The Best Cocktail Bars in Kensington & Chelsea
Find the super-glamorous speakeasies, sophisticated restaurants and pub gardens serving up the best cocktails in Kensington and Chelsea…
Lead image: Nocturne, South Kensington
1 Callooh Callay Chelsea, King's Road
Little sibling venue to the award winning Shoreditch venue of the same name, Callooh Callay has an extensive list of cocktails that takes you through the classics and tried and trusted favourites to the more experimental and unusual tipples. While the venue takes its drinks seriously, the bar itself is a fairly laid back affair. For food, the venue has partnered up with Sushi Bae.
Address: 316-318 King's Road SW3 5UH
2 Chelsea Funhouse, King's Road
Three stories of fun, in fact, at the Chelsea Funhouse. On ground floor you have the alfresco spot Jolie - great for a bottomless brunch with friends, then you've got Chelsea Black on the first floor serving up disco vibes, and then you have the WWII cocktail bar The Bletchley offering up all sorts of magical sounding cocktails such as the Le Flamingo.
Address: 459 King's Road SW10 0LR
3 Publiq., Palace Gate
Currently number 23 on the UK's Top 50 Cocktail Bars list, Publiq. is a chic restaurant and bar opposite Hyde Park, serving up seasonal cocktails and sharing plates alongside natural wines and local beers. Between the team, experience includes Tayēr + Elementary, George Mayfair, Pollen Street Social, Scarfes Bar, NOLA and Duck & Waffle, so you know you're in good hands.
Address: 1 Palace Gate, South Kensington, W8 5LS
4 The Ivy Chelsea Garden, King's Road
Unabashed in its glitz, alfresco eating and drinking is taken up a notch at The Ivy Chelsea Garden. The garden is adorned with ornate pots, wisteria, climbing ivy and garden sculptures, and a gorgeous fountain sits in the middle of the space which has plenty of secret nooks and comfy cushions where you can recline in comfort in the pretty surroundings. An all-day menu serves up crowd-pleasing favourites for any time of the day.
Address: 197 King’s Road SW3 5ED
5 The Cadogan Arms, King's Road
The Cadogan Arms reopened in 2021 following a massive refurbishment with brought the 200 year-old pub back to its former glory. Lost early Georgian architectural details and ornate timber panelling have been restored to offer up an opulent dining room, and a ground floor bar with warm velvets and floral-patterned fabrics surrounding the Yorkshire sandstone fireplaces. Not so much cocktail vibes, but a downstairs room has four ‘hidden art’ screens that stream sports and live events.
Address: 298 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5UG
6 The Ivy Asia, King's Road
The Ivy Asia, Chelsea, brings all the extra and theatre The Ivy group is known for. Here's where you go if you want to have a smoking concoction while sitting in a lavish room with a neon green floor with a prolifically flowering tree as an interior centre piece, while getting lost in the ornate ceiling details. Open lunch and dinner, as brunch on weekends, quaff down an elaborate cocktail along-side pan Asian dishes.
Address: 201-203 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5ED
7 Amaro, Kensington, Kensington High Street
Launched by former head mixologist of The Savoy, Elon Soddu, Amaro blends five-star hospitality and mixology with the cosiness of a neighbourhood cocktail bar. The intimate premises seats 38 people and unites classic cocktail traditions with innovative techniques and contemporary mixology. The creative and seductive space features a while marble floor, a black granite bar and a backlit-onyx backbar, making this creative and seductive space a good date night option.
Address: 15 Kensington High Street W8 5NP
8 Nocturne, Old Brompton Road
A dark little den of a bar with interconnected rooms, Nocturne is a prohibition-era inspired venue with a cocktail list that is neat and with no gimmicks, as a nod to drinks of that time. Concoctions includes bourbon infused with mint and cucumber, lemon and lime infused tequila with rose and hibiscus syrups which all sounds pretty appealing. With an extensive liquor list filled with whiskies, bourbons, cognacs chances you’re going to find a tipple you like even if you don’t go for a cocktail.
Address: 158 Old Brompton Road SW5 0BA
9 Kahani, Wilbraham Place
Opposite the iconic Cadogan Hall is this slick Indian restaurant with a below-street-level bar. Cocktails are made with a sublime, sub-continental take – there’s the gulab martini (vodka, lychee liquor, lychee juice, lemon juice and rose syrup) or the SW1 which has saffron and cardamom infused Patron Silver tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, fresh mint and apple wood smoke.There’s also a list of equally decadent sounding mocktails too if you feel like a treat without the booze.
Address: 1 Wilbraham Place, Chelsea, SWX 9AE
10 The Lost Hours, Chelsea
A relaxed neighbourhood pub and kitchen with a comfy beer garden and homely dining room and lounge – you can see how you would loose hours here with a handful of pals. With a pizza menu in addition to the regular menu that serves up pub grub with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options too, there’s plenty to eat and the cocktail list is a decent size. It offers various martinis, as well as a couple of spritz, an amaretto sour, Pimm’s for summer and bloody Marys for the next day.
Address: 541 King’s Road SW6 2EB
11 The K Bar, The Kensington Hotel, Queen's Gate
With leather wingback chairs, lush deep blue velvet upholstery, lighting that dims as the night goes on and a few impressive chandeliers hanging above, it’s also the kind of bar that invites you to settle into it for the evening. In addition to a weighty wine list, The K Bar mixes up a neat selection of classic and champagne cocktails – try a Kir Royal, negroni, or a pisco sour here or relive Sex and the City with a cosmopolitan or two.
Address: 109-113 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, SW7 5LP
12 Balans, Kensington High Street
Balans started life as a sandwich bar on Old Compton Street and quickly made a name for itself thanks to its late night opening hours. The design – which incorporates a tree into the middle of the restaurant – stems from the vision of Simon Costin, who made his name creating outlandish fashion shows for Alexander McQueen. And the cocktails? Try the needy sounding Do Ya Love Me?, or the sassy Just Call Me, Sunshine or the skittles-infused Taste the Rainbow, which is probably not for the faint-hearted.
Address: 187 Kensington High Street W8 6SH
13 Barts London, Sloane Avenue
Step through a clandestine entrance to find an intimate, plush-red speakeasy adorned with old paintings and antique lights, bar stools and stuffed animal heads. The excellent bartenders can hustle you up a fresh concoction using herbs from the bar’s own garden, or try absinthe poured over sugar cubes for a instant fix. The bar’s many cocktails are organised by taste, and all come with witty names – To The Laddies, Lead on, Mcduff!, and Luck Be a Lady. There’s also a long champagne list too.
Address: 87 Sloane Avenue SW3 3DW
14 Zuaya, Kensington High Street
Zuaya on Kensington High Street is a Latin American restaurant and bar with a real wow factor - it is hard not to be seduced by Zuaya’s elegant marble-topped bar (and signature cocktails too). One of the most popular cocktails is the London To Lima, Zuaya’s interpretation of the classic Pisco Sour. There’s also a restaurant downstairs with beautiful design features including moss walls. Zuaya’s Head Chef, Francisco Lafee, who has previously worked in Michelin-starred restaurants has crafted an inventive Latin American and Spanish tapas.
Address: 35B Kensington High Street W8 5EB
15 Sloane Place, Lower Sloane Street
Chelsea hotel and restaurant Sloane Place also comes with a lower ground-floor cocktail bar. Open for daytime drinks (cheeky!) and late night cocktails every day of the week, the bar serves signature cocktails – modern twists on much loved classics.There’s also a private roof terrace on the first floor offering a full all-day dining menu and cocktails, alongside beautiful views of Chelsea.
Address: 62 Lower Sloane Street, Chelsea SW1W 8BP
16 Beaufort House Chelsea, King's Road
Indulge yourself with a trip to this stunning venue spread over four floors. Sprawling over the top three floors is Albert’s, a private members club. The ground-floor cocktail bar, however, is open to all and has enormous windows filling the room with light make it an inviting space. The cocktail list is fairly generous, encompassing champagne and martini numbers, shots, muddles and swizzles, plus a selection of short punchy drinks.
Address: 354 King's Road, Chelsea SW3 5UZ
17 The Botanist, Sloane Square
Seasonal cocktails are a speciality at the Botanist, a modern European restaurant in Sloane Square. It’s a good spot to start your night and to people watch too. The list is split into two – contemporary and classic cocktails. The classics are tried and tested faves – Aperol spritz, Martinis and a Tanqueray negroni. However, opt for a contemporary cocktail and you will be rewarded by an inspired list of choices.
Address: 7 Sloane Square SW1W 8EE