After work drinks – London’s daily (and awesome) routine

Lunch time in London – peak time begins at Pubs and Bars around the city. Some are having their business lunch, some just start celebrating the early end of the day. Whatever the occasion might be, people in London start drinking. Good locations should get really crowded around 6pm.

Take a look at the following list to see where to meet the most fashionable and fancy people for a nice after work drink.

1.       The Botanist (Sloane Square):

In the heart of Chelsea right at Sloane Square you will find a restaurant and bar called the Botanist. Don’t worry, if you think you will meet with plant lovers dressed up like being ready to explore nature you are totally wrong. Expect a fashionable crowd with men in suits and women in high heels. The perfect place to start the end of the day. It is always crowded but mostly promises being a great destination after a tough day at the office.

Good for: People watching, after work drinks, dinner
People: Chelsea crowd, mixed bunch of locals/visitors/expatriates, mainly posh and loaded, age range 25-45

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am-11.30pm, Sat and Sun 9am-11.30pm
The Botanist Homepage

2.       Eclipse (South Kensington and Chelsea):

You like watermelon? Then this is your place to be! Eclipse has two bars in London’s hottest areas Chelsea and South Kensington and their Watermelon Martini (their signature drink) is as excellent as the venue itself. They have the cutest and most charming bar tenders and people coming here are all up for a cheerful night out! Though it can get too crowded at times the atmosphere compensates it. Best on Thursday/Friday/Saturday (DJs get you in the mood).

Good for: People watching, after work drinks as well as pre drinks before going to Boujis (same owner)
People: Mixed bunch of locals/visitors/expatriates, mainly posh, loaded and young crowd, age range 20-35

Opening hours: Walton Street – Mon-Sat 5.30pm-1am, Sun 5.30pm-12.30am, Old Brompton Rd – Mon 5pm-12.30am, Tue-Wed 5pm-1.30am, Thur 5pm-2am, Fri-Sat 5pm-3am, Sun 5pm-12am,
Eclipse Homepage

3.       The Oyster Shed (City):

The Oyster Shed opened its doors at the beginning of this year.
Good things first: Awesome outdoor space right next to London Bridge and the Thames (Monument side) with a cheerful crowd and an amazing view! Get your well-deserved sundowner here, relax and chat with all your posh finance colleagues (this bar is close to the epicentre of where the money is – The CITY!).
Bad things second: Getting a drink from the bar is the most annoying thing that can easily destroy your evening. The staff is unable to cope with so many people and waiting for 30 minutes isn’t an exception. Hopefully the owner is aware of the problem and is trying to sort this out. Otherwise many customers won’t be satisfied. Although this place is called ‘Oyster Shed’ going here for oysters isn’t worth it.

Good for: After work drinks
People: Mainly bankers, more men than women, age range 25-45

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11.30am-3pm and 5.30pm-10.00pm, Sun 12pm-4pm
The Oyster Shed Homepage

4.       The Light Bar (Shoreditch):

Situated on Shoreditch High Street, this is a nice, relaxed and cheap place to grab a drink. They have a pleasant outdoor area with some benches and a spacious bar inside with high ceilings and enough room not to bump into each other all the time (unlike small places like Eclipse!). Go here if you are with a diverse group of people. Here you’ll find posh people (that would also go in Chelsea or South Ken) as well as hip and arty creatives (that prefer going out East). They play a bit of music and serve drinks quickly. They have nice bar keepers (one guy will certainly give away free drinks for girls – you know who it is when you see him) and everybody is quite easygoing.

Good for: After work drinks
People: Mixed bunch of lawyers, IT geeks, students, real estate agents and bankers, age range 20-35

Opening hours: Mon-Wed 12pm-12am, Thu-Fri: 12pm-2am, Sat 6.30pm-2am, Sun 12pm-10.30pm
The Light Bar Homepage

5.       The Oak (Notting Hill):

It depends from which street you get to this place because you might be a bit put off by the surrounds at first. On the one side there are council houses and on the other flats that look like Hugh Grant’s place in the movie that made the area so famous. But the Oak is a real diamond – delicious pizza and a comfy bar with great tapas and an extensive wine list upstairs. What they say on their homepage summarizes it best, ‘It’s a great space for a catch up with friends or a flirt with a new beau.’

Good for: After work drinks and tapas (upstairs), romantic dinner (downstairs; one of the best pizzas in London!)
People: Mostly people who live or work around the area, age range 25-45

Opening hours: First Floor Bar – Mon-Fri 6pm-11pm, Sat 4.30pm-11pm, Sun 4.30pm-10.30pm
The Oak Homepage

6.       Guinea Grill (Mayfair):

This pub in the heart of Mayfair is an excellent choice for grabbing a pint in one of the oldest and most traditional pubs in London. People working in the area love to come here on a regular basis and this is why YOU have to come here – because of the clientele! Of course, they serve fantastic British food, steaks, fish and seafood, but standing outside the pub on a mild evening and observing the crowd is even better than dining.

Good for: After work drinks and British food
People: Mostly people who live or work around the area, age range 28-45

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-10.30pm, Sat 6pm-10.30pm
Guinea Grill Homepage

7.       Dirty Martini (Hanover Square):

Dirty Martini’s first bar opened in Covent Garden and is being refurbished at the moment (definitely necessary). This sister bar doesn’t look very inviting or interesting from the outside (it looks much better at night) but is stylish once you go downstairs. It is more convenient and spacious than the one at Covent Garden, tubular and rather dark. The bar is great for martinis and prosecco cocktails during their daily happy hour (Mon-Thur 4-10pm, Fri-Sat 4-8pm, Sun all day)! They also serve some food and play R’nB and House music.

Good for: After work drinks and cocktails during happy hour
People: Mixed bunch of young locals/visitors/expatriates, age range 20-35

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12am-late, Sat 4pm-late
Dirty Martini Homepage