10 top secret bars across the UK

Date Posted: 11/09/2014

Hidden behind signless shopfronts or non-descript wooden doors, have a drink at one of these ‘secret’ bars… if you can find them.

1.    Pretend you’re in Prohibition-era America

Infamous on the east London cocktail scene, Ruby’s is renowned for its speakeasy stylings and chilled out atmosphere.

Beneath a classic cinema sign on Stoke Newington Road lies an intimate den of crafted cocktails and beaten furnishings.

The service delivered by Ruby’s team of waiting staff is said to be spectacular too.

2.    Botanical themed hideaway in Birmingham

The Lost & Found bar styles itself on the magical adventures of Hettie G. Watson, a Victorian explorer and professor who travelled the world in search of new species of botanics.

Enter this intimate, Victorian inspired drinking spot and find yourself within a menagerie of birdcages, butterflies and magical canopies; a charming space in which to taste a cool collection of cocktails.

3.    Sample spirits from a bygone era at Nightjar

Dressed in brass embellishments, deep mahogany furnishings and low lighting, this Old Street hangout in London is hidden behind an inconspicuous wooden door in between fast food joints.

Serving up an array of high spirits and hard liquor, Nightjar treats its guests to a soundtrack from live jazz musicians, as well as a cocktail menu infused with the classic spirits and a tapas style food offering.

4.    Glasgow’s literary-inspired Chinaskis

Taking its namesake from the literary alter ego of Charles Bukowski, Chinaskis - who appears in five of his novels - is a secret retreat within Sauchiehall Street’s plethora of drinking establishments.

Chinaskis can be found behind a blue fronting, occupying a signless enterprise that is fast becoming Glasgow’s worst kept secret.

Described as dark, brooding and enigmatic, this city centre bar has a reputation for being cool, and is reportedly the only spot to sup away on a Bourbon in Glasgow.

5.    Don’t let the shop front fool you

Fronting an exterior reminiscent of an old fashioned pawn shop, Dusk Til Pawn in Manchester hides a multitude of sins behind a scattering of retro electricals.

Step inside and enter a speakeasy space, where mixologists are at your beck and call, waiting to create something from their ever changing cocktail rota.

6.    Through the SMEG fridge door…

London’s The Major of Scaredy Cat Town at the Breakfast Club bar is very well hidden.

Enter through a SMEG fridge to discover what’s billed as a wonderland space that is reminiscent of a Canadian whisky lodge.

The drinks offering pulls in tipples from across the world to showcase a carefully curated beer and ale selection.

7.    Speakeasy at The Wick oozes 1920s charm

Said to be about as good looking as they come, this night spot is awash with Prohibition style allure.

The secret bar in Hove hearkens back to the clandestine age of hyper indulgence and hedonistic hush-hush.

Expect candlelit tables, deep mahogany booths and vintage paraphernalia throughout, as well as a top quality drinks offering.

8.    Red Light in Bristol

Unbeknown to the majority that pace the streets above, there lies a sinful space of cocktails and art deco style indulgence.

Red Light operates a ‘closed door policy’ - a call on an old payphone illuminates a red light downstairs, alerting the bar manager to your presence via CCTV camera - talk about cloak and dagger...

9.    Blink and you’ll miss The Chelsea Prayer Room

This ever-so-secret liquid lair sits above Fulham’s Goat DINE to deliver top quality beverages to those with the conviction to seek them out.

Behind the bar stands unbranded bottles of spirit, adding to the speakeasy-esque vibe and ensuring the magic and mystery of this secret bar in west London lingers for the entirety of your visit.

10.    Locate the bookcase at the bottom of the stairs…

Sitting pretty beneath Edinburgh’s Queen Street and signposted only by a vintage barber-shop frontage, Panda & Sons is tipped as a charming underground retreat.

Find the bookcase at the bottom of a particularly nondescript staircase to enter this basement lair.

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

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