Home lifestyle 8 Themed London Bars You Must Visit

8 Themed London Bars You Must Visit

by kerrylifeandloves
the colourful and flowery interior of blame gloria. one of the themed london bars i love

So if you have been hanging out with me for a while over here, the following will come as no surprise. I love a bar that is a bit different. Anything a little quirky, or with a theme, I am there. I have already shared my love of historic pubs in London, and some of my favourite London rooftop bars. Now it is the turn of some of my well loved, (and well visited), themed London bars to have their moment in the spotlight! Let me introduce you to some of Londons most quirky bars! Ohhhh how I have missed thee……

Worth noting – If you are planning a night out in London, it is always wise to check if bookings are needed. I have linked to the websites of every venu I have mentioned, so you can make enquiries. Enjoy!

a view of tower bridge with blue but cloudy skies above london days out

Themed bars have become quite the thing in recent years. The opulent glamour of the speak easy bars. The leg warmer adorned patrons of the 80’s bars. My own first introduction to themed nights out was the countless fancy dress parties that my family had. My Dad has a huge family, and it seemed that every month one of his sisters was having a house party. It was always fancy dress. I always think themes, costumes, interactive nights out always break the ice quickly. Everyone is more relaxed when they and their mate are dressed up as Noddy and Big Ears…..

Now, with these themed London bars, you do not have to dress up. But many of them do have the vibe where you would not be out of place if you did. What they do all pretty much assure though, is a great night out. So here we go. As we begin to peep out from lockdown, here are my suggestions for 8 themed London bars not to be missed.

Themed London Bars – My Picks

Alcotraz – Shoreditch

212 Brick Lane, London E1 6SA

Nearest Station – Shoreditch High Street (rail)

I LOVE this prison themed bar. The bar was inspired by popular films and TV shows that brought us prison stories that we seemingly, could not get enough of. After donning your prison issue orange boiler suit, you will start “doing your time”. You will be put in a cell with your mates, and the mischeif begins. Smuggling in the hard liquor is your mission. Once you are past the warden, the bootlegger gang will create cocktails with what you have. There are no set drinks menus behind bars, nay nay, it is purely what mix can be created with your smuggled booze. It is so much fun and I urge you to add it to your list

Worth noting – There is a second “prison” Alcotraz been opened in Brighton!

The Bootlegger

25-26 Lime Street, London EC3M 7HR

Nearest Tube – Monument on the Cirlce line

Your introduction to The Bootlegger is the stuff themed bars are made of. You need to first find the secret door to make your way into this London bar. With it’s nod to roaring 1920’s glamour, it has a speakeasy theme throughout. Retro and fun, this prohibition style bar serves classy cocktails as well as the usual wine and beer offerings. With various nights throughout the year making it the venue for live music, it really has captured the high jinx of prohibition London.

Blame Gloria

20 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London. WC2E 9HP

Nearest Tube – Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line

Blame Gloria has been the venue of choice amongst my girl friends for many nights out. This converted cellar is a frenzy of psychedelic colour. In fact, the wallpaper in the bar was actually based on a floral jacket worn by Jimi Hendrix! How cool is that! The colours reflect the riot of fun held here. From drag act disco brunches, cocktail master classes and disco balls a-plenty, you cannot fail to have a great time here. Dust off the sequins, grab a tinsel wig and head off to Blame Gloria for the best post-lockdown time!


5 Kingley Street, Carnaby, London. W1B 5PF

Nearest Tube – Oxford Circus on the Central, Bakerloo or Victoria line

So, I know I should not have favourites, but……. I think Cahoots holds a special place in my heart. It is so much fun! Stepping through it’s doors is an absolute throw back to the 1940’s. Set in an abandonded train station, Cahoots is one of the best themed London bars. It has 3 areas, the underground, the ticket hall and the control room. All have their charm but I especially love the control room. The walls are covered with old switchboards and wires, flashing lights and all manor of 1940’s equipment. This is also where they have live music and later night tipples. No detail is left unattended at Cahoots, and it is a must visit. Nik and I actually have a night out planned for there soon. Our boys gifted us a Bootlegger Breakout package from there for Christmas!

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town

The Breakfast Club, 12-16 Artillery Lane E1 7LS

Nearest Tube – Liverpool Street on the Circle line.

Come to meet The Mayor via the fridge…..

If you are looking for one of the best themed London bars with it’s entrance, shall we say, secret, then I got you covered. I mean, who would even suspect that you go through a Smeg fridge to get into the bar??? You enter The Breakfast Club and tell a member of staff that you are “here to see the Mayor”. A slight nod of the head, and you will be led to the fridge. Walk through it, and you are in the dimly lit heart of The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town. The decor is eclectic to put it mildly. Strange wall art, bizarre sculptures and a mis match of vintage furniture. I love the decor! The cocktail menu is weird and wonderful too. With names like Hangmans Daughter, (masala chai with tequila, cbd oil and agave) or the rum based Scaredy Papa, you can guarantee you wil not find drinks like it elsewhere.

The Bletchley

Chelsea Fun House, 459 Kings Road, Chelsea, London.

Nearest Tube – Fulham Broadway on the District Line

The Bletchley is set over 3 floors of a 19th century renaissance revival building. A WW2 inspired, immersive themed bar. You can wear your normal clothes, but you do get a military jacket to wear to help you look the part! The Bletchley does something pretty special. They never make the same drink twice! Using The Enigma machine, you work out the code to help the mixologisits make your secret recipe cocktail! They make every drink unique and personalised to everyone that walks into this fabulous fun bar. They even have a cocktail bunker! If you really want to throw yourself into the full experience of The Bletchley, I would recommend booking the Full Cryptic Experience. At £36 pp, it includes the jacket hire, welcome drink, and cocktails in the bunker. If you are feeling fancy, you can even splash the cash on a £100 cocktail………..

The Nest

Treehouse Hotel, 14-15 Langham Place, London W1B 2QS

Nearest Tube – Oxford Circus on the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines

foliage draping from the ceiling inside The Nest - Treehouse hotel London
The Nest rooftop bar

I love The Nest. It is a bar I frequent a fair bit when I am in Town. Infact, I wrote an entire blog post on it! Although it does have a strong theme, it is not as immersive as the others in this post. You just dress in your normal clothes, (or a little dressy if you fancy it). The inspiration for rooftop bar The Nest, is a treehouse. You go up to the bar, (on the 16th floor of the Treehouse Hotel), via a lift that is disigned to look like the inside of a tree trunk. Walking in to the bar, you are met with foliage, flora and fauna at every eye level. It is gorgeous! With its casual luxury feel, amazing coctail menu and amazing London views, it is the fanciest treehouse I’v ever been in!

Moonshine Saloon

28-30 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7DB

Nearest Tube – Liverpool Street or Aldgate. Both on the circle line.

The Moonshine Saloon

If you have always fancied being an outlaw in the Wild West, now is your moment! The Moonshine Saloon combines theatre, with equisite cocktails a plenty! You and your bottle of illegal moonshine, will make your way to the bar, where a unique cocktail will be rustled up for you. Then, take a seat and try your luck at a card or dice game with “the locals”. Depending on how immersive you want your night to be, you can even be part of the dramatics and be assigned a character to play. You can be The Mayor, The Deputy Sheriff, or even a Brothel Keeer……..We were due to go here just before lockdown was announced again here in the UK, so it is still on my list. I have only got as far as the outside at the moment. It is so weird to see it set amongst the ultra modern buildings of London surrounding it! It looks so good though, so I really wanted to include it in my list.

Themed London Bars…In conclusion

I had so much fun writing this post! It took me back down memory lane to some fabulous nights out! Remember those people? Nights out? Soon my lovely friends, soon… I really hope I have given you a little inspiration for a future soiree in London. I think I may even do a second part to this post. There are so many themed London bars that I love! Maybe I will bring you a part two! If you are not local to London, why not have a look in your own area to see what is on offer. Themed and quirky bars are so popular now. You might just find one local-ish to you!

I would love to hear which one you like the sound of best. Or if you have any others that I should try. I have a few on my list already, but always happy to investigate more! Let me know.

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Home and Horizon March 13, 2021 - 7:00 pm

What a great post – and I absolutely love The Nest! I’m going to have to take VIP for a little trip once everything opens up again. I’m guessing for most of these places booking is necessary? And once I’ve been to a few nice cake shops in London …hopefully this year! I’ll be doing a round-up post on them – any excuse to scoff cake! ha ha xxxx

kerrylifeandloves March 13, 2021 - 7:23 pm

Ahhh thank you. I love doing these sorts of posts. They always make me smile at the memories. Some you need to book in when life is under normal circumstances. Some you don’t. I can imagine for a while though numvbers will be restricted! I might actually add people should check if they fancy one. Good point! Yes to the cake, always a good idea!

Home and Horizon March 14, 2021 - 1:14 pm

I think I might have to get you to one of those cake shops! 🙂

kerrylifeandloves March 14, 2021 - 5:58 pm

You say cake, I say YES! hahahaha xx We must do it!

Vanity And Me Style March 14, 2021 - 11:39 am

Thank you for sharing these Kerry. I’d love to go to the rooftop bar The Nest, Looks stunning xx

kerrylifeandloves March 14, 2021 - 5:57 pm

It is my absolute pleasure. Oh The Nest is a good choice. I love it there x

zoeyolivia March 14, 2021 - 12:04 pm

I’ve heard great things about Blame Gloria! I’ll check these out – thanks! x

Zoey | http://www.zoeyolivia.com

kerrylifeandloves March 14, 2021 - 5:58 pm

You are very welcome. Blame Gloria is such a fabulous fun place!

notesoflifeuk March 14, 2021 - 4:44 pm

Thanks for these… I’m making a note of them for whenever I’ll be able to make it to London again! I think the only remotely themed bar I’ve been to in London was the Cheers one and that was many years ago now.

kerrylifeandloves March 14, 2021 - 5:59 pm

You are so welcome Im happy you found it useful. Oh I bet the Cheers one was good though? Such an iconic show. I think theme bars are so much fun.

Susanne March 29, 2021 - 9:42 pm

Hi Kerry, first of all I love the new looks of your blog! Awesome!
I fell in love with the Treehouse bar because it sort of reminds me of one super cool coffee shop hear Cork airport, but the prison bar is by far the coolest, and craziest! I hope you’re doing well.

kerrylifeandloves March 31, 2021 - 10:44 am

Ahhh thank you so much! I love the new layout now I am used to it. The prison bar is so good! It has such a great atmosphere. The Tree House will aways be a special bar to me though as balmy summer evenings up there are the best. Thank you for stopping by xxx

Susanne March 30, 2021 - 10:20 pm

Kerry, your blog ate my comment so I’ll try again. For some reason I often fail when I try to comment on self-hosted WP with Jetpack comment forms, it’s always a hit or miss if it logs me in or takes my details.
Anyway this was such a fun read!! The treehouse bar looks so cosy, like someone’s living room, and also a little bit like a lovely coffee shop near Cork airport. But my absolute favourite was the prison bar – just because it’s so freakingly crazy! 🤪
I hope you are doing well, and I love the new looks of your blog!

kerrylifeandloves March 31, 2021 - 10:44 am

And just like the busses….all your comments show at once hahahah!


Please feel free to comment, I love reading them x

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