A great place to spend a lazy afternoon wandering around galleries. There's no pressure to spend a ton of time there because the permanent collection rooms are free to view and you only have to pay to see special exhibitions (though I recommend making a donation of whatever you can afford). There's also a nice little coffee shop, a restaurant on the top floor with a great view that's good for an evening cocktail, and a gift shop with some nice stuff.
Sometimes after a day of walking around, all you want do is put up your feet and enjoy a good film. Electric Cinema in Notting Hill is in a beautiful old building and it’s a fancy, comfy way to enjoy a movie. They also serve bar snacks, hotdogs and cocktails, and if you’re into luxury, you can rent a bed to really relax while you watch your movie.
A quirky Lewis Carol-themed cocktail bar in the Shoreditch area. There's a little bar when you walk in but then you'll be taken through the looking glass into a secret, dark area filled with topsy turvy chairs and outlandish furniture. The cocktails are good and the drink menu is vast. On Friday and Saturday nights there's DJ and part of the bar becomes a dance floor. If you want a table on a weekend, or you want to avoid queues, book ahead.
One of London's many "secret" bars designed to make you think you're back in the prohibition area. You need to book this one in advance and think of a case you need solving before you arrive. Once your case is taken on, a part of the wall will move away and you'll be taken into an underground, dimly lit cocktail bar. It's fun, kind of romantic and also a good place to escape from a rainy winter day.
The only reason to go to Abeno Too (and it's a good reason!) is for Okonomiyaki. It's a Japanese dish that's sort of like a sweet, savory cross between a pancake and a pizza. You can pick your toppings but I usually go for some combination of onions, kimchi and pork. Particularly good for lunch or a quick, easy dinner before heading to the theatre.
Update: Sadly, I've heard this lovely place has closed. :( By day this is a vintage clothing store, but by night, the racks go against the walls and it's transformed into a sweet little bar. Nice beer, wine and cocktails and quite often, live acts.
Super fun place to go for a night out. It has everything: a lounge straight out of the 1970s, vintage-inspired cocktails, private bowling lanes, and a restaurant with perfectly decent burgers and pub food. It’s also one of the least douch-y London night out spots I’ve been to—friendly and no pretenses or velvet ropes.
One of the nicest things to do in London is to wander around different neighborhoods on a nice day. The canals in Little Venice (also called Maida Vale) are lovely and are dotted with pubs and cafes where you can stop for a drink or some food.
This is one of those weird places that is so very London. It's located underground in the old vaults beneath Waterloo Station. Check out their website to see what's on and take in a play or performance, or just stop by for a drink.
London loves the kitschiness of a "secret" bar. This particular speakeasy is located beneath The Breakfast Club, which is a good breakfast or lunch spot. If you're there for the cocktails, ask to speak to the mayor and you’ll be taken through the door of an old fashioned refrigerator, down a set of stairs into an underground bar.