Speakeasy Secrets

As seen in QMessenger 84.

There is a hidden revolution in London and you may not have heard of it yet.

Down in cellars, behind unassuming doors and often at the summon of a buzzer, the speakeasy craze is secretly taking over.

It may be the two thousand and teens yet we are still utterly enamoured with the prohibition era glamour of exclusivity and secrecy.

So hurry down a side street, sneak up the back stairs and settle yourself into an armchair as we give you our four favourite speakeasy spots.

1) Ziferblat, Old Street. This new cafe-come-social enterprise doesn’t charge you for coffee or tea; in fact they actively encourage you to bring your own drinks and snacks. Concealed on the first floor, behind an unassuming small shopfront, you can only get in by ringing the buzzer. Ziferblat literally translates as ‘clockface,’ and you pay for the time you spend inside. At 3p per minute, you get an hour for the same price as a medium Cappucino in Ground.

2) Be at One, Covent Garden. Be at One’s new Covent Garden location has all the affordable cocktails you love in a sexier, more secretive location. In the underground space which is almost directly underneath Woman in Black, the unassuming street level front and lit up stairs give the atmosphere a luxurious exclusivity. Fortunately, with the appi hour app (one hour of 2 for £9.50 cocktails) your expenditure needn’t match your snazzy surroundings.

3) Loungelover, Shoreditch. If you’re feeling a bit more extravagant, Loungelover’s 2 for £12 happy hour (until 8pm) may be the one for you. Hidden down a few streets, the abstract fluorescent light sign is the only noticeable feature that can entice you in. Once inside and through the mysterious foyer, you navigate a treasure trove of kitsch and vintage adornment. If drinking in opulent surroundings is your thing, you’ll love Loungelover.

4) The Opium Den, Chinatown. If you really want the most secret and exclusive speakeasy experience, and have a bit of cash to splash, you need to make yourself a reservation at the Opium Den. This is the hardest to find on the list; the only directions you have are ‘the jade door.’ Once you’ve found this mystical green door and been buzzed in, a man checks your reservation before directing you up two flights of stairs where you can enjoy some of the best dim sum and chinese themed cocktails you may find in Central London.

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