214 Bermondsey - London Bridge A terrific speakeasy and a real gin palace. They even make their own tonic water! It's a candlelit den underneath Italian restaurant Antico and is a stylish end (or start) to any night out. The bar food comes from the restaurant so is fresh and very good. Small - but perfectly formed.
Jacks Bar - Isabella Street A proper bar with plenty of space, lots of Victorian brickwork as its in an arch, and ping pong too. Good staff and outside seating make it a cracking stop off for a beer on the way home, but also for a big night out. Well off the tourist trail too... It's part of 'The Low Line' which is being created in Bankside to link the arches and make them more usable - its really working here.
Cecil's - Holyrood Street Bermondsey's 'best kept secret' and a proper speakeasy bar, Cecil's provides live music and The Last Dance Saloon on a Saturday until 'Late'. Accessed via a dodgy looking alleyway, as any good speakeasy should be!
The Rumpus Room - Mondrian Hotel - Waterloo One of the best bars in London and therefore the world perhaps. Iconic view of the City and an expansive terrace to enjoy the river and the view. Cocktails aren't cheap and neither is the look that most of the guests (and staff) are rocking, but its worth every penny.
The Shard - London Bridge Quarter With Aqua Shard on level 31 (but with a 3 storey high atrium) and GONG at level 52 (the highest bar in London), the Shard is an extraordinary experience. Its not cheap, but it is very, very special. Try to get there at sunset for the best of the views both day and night. Aqua doesn't take reservations but the exclusive GONG will need one.
Village East - London Bridge A New York feel to this bar and restaurant on Bermondsey Street make for a great atmosphere. Plenty of space, huge cocktail menu and comfy sofas make it a real memorable night out. They even have special cocktails on tap from a beer keg! Strawberry and Basil gin anyone?
Topolski - Waterloo Relatively new to the area, this bar is named after the famous Polish artist and occupies his former studio space with his works on display. Its a bit grunge but madly eclectic. Polish based food and drinks form part of the experience and DJs provide a wide variety of sounds on Fridays.
Doodle bar - Battersea The Doodle bar allows punters to draw on the walls, play a bit of ping pong and enjoy some of the theatre and alternative arts of their event space - Testbed. You might find yourself in the middle of a life drawing class, potting plants or watching a spanish language film. With cocktails flowing freely, you are guaranteed a cracking, if surreal, night out.
Franks café and Campari Bar - Peckham Open in the summer season, this bar has spectacular views of London from a brutalist car park. Events are varied, and range from classical concerts to a theatre piece involving a choir, beat boxers and parkour.
The Cut Bar - Waterloo Attracting a mix of young and old, but with the theatre in common, this has a buzzy and friendly atmosphere in a light and airy building. It manages to not feel like a theatre lobby bar even though the theme is everywhere. Good food too and a first floor terrace perfect for watching the world go by on The Cut, which provides excellent people-watching opportunities.
Bedales Bar - Borough market A traditional wine bar in Borough Market which still feels tucked away enough to be a 'find'. It serves lovely artisan food, and the setting feels like something out of Harry Potter. The atmosphere is ready-made and its easy to get dug in, especially in the tiny basement. Not the cheapest and the tourists can invade, but still a great little wine-bar, and a change from the brassy cocktail joints.
The Rake - Borough The choice of beers is constantly rotating, with an average of 130 beers in the fridges, as well as ciders, wines and soft drinks. On the edge of the market is a quirky addition to the area. They take their beer seriously and a sign above the bar says 'No Crap on Tap!' Its small but worth a visit for the connoisseurs.
The Hide Bar - London Bridge Serving a variety of 30 cocktails, from their supply of 500 different spirits and with mixologists to help choose the right one for you, this place is worth a visit. Beer is on tap from the well-loved Meantime Brewery. For real fans, there are Tuesday cocktail master-classes, when you can let your imagination run wild.
Bermondsey Arts Club - London Bridge A great speakeasy in a public toilet ('former' toilet rather). It's jazzy and cool and difficult to find, as all great bars should be! A superb addition to the roster of new underground (literally in this case) bars in London Bridge.