Whether you’re looking for a date place with a wine list as long as your arm or a candlelit corner to enjoy a few cocktails, there are plenty of buzzy places around Oxford Street. Whether you’re meeting for the first time after swiping right or are celebrating a decade together, here are seven great places in the West End where you can raise a (Martini) glass to your future.
Campari Bar at Polpo, Beak Street
Polpo was the first of the cult-like series of Venetian restaurants opened by chef Russell. However, there’s a reason this one’s still the best – head downstairs to the intimate, low ceilinged Campari bar, unique to this venue. And while the menus is extensive, we suggest you keep it simple and order a Campari or two (when in Rome, as they say).
Fernandez & Wells, Lexington Street
If wine is your – or your date’s – weakness, head to Fernandez & Wells on Lexington Street. Not only is there a great selection of grape by the glass (whatever colour’s your preference), but there’s also a fantastic, delicious selection of Euro bar snacks from cured meats to raclette.
Bar Termini, Old Compton Street
With space for a maximum of 25 patrons at one time, this intimate bar on Old Compton Street gives you all the excuses you need to get a little closer. And with cocktails spearheaded by Tony Conigliaro (the man behind 69 Colebrooke Row and Zetter Town House), what the bar lacks in elbow room it more than makes up for in drinks selection. Order a Robusto Negroni, which has just won Cocktail of the Year at the Class Bar Awards.
Soho Grind, Beak Street
Coffee bar by day, cocktail haunt by night. As you might expect from one of London’s hippest caffeine dealers, the drinks menu is dominated by libations inspired by the coffee bean. However, while I’d definitely recommend the Grind Espresso Martini, there’s also plenty of classics on offer for the caffeine-averse (try the powder pink Clover Club, made from sugar, lemon, gin and raspberry, topped off with an egg white foam).
Aqua Spirit, Regent Street
Located high above the H&M flagship on Regent Street, Aqua Spirit is the place to go for beverages with that something extra. While the drinks menu is as long as your arm, the view from the roof terrace across the twinkling lights of the London skyline is sure to impress.
Little Social, Pollen Street
Tucked away just off Hanover Square, Little Social is a decadent hideaway with soft lighting, low ceilings and walls hanging heavy with old French movie posters. Slip on your smartest Breton shirt and order the fruity, fresh Le Petit Aperitif (Peach wine, gentian, chamomile, citrus and tonic water) or, for a change of pace, one of the bieres.
Berners Tavern, Berners Street
Quite simply one of the most impressive rooms in the capital, the bar at the Berners Tavern gives you the opportunity to sit back and sip surrounded by grand, glittering chandeliers and a floor-to-ceiling oil paintings. Essentially the sort of space where only a bottle of champagne will do (the Ruinart Brut Rose will do nicely).