Our favourite five happy hours in London
TNT investigates the best spots for a bit of cut price drinking. Well…someone’s got to do it!
All we’ve been hearing for the last few years is happy hour this and happy hour that. The concept is nothing new, although the quality of the drinks is questionable. London is notorious for having some of the best pubs, bars and clubs in the world – serving everything alcoholic imaginable. But where are the best places to head for after work for a good, enjoyable and well-priced drink. TNT decides to investigate. Someone’s got to do it!
After a couple of months of drunkard experimentation and trying out just about every happy hour bar we could find, we’ve put together our favourite five happy hours in the capital.
Enjoy them and cheers….
Simmons King’s Cross
£2.50 bottles of beer, spirit and mixer and glasses of wine, £10 for two cocktails, £15 for cocktail teapot and £10 bottles of wine (prosecco £16) available Sun-Fri, 16.00 – 21.00.
Cheap, lively, entertaining and civilised. Simmons is filled with the thirsty after work and weekend crowds, downing bargain basement wine, beer and some of the cheapest spirits we’ve come across in London. Even Weatherspoon’s can’t turn them out at this price. It’s more of a happy five hours that a happy hour. Our advice is to head straight to Simmons after work and get tanked up for the night ahead. And if you’re nowhere near King’s Cross – never fear there’s a Simmons in Camden, Fitzrovia, Soho, Mornington Crescent, Tower Bridge, Fulham and Liverpool Street and we’ve heard a rumour that a new one is about to open. At this rate Simmons will be taking over London, we want more.
Simmons Bar, 32 Caledonian Rd, Islington, London N1 9DT. www.simmonsbar.co.uk
Earlham Street Clubhouse
£5 cocktails. 20-inch pizza and a bottle of house wine for £24.95. Mon–Sat, 17.00 – 19.00.
Now don’t get me wrong we love Covent Garden, hanging out with the cool kids at Dirty Martini, Adventure Bar and Christopher’s, can be a laugh if you don’t take it too seriously. Let’s face it, you don’t get much change out of a hundred quid and if you have a date in tow then you’re really going to need deep pockets. We couldn’t believe it when the news landed on my desk that the Earlham Street Clubhouse was offering cocktails for £5. We thought it was a joke and headed there straightaway. Stepping into the Clubhouse was like stepping back into the 1990s and the music, décor and ambience wasn’t the only thing screaming the 90s, the drink prices were to.
Earlham Street Clubhouse, 35 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LD.
Adam & Eve
£3 beers and house wines. Mon–Fri, 16.00 – 20.00; Sat – Sun, 12 noon – 16.00.
It looks like a good old fashioned boozer and when we crossed the threshold that’s exactly what we got. A relaxing vibe, a mixed age crowd and plenty of cheap booze. It’s a venue you could visit alone, pull up a stool and find yourself someone to chat to. The Adam & Eve is super friendly. It’s more of a local bar than a busy bar, so no need to worry about missing out on all that cheap drink. You’ll get served fast.
The Adam & Eve, 77a Wells Street, London W1T 3QQ. www.theadamandevew1.co.uk
Two-for-one drinks for members. Mon–Fri, 11.30 – 21.00; Sat 18.00 – 21.00. A city venue not full of dickheads!
The Social is a small venue that livens up after office hours, so best to arrive early. If you’re super organised and there’s a group of you call ahead and book a booth for your evening ahead.
The Social are pretty generous when it comes to happy hour, basically two for one on pretty much everything.
It may not have the city dickhead vibe, but it delivers on the city ‘let’s get on it’ vibe. Oops we nearly forgot happy hour is reserved for members, so email or call beforehand to get your free membership sorted out. It’s that simple.
The Social, 5 Little Portland St, London W1W 7JD.
£7 for two house cocktails or £8 for two premium cocktails. Mon – Sun, 18.00 – 19.00. Bar Story is beneath the railway arches on Blenheim Grove under Peckham Station. The bar is fresh, basically everything is white and simple.
The staff are capable as you’d expect, but the venue full of after work drinkers, all wanting cheap drinks, served up within the hour. Be prepared to wait to get served and be nice.
A bad attitude won’t get your thirst quenched within the hour. My long-time favourite negroni is on the menu, which is a good enough reason to keep returning.
Bar Story, 213 Blenheim Grove, London SE15 4QL. www.barstory.co.uk