The Quintessential Gent’s Guide to London Pop-Up Bars

Londoners love to drink. But going to your local boozer or some trendy bar just doesn’t cut it anymore. We are a city that is easily bored and are always on the lookout for something unique and innovative. So, of course, Pop-Up Bars are ideal.   Usually, open for a few months before disappearing.  Over the last few years, London has become a haven for pop-up bars across the city. 

So for those people who haven’t got their finger on the pulse, here are my top 5 pop-up bars to look out for this summer. Blink and you might just miss them.

GQ Bar at the Rosewood Hotel

HolbornDinningRoom_GQBar_Tanqueray10GinandTonic _©AddieChinn

The Rosewood Hotel in Holborn is by far one of my favourite hotels in London.  Not only do they have one of the best hotel bars in London, Scarfes Bar but also it’s Holborn Dining Room. Home to London’s best-stocked gin bar, offering over 400 gins and 27 tonics, so of course, it’s only natural for men’s lifestyle magazine GQ and Tanqueray No Ten to open their first ever pop-up bar at The Terrace. Described by Gary Robinson, Conde Nast International’s Director of Restaurants as a “ space for modern urbanites to come together in an environment inspired by the magazine.”

Offering cocktails, wines and champagnes and food created by Gary and Holborn Dining Room’s head chef Calum Franklin.  Drinks will include a white Negroni garnished with grapefruit and the Daisy Sour made with gin, chamomile, lime and green chartreuse as well as GQ’s signature Manhattan made with orange-soaked barrel-aged bourbon and vanilla bitters. A GQ Bar Burger by Gary is exclusive to the pop-up and comprises a tower of char-grilled wagyu, caramelised onions, watercress and peppercorn umami in a brioche bun, complete with garlic-salted fries.

The Terrace_GQBar_©AddieChinn

GQ Bar will run from June to September and will be open from 7 am until 11:30 pm (Sunday 10:30 pm).

The Botanical Bar at the Floating Pocket Park


Opening just in time for World Gin Day, the Botanical Bar is a new pop- up bar by the team from Lockhouse at Floating Pocket Park on the Grand Union Canal.  A newly developed urban ‘green space.’

So it’s only fitting the green-fingered team from Lockhouse have created a menu where all the drinks will have a botanical look and feel, featuring handpicked herbs and essences along with a fresh and colourful garnish to reflect their surroundings.  Serving an eclectic range of gins and gin cocktails such as ‘We’ve Got The Whole World Gin Our Hands.  And for you spoilsports there are mocktails.

The floating Botanical Bar provides the opportunity for Londoners to re-connect with the canal and enjoy this newly developed urban ‘green space’; the perfect setting to watch the sun go down with a G&T or enjoy a warm summer evening with a cocktail in your hand.

Gin garden

The Botanical Bar will run from on June 10th, and then every Thursday & Friday from 12pm to 9pm until  August 19th.


El Bandito at the Victory Mansion


El Bandito, already a hugely successful tequila and mescal bar based in Liverpool, it was only a matter of time this bar was going to move to the capital. With the pop up making its way exploring around London and now taking up residency in the basement drinking den of the Victory Mansion in Stoke Newington. Taking inspiration from Asia and South America, you can expect to try cocktails such as frozen watermelons margaritas to Kale Mezcalarita.

The brainchild of business partners John Ennis and Matt Farrell, El Banduti aims to educate and introduce guests to rare and high-quality tequilas and mezcals, including a first for the UK, tequila from the famous El Pandilo distillery.


The El Bandito Pop-Up will run from May 21st. 

The Dead Rabbit at Claridge’s Hotel

Dead Rabbit Vol 5 - Cocktails

Although we have to wait till mid-august, Claridge’s one of the capital’s most iconic hotel will be playing host to a week-long pop-up to New York bar The Dead Rabbit. Having won World’s best bar 2016 and the pop-up at Claridge’s Bar will recreate the second floor ‘Parlor’.

Serving several of its signature cocktails including Irish coffee and Psycho Killer, along with favourites from their food menu such as lobster deviled eggs, Cumberland sausage rolls and Irish lamb stew. With its familiar ragtime piano soundtrack and comic book-style cocktail menu, the pop up will be bringing a little bit of Manhattan to Mayfair.


 The Dead Rabbit Bar will run from Tues 15th – Tues 22nd August 2017.


Pitch Black at No Such Place


Dubbed the ‘Dans Le Noir’ of the drinking world, Pitch Black as its name would suggest 90-minute blind tasting experience in ‘pitch black’ darkness.  However don’t panic, the evening doesn’t start in complete darkness. The experience begins with a glass of bubbles in a dimly lit room, where you can familiarise yourself with your surroundings before the lights go down.  You are then given two inventive cocktails, a palate-cleanser and two wines, with lots of witty banter from your host.


The ideas behind the Pitch Black is that by depriving us of our sights, our other senses are heightened leaving us to concentrate flavours & aromas of what we are drinking. The evening ends with your drinks revealed to you so prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

To book tickets 

Click on the images for more information including how to book

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