All night long

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

As of tonight, London will become one of a handful of world cities to offer a 24 hour weekend tube service – and here at JAT headquarters we couldn’t be happier for the colourful, cosmopolitan capital is no Cinderella. London doesn’t shut down, when the clock strikes midnight so we’ve never understood why the tube does. (Sure we have had late night services in London before on New Years’ Eve, but nothing on a regular basis).

True the long awaited night tube isn’t perfect: it will only run on Friday and Saturday nights and on the Central and Victoria lines (to be followed by the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern in the autumn).

Still while we’d like to see the night tube extended to the suburbs on all lines – including the much maligned Metropolitan – every single day of the week, it’s nonetheless a welcome start. And it means that locals and visitors alike will no longer need to endure a mad dash across town to catch the last tube, a long journey on a battered, beer soaked night bus or an expensive cab ride home. Huzzah!

Ready to discover London in the early hours? Here’s the low-down on a few of our favourite summer late night hang outs…

CENTRAL
Aqua Spirit
AS02.-aquaspirit-1M8E6659-HighRes
When the sun shines, Aqua Spirit – a stunning Regent Street rooftop terrace – is our destination of choice. This is partly for the fabulous views of the Soho skyline and partly because of Aqua Spirit’s killer cocktails. The Carrabbas – Santa Teresa rum, fruit liqueurs, fresh orange juice and cinnamon syrup – is the bijoux bar’s best seller but in such stunning surroundings, it seems a shame not to sip a champagne cocktail.
Fifth floor, 240 Regent Street, W1, Open until 1am Mon-Sat

 

Bar Italia
bar05
Alternatively if you’re tee total, make a beeline for Bar Italia. Coffee bars come and coffee bars go, but this little gem opposite Ronnie Scott’s is a Soho institution that has witnessed many fascinating glimpses of passing theatrical life. Make no mistake: Bar Italia is as loved for the stories it could tell, as it is for its authentic Italian coffee. The cakes are also heavenly, so ditch the bikini diet and give into temptation… After all, life’s too short to exist solely on salads, this summer.
22 Frith Street, Soho, West End, London, W1; Open daily until 5am

 

EAST

SushiSamba
sushisamba-l
SushiSamba has been making waves in London ever since it opened in summer 2012. Situated at the summit of Heron Tower, SushiSamba boasts the highest outdoor terraces in London. Drinks – at £11-£12 a pop plus 15 per cent service charge – are on the steep side however, the views of next door neighbour, The Gherkin, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Thames, more than compensate and help make  SushiSamba a serious destination bar.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2; Open until 2am

 

Beigel Bake
Of course all that drinking, will make you hungry. If you can’t afford to sup at SushiSamba (you’ll need to boast the budget of a banker), wander around the corner to the aptly name Beigel Bake which serves bagels, bagels and yes, you’ve guessed it, more bagels. This Brick Lane legend  is open 24/7, making it handy for  very late sorties.
150 Brick Lane, E1; Open 24/7

 

NORTH
The Cuban
2
Cuba is a recurring theme these days. If you fancy getting in on the revolution, try The Cuban. Drinks are reasonably priced as opposed to a bargain, but they do serve a mean mojito – and a comprehensive list of cocktails including a 15 year old versions of Havana Club rum. For cheap drinks, visit during happy hour (4-7pm Mon-Fri). You can also sign up for salsa lessons or, on Friday and Saturday nights, body bop until you drop to live Cuban bands and DJs.
Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1; Open until 2am

 

SOUTH
Bunga Bunga
CocoBananas Bar 2
Bunga Bunga is worth schlepping south of the river for. This tongue-in-cheek bar Battersea based, Italian themed bar serves top notch cocktails and cuisine in a colourful space dedicated to Italy’s finest icons, along with a huge helping of fun: in honour of the Rio Olympics, Bunga Bunga has transformed itself into Brazilian hub. Expect to find an Olympic-themed pop-up decked out with the flags of Brazil, palm trees, banana leaves, beach balls, exotic flowers and lounge chairs, a Caipirinha bar and sultry Samba dancers… See you in SW1.
37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW1; Open until 1.30am Mon-Thu; 2.30am Fri & Sat

 

WEST
Kensington Roof Gardens
Spanish-002
Originally designed in the 1930s, Kensington Roof Gardens compromises three beautifully themed gardens – the Spanish, Tudor and England Woodland – spanning across 1.5 acres and located 100ft above Kensington High Street. Arranged around the central Clubhouse, the gardens house over 70 full sized trees and a flowing stream with fish and wildlife – including four famous pink flamingos! (Yes really).
99 Kensington High Street, W8 (access to the building is via Derry Street). Open until 12 midnight Mon-Thu; 2am Fri & Sat


If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,