lush foliage, an outdoor terrace for al fresco dining, and walls hung with weird but wonderful paintings. The bar specialises primarily in American whiskies, classic cocktails and a range of bourbons, all shaken or stirred.
A bar synoynymous with adventure
There's so much to look at and take in at this funky cocktail bar in Mayfair, inspired by the adventures of Phileas Fogg, the protagonist in the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days. Walls are adorned with quirky paintings, flowers hang from every inch and birdcages dangle all around. Drinks are crafted using ingredients inspired by Phileas' travels, like the Crescent Moon Lake and Chebika Falls.
Crafted with excellence
Hide restaurant might've already been a hit, but by the door is a staircase that'll lead you down to a hidden basement bar - Below. Hedonism Wines and Ollie Dabbous run it, previously the Michelin-starred chef and owner of the highly esteemed restaurant Dabbous, and now the co-owner of the brilliant Hide restaurant above. The cocktails are simple but beautifully executed with ingredients you'll almost definitely recognise, using modern and classic techniques and seasonal ingredients to craft the freshest drinks. They also serve a selection of spirits from all over the world.
For those with a refined palette
If you like the finer things in life, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy a drink at the esteemed Claridges Bar. This art deco-style bar discreetly tucked away in Claridges in Mayfair, serves an exquisite menu of champagnes, cocktails and rare spirits, from timeless classics to recipes with a unique twist. They also stock a variety of rare whiskeys produced by American distilleries.
Glitz, glam and Japanese whisky
Sexy Fish on the corner of Berkley Square in Mayfair may be known for its Japanese-inspired sushi and delectable Asian fare cooked on a Robata grill, but there’s also a late-night bar with a live DJ where you can enjoy drinks well into the night. The space oozes glamour and is decorated with art by esteemed artists like Damien Hurst and Frank Gehry, and on the ground floor, The Coral Reef Room is home to two of the largest live coral reef tanks in the world. But that’s not the only record this bar can boast about; they also house the world’s most extensive Japanese whisky collection.
Come for the food and the drinks
If you’re a fan of David Bowie, tacos and margaritas, then prepare to have your socks blown off by Ziggy Green. This spot has nailed the effortlessly cool vibe with walls pasted with Bowie artwork, palm trees, mismatched furniture and marble tables. It’s an excellent spot for non-meat eaters, with dishes like vegan ceviche, popcorn prawns and a variety of tacos that travel in pairs, like the spicy jackfruit and Baja fish. The cocktails are eclectic and creative, their most famous being the spectacular watermelon margarita fountain.
Cool and casual
This easygoing bar in Mayfair serves a menu of classics and signature cocktails in a stylish but relaxed setting with an outdoor terrace for al fresco drinks throughout the warmer months. Drinks include the likes of the Sunday Breakfast with coffee-infused gin, Aperol, amaretto and Lillet Blanc, and the Tropic Thunder made with Plantations pineapple rum, Clairin Communal Rhum, Velvet Falernum, lime, coconut and raspberry. Worked up an appetite? Nibble on South American-inspired bar snacks like plantain banana crisps and chorizo bites. There’s also a dedicated vinyl section where you can browse and request them to be played.
A multi-sensory adventure
Live jazz, mixologist masterclasses and exquisite cocktails are just a few of the things you can enjoy at this 1920s-style speakeasy in Marylebone. Cocktails are made with all of your senses in mind, using aroma, fog, air and foam to craft a multi-sensory experience that reaches beyond the tastebuds. The vibe is relaxed with dim lighting and vintage furniture tying everything together.
Prepare to travel around the world
Hand-crafted cocktails are made with exceptional artisanal ingredients at Aviator at Hush, a multi-award-winning bar in Mayfair based on the swinging sixties. It’s decked out with plush velvet and leather, and cocktails are themed by country - the mixologists are ready to take you on a journey around the world without having to leave your seat. Highlights include the Smoking Señorita, an innovative take on the classic Manhattan, and the Oaxaca Way, made with Mezcal, Kumquat and Tarragon cordial, Tio Pepe sherry, lime, Ancho Reyes and soda.
Step into the roaring 20s
This discreet, speakeasy-style hotel bar is located in the former luggage storage room and serves a menu of classic cocktails in a cosy setting inspired by the roaring 20s. The space is kitted out with leather seats and a sleek marble bar and is refined and effortlessly cool. It offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Mayfair’s busy streets outside.
One for the literary greats
This swanky Mayfair bar flanking the leafy Hyde Park is a glamorous spot to sit and enjoy a drink in a peaceful part of the city. The bar is an ode to the literary greats, like Agatha Christie and James Joyce, with their portraits hung and cocktails named after them. There are menus dedicated entirely to negronis, rum, gin, vodka, brandy, whisky and tequila from around the world.
Flashy and sophisticated
This flashy Mayfair drinking spot is run by former president of The UK Bartender Guild, Salvatore Calabrese, and his side-kick, Federico Pavan, who has been crafting cocktails for the rich and famous for over ten years. The space is sophisticated, with a neutral palette, further complemented by plush velvet armchairs, gold furniture and stained glass windows.
For sweeping city views
10° Sky Bar sits perched atop London’s fancy Hilton hotel on prestigious Park Lane and is the place to go for cocktails with an undisturbed view of London’s epic skyline. Sip on drinks with the sound of a live DJ spinning tunes in the background and see if you can point out any of London’s landmarks in the near distance. If you go after the sun sets, look through the telescope to get a close-up look at the star-studded night sky.
All things whisky/whiskey
This cosy cocktail bar is housed in The Athenaeum Hotel’s former whiskey room, which is one of the reasons it stocks more than 100 different types of whiskey and whisky. It’s got vibes all around, with plush seating, floor-to-ceiling wines and a backlit cabinet showcasing the bar’s finest whiskies and rare bottles. The cocktails are the main draw here, with a range of signature and, you guessed it, whisky-based drinks.
A chilled-out respite
The Dandy Bar is the centrepiece of The Mayfair Townhouse, a stylish hotel in a stunning Georgian townhouse. Their swanky cocktail menu features a list of drinks that aim to tell a story through flavour and combinations. The space is dimly-lit and relaxing, offering a welcome respite from the busy central London streets.
Cigars and cocktails
Smith & Whistle is a retro-style cocktail bar located in the Sheraton Grand hotel in Mayfair. It’s named after the famed comic stories of Detective Inspector Smith and his nemesis Mr William Whistle. There’s a wide variety of gins, whiskeys, rums and other spirits, alongside a cigar menu for a pre or post-drink smoke. The food menu features a range of international classics, from popcorn chicken and mezze to burgers, pizza, fish ‘n’ chips and more.
The glamorous 1930s
If you’re after glitz and glam, then The Fumoir Bar at Claridge’s is precisely what you’re looking for. The interior is inspired by the 1930s, with a nod to the Art Deco era, with portraits by William Klein, leather seats, crystal lighting and a dark, dingy palette. Behind the black marble horseshoe bar, the bartenders are crafting a range of timeless cocktails, from classics and light spirits to dark and non-alcoholic.