If you’ve got a hankering for a wee dram, London has a huge choice of whisky bars serving up an impressive range of tipples. Here are five of our favourites:
Boisdale of Canary Wharf
A must for whisky connoisseurs, this Scottish-themed 12-metre whisky bar is stocked with an eye-popping 1,000 bottles of single malt whisky, most of which hail from Scotland. Overlooking the fountains of Cabot Square, this buzzy bar is part of a two-floor enterprise comprising a restaurant, cigar room, oyster bar and grill. There’s no mistaking the venue’s Scottish flavour, as it is handsomely decked out with tartan-clad furniture and red walls adorned with stag heads. But don’t expect bagpipes on the soundtrack; the jazzy live music programme is curated by composer and TV presenter Jools Holland. Boisdale also has two equally classy siblings, situated in London’s Belgravia and Bishopsgate.
Salt Bar and Dining Room
Within easy reach of Marble Arch station, this great looking lounge bar and Indian restaurant has a sleek interior of dark wood tables, lashings of natural slate and plush leather bar stools. Offering a whopping 200 whiskies from across the globe – including Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the US and Japan – the menu includes tasting notes which are useful to both novice and seasoned drinkers. And if you want to learn more about the grain-based liquor, the bar hosts regular classes. The talented mixologist team can create anything from whisky, gin and rum to champagne cocktails and Bellinis, and if you fancy a bite to eat, flavoursome main courses include a range of thalis, curries and dishes from the tandoori grill. There’s also a shisha patio where you can enjoy al fresco drinking and dining.
Golden Arrow at Pullman London St Pancras
Located in the newly-gentrified King’s Cross area of London, the upscale Pullman London St Pancras Hotel has a 94-seater restaurant named the Golden Arrow, so called after the all-first-class Pullman steam train. The plush eatery boasts a 200-strong whisky collection, including some tipples hailing from distilleries that no longer exist and even more from locations all over the world, including Scotland, Ireland, Japan and Canada. Whisky novices can join a monthly masterclass where they will be treated to six drams and complementary food, including chocolate, cheese and smoked salmon.
Whisky Bar at The Athenaeum
With over 300 whiskies to choose from, the Mayfair-based Athenaeum boasts the largest selection of blends of any London hotel. If you’re a whisky novice, the comprehensive menu includes information about a wide range of drams, from the Scottish Highlands to Japan. Perfect for a quiet drink, the discreet bar is full of cosy, tucked-away corners and convivial mixologists who are happy to create absolutely anything off the menu, if you have a craving for something in particular.
The Whisky Lounge at Hilton London Metropole
Oozing wow-factor, this intimate lounge uses suspended decanters as light fittings and whisky display cabinets to frame the bar. Located in the newly-revamped lobby of the Hilton London Metropole in Edgware Road, the bar offers more than 70 different whiskies, including standouts like the exclusive Johnnie Walker Odyssey Triple Malt, priced at a cool £110 per shot. The blend is dramatically served from a swinging decanter! Snacks to complement your wee dram include smoked salmon, Welsh rarebit, macaroons and dark chocolate. New to whisky? Then take a “Whisky Flight” where you will be guided through the whisky menu with a tasting session.