Escort date? Meeting a potential sugar daddy ? Spilling your latest sex stories to the bestie? London gets pretty crowded…the last thing you want is to walk into the bar and find you’re sat centimetres from a strait-laced couple in their mid 40s who pretend not to listen as you discuss in excessive detail the pros and cons of using vibrators during sex.

Boasting tucked away seating where you won’t be overheard, and windowless low-lit rooms where you won’t be recognised, London’s underground bars are the answer to all of your worries. Here are the best joints.

Central

Jack Solomans Club
Soho

london's underground bars
Jack Solomans, Soho

Formerly an old boxing gym, now an industrial underground bar with plush velvet seating. 

Once the boxing gym of world famous boxing promotor Jack Solomans, this speakeasy is now honoured in his name and one of the most tasteful in Soho. It can get quite crowded on weekends, so perhaps better for a weeknight link up. Sink into the pink, red and blue velvet seats and get touchy under the tables. Private booths are at hand.

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Wun’s
Soho

london's underground bars
Wun’s Tearoom, Soho

Old school Soho speakeasy- tearoom by day, cocktail bar by night.

Craving 1960’s Hong Kong vibes plus rose & lemongrass cocktails? Say no more. Wun’s oozes sex and secrets. Only under the glow of intoxicating green lights can truly scandalous conversations occur. Inspired by Wong Kar Wai’s romance film, In The Mood For Love, it’s easy to understand why this is the perfect joint for adulterous affairs. Wear silk, or latex. 

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Gordon’s Wine Bar
Embankment

london's underground bars
Gordon’s Wine Bar, Embankment

Ancient underground cellar bar, serving quality wines under a low stone ceiling. 

Atmospheric and undeniably seductive, this is London’s oldest wine bar, established in 1890. It looks very similar to the Phantom of the Opera’s Dungeon which, in my case at least, is a sex dream come true. Within these thick stone walls lies centuries of scandal, which you’ll feel in the air the moment you walk in. Beware, it’s popular and can get very crowded, so the best time to go for intimate conversation is late afternoon or a Sunday eve. 

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Bar Américain

Piccadilly

London's Underground Bars
Bar Américain, Piccadilly

Located in the basement of the French Brasserie Zedel, Bar Américain is a hidden gem in the heart of London.

It may not be anywhere near as old as American Bar at The Savoy, but that doesn’t make Bar Américain any less fine. Decorated in brown with chocolate leather seating, it’s classy, it’s art deco and it absolutely requires pearls. It’s also a more spacious underground joint, thus providing all the privacy one might require. Perfect for a sugar daddy date .

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North

69 Colebrooke Row
Angel Islington

London's Underground Bars
69 Colebrooke Row, Angel Islington

Tasteful bar tucked away between Angel and Islington, serving impeccably mixed cocktails.

This underground bar doesn’t even have a name (technically it kind of does), but you get the picture. Super secret and very film noir. They host jazz, blues and rock n’ roll music. Come on Wednesday or Sunday for their in-house pianist, or Thursday for their live bands. Sip on a Coconut Kir or a Heather Negroni and make heart eyes at your soon-to-be-fucked, who hopefully got the memo and is looking dapper.

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BYOC
Camden

London's Underground Bars
BYOC, Camden

Camden’s vintage casino style underground bar that has no menu. 

For a slightly more unique experience, pay £30 per person and bring a bottle of your favourite spirit, to have the expert bartenders at BYOC cook up five rounds of inventive cocktails for you. With soft jazz playing and five cocktails down you, the person sitting opposite you could be real life Shrek and you’d still be kind of turned on. There’s vintage blackjack tables and elaborate wallpaper, so bring a pack of vogues purely for the aesthetic. 

 

Below & Hidden
Clerkenwell

London's Underground Bars
Below & Hidden, Clerkenwell

Sexy underground den hidden beneath restaurant, Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings.

Bohemian bar meets trashy club. Sounds like the perfect sex work date spot. Their website states ‘elegant misbehaviour has a place in everyone’s life’- we couldn’t agree more. This place starts out as a lowkey bar and as the clock turns, the tapestry walls become illuminated by strobing pink lights, and the DJ turns the music up. No online menu. Table service only. Wear lace and lots of perfume. 

 

Ladies and Gents
Kentish Town

London's Underground Bars
Ladies and Gents, Kentish Town

Quirky underground venue serving cocktails and playing retro music.

This teeny tiny dive is full of intimate alcoves with bottle green and grape red leather seating. It’s half classy, half industrial with an underground bunker sort of feel. Bring your hipster sugar daddy. You obviously have to order The Hot Girl at the Bar, an irresistible concoction of Coconut Cazcabel tequila, chilli pepper liqueur, pineapple juice and fresh lime juice. 

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East

Ruby’s
Dalston

London's Underground Bars
Ruby’s, Dalston

Intimate underground bar with free jazz sessions and parties through the week. 

The obvious choices of East London jazz speakeasies would be Nightjar and its sister bar, Oriole. Both are worth the hype, but  Ruby’s deserves more. It’s shrouded in red, it’s rough around the edges, it’s called Ruby’s for God’s sake- this place was made for scandalous liasons! Slip through the narrow, easily missable doorway located on Stoke Newington Road and let the jazz do the work. Wear velvet and order The Cherry Bomb. 

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Discount Suit Company
Spitalfields

London's Underground Bars
Discount Suit Company, Spitalfields

Stylish underground bar hidden amongst the fabrics and alterations shops on Wentworth Street.

Situated somewhere between Brick Lane and Liverpool street is what genuinely looks like a run down alterations shop. It’s only the curious, who on an evening like any other might pass by, and following the sound of nearby conversation and music, wander through the nondescript doorway. To be discovered is a little underground bar, which was formerly a tailor’s stockroom. Comfy leather two-seaters and tucked away corners are plentiful, making this the perfect East London bar for hush hush dates. 

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Coupette
Bethnal Green

London's Underground Bars
Coupette, Bethnal Green

Award winning intimate cocktail bar with a variety of French brandy available.

French inspired and lit with vintage orange lamps, this little award winning Bethnal Green spot is perfect for a PPM rendezvous. We’re talking Parisian elegance mixed inevitably with East London grit.  It’s here, as you sip the famous Champagne Pina Colada, your face glowing under the candlelight, that your admirer will admire-ya to the utmost degree. Good for first time meets. 

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Lounge Bohemia
Shoreditch

London's Underground Bars
Lounge Bohemia, Shoreditch

Cool secret bar hidden under a kebab shop, away from the Shoreditch party crowds.

You’re thinking, Shoreditch? Discreet? Really? Don’t worry, you’re not likely to bump into your cronies here. You’ll be safe from the outside world and the majority of its people once you descend the dark stairway and enter the world of Bohemia- a softly lit space decked out in a Czech inspired minimalist style. Expect wacky concoctions of cocktails like ‘The Sea Foam’ and ‘The Alice in Wonderland’. If you’re really stuck for conversation, you can at least talk about those for a few minutes.

No menu but their Tripadvisor gives you an idea.

 

 

 

South

Scootercaffe
Waterloo

London's Underground Bars
Scootercaffe, Waterloo

Late night cafe-bar serving cheap cocktails and good coffee on the pedestrianised street of Lower Marsh.  

This is truly a London hidden gem. Often missed by London’s underground bar enthusiasts, Scooter is better known for being a normal cafe, but this only makes its lower floor even more inconspicuous. The upstairs is great for working or reading a book, the dimly lit stone basement is even greater for secret meets with lonely men. It’s a casual affair, wear something day to night. Big plus: there’s a cat!

 

WC: Wine & Charcuterie
Clapham

London's Underground Bars
WC: Wine & Charcuterie, Clapham

Underground wine bar, serving meat and cheese boards, plus cocktails.

WC: formerly a public toilet, now a Wine & Charcuterie! Candlelit tables and private booths will make this the perfect sophisticated date spot for you and your Clapham zaddy. Lots of the original features have been preserved giving it a haunted Victorian vibe. Wear a white floaty dress, sip on red and play innocent.

 

Bermondsey Arts Club
Bermondsey

London's Underground Bars
Bermondsey Arts Club, Bermondsey

Bermondsey’s own art deco underground speakeasy with live jazz on Wednesdays.

Hidden away beneath a very average looking roundabout in Bermondsey, you wouldn’t expect to descend the stairs and discover this classy establishment, that serves elegant cocktails every evening until 2am. You won’t find the tourists that you might find in the Central London speakeasies here, though it will still get busy. This place was made for an LBD. Open until 2am every evening and dark enough inside for you to pretend that your date is a bit fitter than they actually are.

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Gremio de Brixton
Brixton

London's Underground Bars
Gremio de Brixton, Brixton

Wine bar in a church crypt, offering tapas and live Latino music.

Brixton locals, you don’t need to to travel to Central London to visit an ancient underground wine bar, there’s one right on your doorstep! Even better, it’s under a church. Gothic and romantic, and just enough dark corners for some PDA, this is a sensual first meet spot. Drink jugs of sangria under the arched brick ceilings and sway along to the Latin tunes.

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West

Evans & Peel Detective Agency
Earl’s Court

London's Underground Bars
Evans & Peel Detective Agency, Earl’s Court

Underground novelty bar disguised as a detective agency.

Know someone who enjoys role play? This is the place to go. If you want to reach the forbidden bar, you’ll have to figure out how first. It involves speaking through the intercom to begin with, then heading for an interrogation with a detective, and finally, if you’re lucky, being taken through the secret door that’s disguised as a bookcase. Often gimmicks like this aren’t always worth the hype, but the bar’s beautiful old school interiors makes your efforts worthwhile. Wear a trench coat (with nothing underneath).

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Trailer Happiness
Notting Hill

London's Underground Bars
Trailer Happiness, Notting Hill

Much loved underground Caribbean bar on Portbello Road.

This retro 50s-style rum joint filled with plants and patterned carpets creates the perfect atmosphere for a film-style hookup.  It’s easy to escape to your fantasies when you’re surrounded by warm oranges and dusty blues. Brush heads with your special guest whilst you sip on a Dia de Muertos sharing cocktail. The staff are truly the friendliest, so no need to worry about getting judgy glances.

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K Bar
South Kensington

London's Underground Bars
K Bar, South Kensington

Beneath the Kensington Hotel sits this secret grand underground bar filled with chandeliers. 

Did somebody say James Bond? In true Kensington style, K Bar is tasteful luxury, decked with royal blue velvet seats and oak panelling. You likely won’t bump into anyone you know here. Perfect if you’re looking for somewhere with the grandiose that so many central London bars possess, but with more discretion. Bring a richie and drink champagne.

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The Butterfly Bar
Notting Hill

London's Unknown Bars
The Butterfly Bar, Notting Hill

 

Gaudy pink and green fantasy bar serving cocktails and Itsu sushi. 

Situated above Itsu in Notting Hill, this isn’t an underground bar, but it has all the discretion you need. The Butterfly Bar is probably the least well known on this list, making it perfect for those of you who seriously do not want to be recognised. It’s bizarrely situated, and doesn’t have the best reviews, but that somehow makes it even better? Whoever designed it was seemingly on crack at the time, the good kind.

You’ll feel like you’ve entered a dream as you walk into the hot pink room with stripy walls and lovebirds singing to one another in their cage positioned in the centre of the space. It closes at 10:30pm so arrive early. Sip a Sakura Sour and order sushi to be brought to your table. An escort’s dream. You kind of have to wear pink lipstick and too much mascara. You guessed it, no online menu for this one.

 

 

 

 

Culture
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Sex Work
Iso

Iso

Author

Iso is a writer and filmmaker based in East London. She is passionate about all things erotic and leads a sexy, shame-free life in hope that she can inspire others to do the same. Originally from a Northern seaside town, she is naturally drawn to the best things in life: candyfloss, trashy karaoke bars and heart-shaped sunglasses.


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