Dubbed one of the best cocktail bars in London, Callooh Callay is named after a phrase in Lewis Carol's nonsense poem, "Jabberwocky", and is famous for its monthly-changing menu of creative cocktails. The three-room bar has a quirky but elegant atmosphere. Walls are lined with cassette mix-tapes, some couches are actually re-purposed claw-foot bathtubs, and a mirrored wardrobe serves as an entrance to a notorious backroom. Callooh Callay occasionally hosts events like master cocktail classes, and themed weekend nights.
Sprawled over two floors, this former RIBA building is now one of the city's most famous restaurants. A video gallery by day, it transforms into a popular restaurant at night. However, you can enjoy video projections right through the evening. Inflatable furniture, a disorientating staircase scrawled with poetry, and mirrors define the dining room at Sketch. Its innovative menu offers French cuisine, and consists of dishes like the Sea Bream Pan-Fried with bean sprout, and Salsa Roja and Lamb in spice crust served with Aubergine. The building also has two bars, East and West, and a patisserie named Parlour. It also has a lecture room and library. If you can afford the high price, there's no better place than this around.
When all you want to do is unwind, The Florence is where you should be. It's a brewery and the beer is served in big mugs. They have a variety of beers like Bonobo (dark and fruity), Beaver (orangey) and Duvel Green, each with a different twist. The atmosphere is homely and the staff, polite. Try the Weasel, it's high on taste and easy on your wallet. Traditional pub food is served here. The entire venue is friendly to pets and great for family get-togethers; little wonder as it has won an award for being the Best Family Friendly Eatery!
The Hampshire Hog is a beautifully decorated gastro-pub that offers several different menus for different parts of the day and week. All of the food is assembled with a real passion for good eating. During the early evening, you can order whole-grilled bream, crisp duck confit, and savoy cabbage from the dinner menu. In the mornings, brunch is served, and on Sundays, traditional roast with all the trimmings is up for grabs. Everything you eat or drink here is organic. The pub also has alfresco dining in a lovely garden. For special events, private dining, and parties please check the website for more information.
Meandering through the picturesque lanes of Sevenoaks, you will come across a tiny cottage with a red roof and a chimney, with creepers crawling on the brick walls, and flowerpots and shrubberies growing all round. One might well feel transported to the sets of an old English classic. The Chequers Inn serves classic French fare comprising a selection of cheeses and seafood, complete with a fine list of wines. The cuisine is best enjoyed in a candlelight setting. The place is child-friendly with a special kids' menu and a huge play area. A quaint Tudor barn can be hired for weddings and parties.
Located in the Jubilee Market Hall, MEATmarket is an American restaurant that conjures up the most delicious burgers. If you are wondering about what to order from the array of delectable dishes, know that The Dead Hippie prepared with mustard-fried beef patties, Dead Hippie sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and minced white onions is one of the most popular items on the menu. Other favorites include Dirty Chicken Cheeseburger and Chicken Parma Burger. You can also opt for the Chili Dog or Buffalo Wings if you are not in the mood for burgers. Wash down the meals with a drink from the bar menu which includes wines, bourbons, cocktails, beer and cider among other spirits. Don’t let the long lines outside the restaurant deter you from trying it out, there are few places better than MEATmarket if you are looking for a hearty American meal.
The Red Lion at Kingly Street is an ideal place for a quick beer with friends. Sam Smiths pub is remade as the Red Lion and is a two-storied bar. With a mixed variety of customers, it remains a favorite among locals. You can choose from variety of pub food to go along with your beer or wine.
This building may lack the quaint, traditional charm of some of the neighboring pubs (built in the late 1960's when anything triangular and concrete implied aesthetic kudos), but once you are inside this doesn't matter. Perched on the edge of the river with wrap around windows, The Founder's Arms offers spine-tingling panoramic views of St. Paul's Cathedral. Londoners and tourists alike compete for the treasured riverside seats, especially at sunset, so head here in the late afternoon to bag yourself a prime viewing spot. The inexpensive drinks and the location, next to the Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge make this a perfect stop-off point.
The Crown Tavern is a smart and modern pub located in the sought-after borough of Islington. Beautiful green tiles and topiaries make up the front of this rather refined watering hole, and a well-kept, dog-friendly garden stretches out to the green at the rear. If you find yourself in a big group of friends keen to enjoy a pint together, the Crown Tavern is a good bet. Seating areas are in plentiful supply, as are food options. The venue serves everything from brunch to Sunday dinners and delightful desserts. -Stephen Chappell