10 group travel ideas: quirky London nightspots

Date Posted: 05/03/2014

The Toyshop, London.

These quirky London nightspots offer a great source of inspiration for group travel organisers planning an overnight break to the capital - from a Camden Pub Crawl to innovative cocktail experiences, where will your evening take you? 

1. A dose of nostalgia at The Toy Shop

Bringing a dose of nostalgia to the streets of south London, The Toy Shop (pictured) indulges in the magic and blissful simplicity of childhood.

Bright, colourful and playful, this bar in Putney offers a relaxed and versatile space at which to suck on Absinthe wine gums, nibble on savoury popcorn (with unusual flavours including blue cheese or rosemary and lemongrass) and enjoy drinks chilled from ice cubes carved into Lego ice men.

2. Undiscovered London: Camden Pub Crawl

Set sail on a pub crawl around London's trendiest haven. A team of hilarious and enthusiastic hosts will guide you on an adventure through some of Camden's most talked about bars, clubs and live music venues, away from the typical tourist haunts.

Meet a bunch of like-minded crawlers, as you spread your party wings and dance your way through Proud, (a 200-year-old horse hospital), The Blues Kitchen and Barfly, Soundtracks on Saturday and the infamous KOKO on a Friday (built inside an old theatre, complete with opera boxes and what’s reportedly the biggest mirror ball in Europe).

3. Pocket-friendly deals at Simmons

Having recently set up shop in Camden, Simmons offers kitsch furnishings and pocket friendly happy hour deals. Promising vintage charm and retro flair, Simmons Camden and King’s Cross can also be enjoyed by late-night revellers; expect to hear a party-friendly soundtrack of hits - a great accompaniment to some of the most creative cocktails in London.

4. A cocktail-making challenge at BYOC

Bringing its innovative cocktail concept to Covent Garden, BYOC presents a world of antique trolleys, hanging glassware and expert mixologists, ready to mix up a totally bespoke storm; one thing though - they don't hold any alcohol on site.

Black Cat Saloon D'Artiste.

Instead, groups are invited to bring a bottle of their own spirits, challenging the bar staff to whip up something tasty with an arsenal of home-made cordials and fresh embellishments.

5. Black Cat Salon D'Artiste

For fine dining, cocktails and a downright debaucherous live performance, the Black Cat residency at Cafe Royal Hotel boasts a spectacular night out - presenting musicians, magicians and dancers in a setting that oozes opulence.

Groups can enjoy moonlit cocktails and a dazzling cabaret performances (pictured) in a space that holds serious pedigree when it comes to famous faces. It is said to be the space in which Oscar Wilde fell in love with Lord Alfred Douglas, David Bowie retired Ziggy Stardust and The Beatles danced the night away.

6. Get crafty at Drink Shop & Do

When it’s time to get crafty, head to Drink Shop & Do, which hosts a myriad of events throughout the week, channelling London's creativity - with the obligatory beverage thrown in for good measure.

Visit on a Wednesday to build your own Lego robot, or master the moves of your favourite pop stars at a Beyonce Dance Class.

7. Explore the Mayfair menagerie of Mr. Fogg's

Wonderfully eccentric and instantly charming, this Mayfair menagerie imagines the Victorian abode of Phileas J. Fogg.

Mr Fogg’s houses an extraordinary collection of artefacts, boasting taxidermied tigers and crocodiles alongside annotated maps and countless clocks. An apt environment in which to sip on Absinthe Aperitifs and sharing cocktails, fittingly served in Red Indian heads, steam trains and antique punch bowls.

8. Cocktail concoctions on a canal boat

A pop-up drinking experience unlike any other, Vestal Voyages invites groups to enjoy cocktail concoctions aboard a 50-foot cruiser stern Liverpool canal boat.

Journey along Regent's Canal, from King’s Cross through to leafy Islington, and enjoy 2009 vintages infused with American oak, sherry woods, juniper and raw coco from the comfort of a coal fired cabin - or up on deck if the weather is nice.

Evans & Peel Detective Agency.

9. Immersive experience at Evans & Peel Detective Agency

Recreating the magic and ambience of a bygone era, Evans & Peel Detective Agency (pictured) offers an immersive experience of life under Prohibition.

Very cloak and dagger, this Chelsea hideaway offers spectacular attention to detail, crafting an elaborate and bespoke cocktail offering to suit the needs and wants of any who may stumble upon this underground den of deviance.

Hungry groups can enjoy American-style finger food, including smokehouse sharing platters.

10. Rum cocktails at Portside Parlour

Brooding and sophisticated, Portside Parlour is a devilish little drinking den, tucked beneath Broadway Market’s Off Broadway.

Decked out with aged Chesterfields, wall-mounted oil lamps and a spectacular mural across one wall, this is a stylish haunt that serves up a great selection of rum-based cocktails to all who step inside. If you’re planning a return visit, Portisde Parlour offers guests the opportunity to store a bar bought bottle of rum in a locker, signed with a vintage tag.

These ten group travel ideas were compiled by designmynight.com. Group travel organisers arranging an evening’s entertainment in the capital should visit the website for assistance and planning

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