London’s snaking streets are a haven for shoppers, but after a busy day trailing up and down stores there’s nothing better than taking the weight off your feet and having a quick drink. Whether you’re after a hearty pint, a big glass of wine or even a bitter shot of coffee, the best pick-me-up bars are closer to the changing rooms then you think.
After trailing up and down central London’s shopping streets, there’s nothing like taking the weight off and relaxing in a pub or bar. Chances are you’ll have popped into Selfridge’s if you’re shopping around Oxford Street, so why not save it till last and – as soon as your latest purchase has been bagged up – head to the department store’s Wonder Bar, located above the wine section. It’s a bright, stylish hideaway, with an exceptional selection of wines. Their automated machines let you try sample sips of different wines and order from your seat using their self-service mechanism – so you won’t even have to wait for a waiter to turn up.
Alternatively, if you’re shopping along Carnaby Street, head to the area’s Newburgh Quarter where you can find some nice pubs and bars tucked away. The pillar-box red Shaston Arms is a friendly, laid-back pub with some great ales on tap. But if you need reviving, try Speakeasy Espresso And Brew Bar up the road for a shot of coffee. Just the ticket after an exhausting afternoon.
If you’re in Leicester Square or Covent Garden, try The Porterhouse. It gets incredibly busy at times, but is a vast pub – split over 12 different levels – and decorated with old clocks and copper pipes, which snake through the walls. Bag a booth and you might end up staying here a little longer than you planned. They have a menu of more than 100 bottled beers, and a range of their own from their Dublin brewery. If pale, crisp lager is your thing, a cold pint of Chiller comes highly recommended.