How to drink in Central London without spending a fortune
By Sophia Moss (follow Sophia on Twitter: @EndlessMoss)
London is notoriously expensive and our pubs/bars are no exception. A night out which would be perfectly affordable in most other cities can end up costing a fortune and even a few pints down the pub can end up burning a depressingly large hole in your wages.
In the summer the people who are truly broke in London may choose to avoid bars and pubs altogether and head down to the park for wine, strawberries, and people watching, but now it’s so cold and dark we just can’t do that anymore. Luckily all is not lost because you can have a (fairly) affordable evening if you know where to look. Read on for 10 cheap & central happy hour deals in London!
#1 | Peckham Springs
Picture was taken from the Peckham Springs Facebook Page.
Peckham Springs, located in South East London, is a surprisingly affordable chilled venue which is a mixture of an art gallery, sandwich bar and bar. You can buy perfectly good cocktails for £5-6 and a glass of wine for just £4.20!
During 6-7pm every night you can buy one cocktail and get the second one (both cocktails must be the same) for only £2 more. If you plan on being a regular at Peckham Springs you can pick up a membership card and take advantage of two beers for £5 and £5 cocktails on ‘Locals Night’ every Thursday.
Where? 22A Blenheim Grove, London, SE15 4QN. The nearest station is Peckham Rye.
When? 6-7 pm every day.
#2 | Patch St Paul’s
This unique bar, located in the financial heart of the city, feels like it fell out of Shoreditch. It isn’t the cheapest bar in the world, but from Monday to Friday 4-7pm they have happy hour offers which includes 50% off wine, 2 for 1 cocktails and five bottles of house beer for £17.50.
Where? 58-60 Carter Lane, London, EC4V 5EA
#3 | Bar Rumba
Bar Rumba is a versatile and fun bar/nightclub which has comedy nights, themed nights, a 455 person capacity in the underground club area and 3am closing time.
This club is a popular venue for after works drinks and letting your hair down with your colleagues and, whilst the regular prices are hardly affordable when compared to any other British city, they do have 2-4-1 cocktails until 10:30 pm every night and exclusive offers for students which include £4 doubles and £10 bottles of house wine.
Where? 36 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 7EP.
When? Every night from around 6pm until 10:30 pm!
#4 | Barrio Shoreditch (also found in Angel, Soho and Brixton)
This colourful Latin-themed bar is a great place to escape the grey, cold and expensive streets of London and discover some surprisingly affordable drinks. The ‘amigo’ hour a Barrio features £5.50 cocktails, £5 off house wine and £3.50 bottles of beer.
The happy hour is available until 8PM most days of the week, but if you are having a particularly difficult Sunday or Monday you can come and enjoy the happy hour all day long!
Where? 141-143 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JE
When? Until 8 PM Tuesday-Saturday, All day Sunday and Monday.
#5 | Zoo Bar
Zoo Bar is a popular ‘European’ style sports bar/club which, despite its central location, is surprisingly affordable with pizza and a beer for £6 until 9 pm and 50% selected drinks.
Try to get there early to secure some space and enjoy one of the many club nights they offer every week.
Where? 3-17 Bear Street, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7AQ
When? Happy hour is from 4-9 pm.
#6 | Simmons Bar Soho
Simmons Bar is a popular chain with venues all over London. The Soho bar, located in the heart of London’s West End, is a hipsters dream which offers cocktails in teapots and bottomless afternoon tea (i.e. prosecco and cocktails), but if you’re looking for a cheap night then Simmons is one of the best places to go.
Their happy hours are five hours long and during that time you can get a spirit and mixer for £2.50, bottles of beer for £2.50, bottles of wine for £10,00, two cocktails for £10.00 and glasses of wine for £2.50!
Where? The Soho branch is located at 2 Bateman Street, Soho, London, W1D 4AE
When? The happy hour is from 3pm until 8pm Sunday to Friday. They also offer 2 cocktails for £10 on Saturdays.
#7 | Trapeze Bar Shoreditch
This quirky bar has a ‘faded circus glamour’ aesthetic and hosts regular events including all night happy hour (Wednesdays) and disco yoga!
Their happy hour includes £4 season clown cocktails (£8.50 outside of happy hour), £2.50 beer bottles, pints of San Miguel for £3.50, £5 off selected wine and, on Chill Zone Tuesdays, Beer+Burger for £10!
Where? 89 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3HX
When? 5-8Pm Tuesday – Saturday, all night on Wednesdays.
#8 | Dirty Martini Covent Garden
Dirty Martini has several cocktail bars all over London. This cocktail bar isn’t exactly budget, but the £12.50 bottles of wine, £3.50 beers and half price Martinis make it a good choice if you’re in the Soho/Covent Garden area and you’re looking for a classy drink without the extortionate prices. The happy hour starts early too so you’ll be drunk by 6pm!
Where? 11/12 Russell Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5HZ
When? Mon-Fri 2pm-8pm, Saturday 12pm-8pm, All night on Sunday.
#9 | Bar Story
Bar Story is a relaxed, dog-friendly bar located underneath Peckham Rye station. The industrial layout and abundance of beards makes Bar Story a hipsters dream, but they have a lot to offer everyone regardless of their fashion.
Bar Story sells fresh pizzas (two for £10-12 on Tuesdays), tasty nibbles and they have an impressive happy hour where you can get two cocktails for £7 between 6-7pm every evening.
Where? 213 Blenheim Grove, London, SE15 4QL
When? 6-7Pm every evening.
#10 | Zebrano Soho
Zebrano has three locations across London, but I’ve picked the Greek Street one because it is so central it’s the perfect place to grab a drink after work or before heading out for the evening.
Zebrano hosts various activities such as cocktail master classes, student pub crawls, New Year’s events and a killer happy hour with 50% off cocktails a, £3.50 beers, £3.50 wine and double spirits for the price of singles as well as a selection of tasty and affordable meals.
Where? 18 Greek Street, London, W1D 4DS
When? Monday-Wednesday 5pm-10pm, Thursday -Saturday 5-9pm.