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Modern London is now all about the individual: a deep base note of uniqueness, a dash of eccentricity, a squeeze of looseness, and a twist of spontaneity. A classic concoction which champions our quirkiness and desire to express ourselves. This impression ties into every aspect of the young Londoner: from what we wear, to what we say, our hairstyles, and where we drink. Everything. So, to celebrate this equal parts complex and enigmatic Londoner, we've compiled a list of quirky London drink spots to mirror their diverse style, which each reflect a handful of unique looks: whether they be modern, retro, or just plain bizarre. They're tried and tested (don't worry, we made sure), and if your favourite pub or bar pops up in this list then take note - you may just find yourself inspiration for a brand new hairstyle, or wardrobe to go with it.
106 Kensington High Street
A New York inspired piano bar in the heart of Kensington, run by Pianist Bazz Norton and his 160 year old grand piano. It was described as one of the 'best nights in London' by the Evening Standard. Heading down a narrow stairway into a small candlelit bar, its elegance is complimented with live smooth jazz, Rat Pack classics and show-tunes, an extensive food menu, and sophisticated wine list. Who wouldn't want to jump back into the 50s and 60s when faced with such a groovy atmosphere? It harks back to a time of refinement so often lacking in many modern bars.
Considering its wide variety of musical treats, the people it attracts are a naturally diverse crowd. Yet one common trend runs throughout: looking sharp. There are no tracksuits or Fred Perry button ups to be found here, it's a place of smart jackets or blazers, Brogues, heels and swish dresses. The hairstyles unsurprisingly lead more towards 'leading modern man', and the classic elegant, geometric and asymmetrical styles that transformed women's hairstyling through the short and sharp styles created by 60s hairstyling icon Vidal Sassoon when piano bars were first introduced. Yet the odd big bouffant or afro can be found as well, as well as a scattering of bleached cuts. It all fits in with the atmosphere however: representing a demographic who are not necessarily well-to-do, but rather appreciative of the finer things in life.
Covent Garden and Camden Town
28 Bedfordbury WC2N 4BJ and
9-11 Basement, Camden High Street NW1 7JE
BYOC is an acronym for 'Bring Your Own Cocktail': as in, bring your own favourite alcohol for their mixologists to work wonders with. It's a fashion that is quickly becoming more and more popular, in fact many restaurants are taking up the idea. Having no license to sell alcohol on the premises, along with no drinks menu apart from an antique drinking trolley that contains a vast array of accompaniments such as pressed fruits, herbs, spices, syrups and cordials, the bar neatly channels the 1920s prohibition vibe. This also ties in to the trend of people no longer looking for just a night out, but rather, an experience.
Again, elegance is an undertone running throughout the two London venues in Camden, and in the West End. The natural stone walls and polished mahogany coloured tables offer the perfect contrast to dim candlelight. As you can imagine, this draws in a particular type of person. Think The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbey: those who come with kiss curls, loose finger waves, Updos and perfect 'boy like' cuts. Yet it also brings in so much more than that. It all goes back to those who are wanting an experience, and that is accounting for more and more people these days. Hipsters with long hair, man buns, and undercuts will often frequent, to learn more about different and 'hip' cocktails made from green tea, for example. It's undoubtedly a cool place to spend an evening.
7 Camden High Street
The very definition of the hipster bar. The latest addition to the Simmons family bars, which are dotted all around London not only offers perhaps the cheapest happy hour around, but it also equipped with various ornaments and furnishings that will make the London hipsters come out in droves. The bar compliments its rustic and knobbly wooden tables and funky-fresh-fruit-ordained cocktails with the world's largest skull mirror ball, an old school SNES game console with all the Mario Kart games, a VHS video player, and a handsome salmon named Lex. You can expect man buns and ponytails galore in this bar: along with many baggy denim jackets, skinny jeans with turn-ups and desert boots. Ankle bracelets will, of course, be on display. We move away from traditional haircuts here, with the well-groomed variety scarce in these parts. It is the effortlessness of hipster hairstyles such as messy shags and twisted pull backs for the long haired that are mostly spotted here, but don't worry if you're rocking the short hair at the moment: the pixie made of messy spikes and pomade are making a big statement at the moment.
Callooh Callay Bar
65 Rivington Street, Shoreditch
Located in Shoreditch, this Victorian themed cocktail bar was one of the very first to open in the area. It's a little bit weird in its swanky fittings and numerous wall fixtures, yet so wonderful at the same time. Being a Victorian themed bar with a modern twist, the type of look it attracts is one of modern vintage. Think of classic Victorian hairstyles such as French braids and braided buns which have hints of auburn colouring, all coupled with hair combs: these are all making a reappearance, and what better place to show them off? Add festival hairbands around the braid for a hit of modern. The festival goer will most certainly be found here, as will general, and continuous use of the word 'chic'.
Ready to hit the town and show off your locks now that you know where to go? Learn more about what's trending this season, or have a chat to one of our stylists to perfect your look before its time to hit the town