Are you flying out of Sydney to London anytime soon? If so, lucky you. The city holds so many special memories for me – mostly of long evenings with friends in fancy London bars followed by a meander around its old streets, becoming mesmerised at the architecture that is drenched in history.
Over my many visits to the wondrous capital city of London, I have collated a mental list of all of my favourite restaurants and watering holes, and trust me, it was hard to whittle it down to just 5.
5 best London bars and restaurants
Something us Aussies don’t have enough of is access to delicious Indian cuisine. Dishoom is one of my favourite restaurant chains in London, with locations in Covent Garden, Kings Cross and more.
The only problem is you can’t book a table. You have to queue outside, quite inelegantly (sometimes in the rain), to get a table. This makes it a nightmare if you want to go for a nice dinner on a Friday night. My tip: go early!
2. Madison’s Terrace Bar at St Paul’s
For the most breathtaking view of the London skyline, it doesn’t get much better than the penthouse of One New Change where Madison’s Terrace Bar sits. I recommend reserving a table on the terrace at sunset, ordering a couple of cocktails and watching the sun set behind the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.
If you want to dine, you can. The menu boasts plenty of sharing platters and small bites, which is perfect for date night.
3. Aqua Nueva
I feel like Aqua Nueva is a hidden gem in the London bars scene. I didn’t know anything about it until a friend recommended it to me.
Located up high above Regent Street, Aqua Nueva is a Spanish restaurant that shares its stylish rooftop with Aqua Kyoto (a Japanese restaurant you also must try). The ambience of this restaurant is very Bond. It’s very dimly lit and the ceilings are low; it oozes sexiness.
From the mind-blowing menu, you have to try all the tapas you can (special props to the seafood croquetas).
4. Pergola on the Roof
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Pergola on the Roof is one of London’s hotspots in summer. Its decor is indicative of the Hamptons on a sunny day: pastel colours, palm trees and beach-hued cocktails – embedded within the urban London jungle. Its layout is basically a huge beer garden, but better looking. If you can’t make it to White City, there is also a sister venue at Paddington Central!
What makes this one of my favourite London bars is that is has pop-up food kiosks, featuring all types of cuisine: Asian fusion, Mediterranean, etc. So, grab your girlfriends and grab a bench. You’ll wanna park here for a long time.
5. J.Sheekey Atlantic Bar
If you like seafood, you can’t miss this spot. It’s impossible to mention J.Sheekey Atlantic Bar without mentioning its sister restaurant J.Sheekey (the OG), but the Atlantic Bar is my favourite.
Both restaurants are conjoined, nestled just off Leicester Square in the heart of theatreland on a quiet side street where all the stage doors lie. Stepping inside the Atlantic Bar is like stepping into a quaint Fresh seaside town. You can choose to dine alfresco on the terrace (don’t worry, they have heaters, towels, and blinds to protect you from wind and rain), or you can on the horseshoe-shaped bar inside.
The menu is full os small, sharing platters. It doesn’t get much better than the Tuna Poke or the Bream with a glass of bubbly and a good friend.