We’re glad to share with you our guide of must-visit spots to sip, tipple or quaff when in Mayfair village. Our charming neighbourhood is renowned for its collection of world-class hotel bars, favoured by the capital’s most discerning drinkers, so naturally they make a strong showing in our best bars in Mayfair list. But alongside these we’ve thrown our net wide – from a pub with a world-class art collection to a community-led food hall – to give you options for every appetite and whim.
Housed in The Connaught Hotel – one of London’s best known hotels since opening as the Coburg Hotel in 1815 – The Connaught Bar redefines the concept of a hotel bar. Designed by Agostino Perrone, Giorgio Bargiani, Maura Milia and team, it offers a seamless fusion of classic style and contemporary panache. Drinks-wise, you’re in safe hands here as head mixologist Giorgio Bargiani and director of mixology Ago Perrone are both globally renowned masters of their craft. The combination of stylish decor and innovative cocktails means The Connaught Bar has won the best bar in the world award twice and is a shoe-in for our run down of the best bars in Mayfair. For patrons seeking a gustatory and visual delight, try the Cloud Nine: a concoction of bourbon, orange vermouth, pistachio, raspberry, and foaming bitters.
A step outside of Mayfair, DUKES Hotel is located in the historic St James’s neighbourhood. However, given that the New York Times described it as “the hotel bar which some say concocts one of the world’s best martinis”, we felt compelled to feature DUKES Bar. Frequented by none other than Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, the bar is rumoured to have inspired the iconic line “shaken, not stirred.” So, while the menu offers an impressive selection of champagnes, wines, and spirits, we’d recommended partaking in one of DUKES Bar’s famous martinis.
With its walnut-panelling, eclectic collection of twentieth century paintings and extensive selection of American bourbon and rye, Le Magritte is a place for whisky aficionados. The menu even includes a rare 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Old Family Reserve (a bottle of which fetched $52,000 at auction in February, 2023). You will find the bar in The Beaumont Hotel, where visitors can unwind on an elegant terrace – adorned with 1920s-style rattan armchairs and café tables – overlooking Brown Hart Gardens. In the words of Country & Town House Magazine, it’s a “discreet and extremely civilised” establishment that excels in perfecting the classics.
Tucked beneath Mayfair’s Flemings Hotel, Manetta’s Bar has a rich history of patronage from the most erudite of Londoners – in the 1930s it was a haven for scholars of arts and literature including Agatha Christie and Gertrude Stein, who said about Manetta’s that “in the evening there is a feeling”. As one of the best bars in Mayfair for almost 100 years, the establishment pays homage to its literary roots, with portraits of esteemed writers adorning its walls. Described by GQ as “an intimate little jewellery box of a bar”, Manetta’s offers a selection of Negronis (described as unusual, green, fashionable, Oaxacan and yellow) alongside cocktails including ‘A rose is a rose is a rose’, with pisco, rose liqueur, orange sanguine, sparkling tea, absinthe and Peychaud’s bitters. With mocktails as elegant and sophisticated as their alcoholic counterparts, Manetta’s has something for everyone.
Named after the iconic “swinging sixties” photographer Terence Donovan, Donovan Bar’s has long been a destination for cocktail connoisseurs. The legendary maestro of cocktails Salvatore Calabrese, in collaboration with director of mixology Federico Pavan, curates an impeccable and daring menu. It features innovative concoctions and the world’s most expensive cocktail, ‘Salvatore’s Legacy’. Combining vintage spirits – including a Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac from 1788, priced at £50,000 a bottle – the drink combines 700 years of history to create a drink that costs £5,000.
This award winning “local speakeasy” is housed in the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, and is billed as “a secret worth sharing”. Inspired by the rich history of bartending from the 1700s to the modern era, the menu brings period and unusual recipes to the forefront in the spirit of the roaring 1920s. With an array of classic cobblers, martinis, and punches it embodies the thirsty legacy of London’s high society. Fostering a clandestine allure, drinks like ‘Corn ‘N’ Oil’, ‘Power Cut’ and ‘Penicillin’ tell a human story of necessity and invention. In the centuries old recipes you may taste Velvet Falernum liqueur, orange sherbet and nutmeg. We think The Luggage Room is the perfect spot for a late night indulgence and hushed conversation.
Founded as Mivart’s Hotel in 1812 in an impressive sweep of red brick and stone, Claridge’s has since hosted a galaxy of stars, from Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock and Audrey Hepburn to Mick Jagger and Whitney Houston and Brad Pitt. There is a bar, of course, serving the most exquisite champagnes, but we always head to The Fumoir, a tiny dark art deco hideaway with a black marble horseshoe bar and brushed steel details. Moody black and white portraits of French beauties pout from the walls, dimly lit by Lalique crystal panels. It’s the perfect place for a late night martini nightcap.
Launched in 2017, Dickie’s Bar is part of Corrigan’s Mayfair, an establishment known for championing quintessentially British and Irish ingredients. Named after the chef/patron Richard Corrigan, the bar exudes hunting lodge chic. The extensive menu – playfully described as “ledger of libations” – spans highballs, whiskies, cognac, gin, rum, and mezcal. Options like ‘The Sticky Toffee Old Fashioned’ offer a decadent and warming choice for colder months, combining roasted pecan-infused Remy Martin 1738, fig, toffee, and chocolate.
Situated on the 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane, the 10 Degrees Sky Bar takes its name from the angle at which the sun creates the perfect golden sunset glow across London and offers a magical experience with breathtaking views of London. The bar, which accompanies the restaurant Galvin at Windows, captures the essence of the “golden hour” with its gold and burnt-yellow decor. While there is an extensive selection of wines, spirits, and vintage champagnes, it is the signature cocktails that steal the show. The Casanova, inspired by the Negroni, blends Campari, hibiscus, Engine gin, and Karminia vermouth for a decadent experience that pairs perfectly with the magnificent views.
Comptoir Café & Wine, a cafe by day and wine bar by night, is a hidden gem in Mayfair. With a wine list boasting over 500 bottles, this bar ensures top-quality selections are assured. Founded by Master Sommelier Xavier Rousset, previously chief sommelier at the Hotel du Vin, its trendy yet cosy decor provides the perfect backdrop to discover your next favourite vintage. Guests can enjoy personally recommended bottles alongside expertly paired cheese, charcuterie, and delectable dishes by head chef Ben Mellor. Frequented by locals and visitors alike, this place epitomises the sophisticated and charming feel of Mayfair village.
Since it opened in 2015 on the corner of Berkeley Square, Sexy Fish has been hailed as a top-class Asian eatery and bar. Its mid-century glamour and opulent interior, designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, features artwork by artists including Damien Hirst, Frank Gehry, and Michael Roberts. Purporting to offer the world’s largest whisky collection, Sexy Fish specialises in Japanese whisky, “the missing link between Bourbon and Scotch” according to whisky ambassador Colin Dunn. Whether you’re looking for lesser-known drams from now-shuttered distilleries or you’re in the mood for something a little unusual – their Jammie Dodger cocktail features Ki No Bi gin infused with peanut butter and strawberry – Sexy Fish is well placed to please. (Find out about the amazing food on offer in our guide to Mafyair’s best restaurants.)
Though Mercato Mayfair is technically a food hall, the stunning location paired with a reputation for serving top-notch food and drink means this one-of-a-kind gem must feature as one of our best bars in Mayfair. Located on North Audley Street in St Mark’s, an old church which was deconsecrated in 1974, you’ll find worldwide cuisine, a rooftop terrace, a wine cellar, and a community space. From fresh seafood and expertly mixed cocktails at Cha Cha to unusual tipples like pine forest gin from Jim & Tonic’s sustainable gin distillery, Mercato Mayfair is a cultural hub with a difference.
We had to include at least one pub in a list of our best bars in Mayfair, so we’ve picked the diamond in the district’s public house crown. Thanks to the owners’ background – Iwan and Manuela Wirth are serious art gallerists – the Audley is no ordinary boozer. Situated in the former Audley Hotel and designed by the chic architecture studio Laplace, the pub prides itself on melding the British pub experience with an opportunity to enjoy fine art. “To present art in a restaurant is the greatest democracy of them all – our pub is so open and accessible to everyone,” says Ewan Venters, CEO. “You can go in and have a sausage roll or a vegan pie and see a masterpiece of the walls.” Don’t miss the unique opportunity to enjoy Cornish haddock and chips with a pint of British bitter in hand, in the shadow of an Andy Warhol.
Mayfair’s selection of bars caters to the most discerning of tastes. Whether seeking classic cocktails, innovative concepts or an ambiance steeped in history, our neighbourhood has it all. (If you’re looking for some heartier fare to round out your plans, don’t miss our guide to the best restaurants in Mayfair.) These 13 establishments embody the area’s legacy as a meeting place of refined taste, rich history and ambitious innovation.
So, all that’s left to say is… cheers!