Happy Times in London

In our books, cheap London nightlife doesn’t mean a bottle of Lambrini on the sofa or illegally smuggling your own alcohol into venues; even on a tight budget you can afford to visit cocktail bars in London. The trick is simple…a grand old revival of humble happy hours in London!

Happy Hours in London
My mouth waters every time I ogle at a cocktail menu but once you slap ‘half price’ or ‘2 for 1’ on these babies, it just makes them all the more delicious. Wine and beer drinkers can benefit too, all you need is a little planning to point you in the direction for the best London happy hour bars.

A handy tool is www.designmynight.com, London’s first price comparison site for pubs, bars and clubs. The innovative and detailed search engine allows you to filter by location, budget and venue type. Easy! The creator of designmynight.com has even hand-picked a few particular drinking gems for us, to help you in your quest for the best happy hours in London.

Competition – Win a bar tab!

designmynight.com has 3 x £25 bar tabs for our readers to spend at Zoo Bar Soho, Verve Covent Garden or Ruby Blue Bar Leicester Square!

HOW TO ENTER: Tell us about your favourite London happy hour bar.

  • Leave your comment at the bottom of the blog
  • Include the venue name, address and happy hour details
  • Winners will be chosen at random
  • Deadline for entries is: 6pm GMT Friday 18 March 2011
  • Winners will be announced on HostelBookers Facebook page
  • Terms and Conditions below

CENTRAL

VERVE
Convent Garden
Verve is a stylish West End bar and club dominated by a glittering chandelier. It’s perfectly located for early (and cheap!) Friday night drinks before heading out on the town. The basement room will appeal to RnB fans and chart-loving clubbers.

Happy Hour Details
When: Daily, 5-8pm
The deal: 50% off all drinks & bar platters €9.50
Where: 1 Upper Saint Martin’s Lane

ZOO BAR
Soho
Disco and cocktails will keep you dancing until 3am in the quirky Zoo Bar. Conveniently located in Soho, this bar offers a vibrant night out and an extensive events calendar covering most days of the week.

Happy Hour Details
When: Daily, 5-8pm
The deal: Up to 50% off wine, Staropramen €3, cocktails from €5 & cocktail jugs from €12
Where: 13-17 Bear Street

BARRIO CENTRAL
Soho
You’re treading on Latino territory here, so happy hour goes by the name of ‘Amigo Hour’. Barrio Central is a Soho cocktail bar with quirky paraphernalia adorning the walls, a rum shack downstairs and deckchairs dotted about the place. Banging on weekends, it will also add a splash of colour to your midweek monotony.

Happy Hour Details
When: Daily, 4-8pm
The deal: Estrella Damm €2.40 & cocktails from €4.50
Where: 6 Poland Street

RUBY BLUE BAR
Leicester Square
Swooning singers and soft tinkling from pianists are the right touch for early drinks and dinner in the restaurant, but the volume is aptly turned up later in the night for those who’s toes are starting to tap and feel that dancing should be on the cards.

Happy Hour Details
When: Daily, 5-8pm
The deal: 50% off all drinks, bar platters €9.50
Where: 1 Leicester Place, Leicester Square

BAR SOHO
Soho
As you’d expect from an Old Compton Street bar, it’s lively and buzzing with both people and DJs all the while serving up food platters and cocktail staples ’til late.

Happy Hour Details
When: Daily, 5-8pm
The deal: 50% off drinks & bottles of wine from €8
Where: 23-25 Old Compton Street

EAST

BLUU BAR
Shoreditch
A large cocktail bar, bang in the middle of Shoreditch on Hoxton Square. This bar is always busy on the weekends and DJs entertain the crowds later in to the night.  There are slouchy sofas on the mezzanine level and intimate booth seating. We fancy the Apple and Peach Caipirinha with its heady splash of English cider.

Happy Hour Details
When: Daily, 5-8pm
The deal: Lager pints for €2.40, glass of wine €3.30 & ‘2 for 1’ cocktails from any of the ‘Something Bluu’ menu
Where: 100 Hoxton Square

BAR KICK
Old Street
Liven up your evening drinks with your mates at this part bar, part Foosball emporium. The place has a Latin lilt noticeable in the beer selection and tasty dishes of grilled chorizo and Spanish cheeses.

Happy Hour Details
When: Daily, 4-7pm
The deal: Beer of the day €2.40 & cocktails €5.90 each
Where: 126-127 Shoreditch High Street

SOUTH

LOST SOCIETY
Clapham
Caught somewhere between Wandsworth and Clapham Common, The Lost Society has to be one of the best small clubs in London. It’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the other Clapham Common bars and their array of unusual beers make this place all the more unique. Weekends are busier but it’s worth it for the DJs and top tunes.

Happy Hour Details
When: Tues to Fri 5-8pm; Sat 12-4pm; all day Sunday
The deal: Range of cocktails €5.40 each
Where: 697 Wandsworth Road

BAR SOCIAL
Clapham
One of our south of the river selections is Bar Social in Clapham. A stylish cocktail lounge, the bar is manned by bar tenders who execute their profession with genuine skill to justify the award-winning cocktails they muddle together. This bar will add a slight touch of the Mayfair to your night out making it a slick choice for sipping away the evening.

Happy Hour Details
When: Sun to Thurs 4-11pm; Fri 4-10.30pm; Sat 4-8.30pm
The deal: Two (of the same) cocktails for €9.80, two (of the same) selected beers for €6.60 & Jaeger Bombs €4.70
Where: 245 Lavender Hill

For more happy hours, drinks promotions, vouchers or simply great nights out to suit your budget, visit www.designmynight.com: London’s first price comparison site for pubs, bars and clubs.

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Terms & Conditions

  1. Entry into this competition is free and must be made in accordance with these terms and conditions.
  2. The ‘Top happy hour tip’ competition is run by designmynight.com in collaboration with HostelBookers Ltd.
  3. The ‘Top happy hour tip’ competition is open to anyone aged 18 and over.
  4. The ‘Top happy hour tip’ competition is not open to employees of HostelBookers (HB), their family members, HB’s agents, or anyone professionally connected with the promotion.
  5. The competition will run from 00:01 GMT 25 February 2011 and will close at 00:00 GMT 18 March 2011, answers submitted after this time will not qualify.
  6. Unless otherwise stated participants enter the competition by posting their answer to the question “What is your top happy hour tip for London?” as a reply thread on the HostelBookers blog.
  7. To qualify the blog post must contain the applicant’s recommended Happy Hour tip including venue name, address and happy hour details (type of drink and cost).  The participant must include their full name and working email address.
  8. By entering the competition the applicant agrees to participate in such promotional activity, including but not limited to automatic subscription to the HostelBookers newsletter and designmynight.com’s ‘MyDesigner’ programme, and prize winners will be mentioned on HostelBookers’ Facebook and blog.
  9. Only one entry per person is permitted.
  10. Three winners will be chosen at random from qualifying entries by designmynight.com, and will be announced by 25 March 2011, on Facebook, via our blog and email.
  11. Prizes are awarded by designmynight.com and each prize consists of one £25 bar tab to be redeemed at a pre-determined venue.  Participating venues are Zoo Bar (13 – 17, Bear Street, Soho, London, WC2H 7AQ), Verve (1 Upper Saint Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9NY) and Ruby Blue Bar (1 Leicester Place, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7BP).
  12. No cash or other alternative is available to any of the prizes.
  13. Each bar tab must be redeemed by the recipient prior to 30 June 2011.
  14. Each bar tab prize is to be used by one person only and is to be redeemed during the one visit.
  15. Each bar tab is available for claiming at any time and day of the week, subject to booking availability.
  16. Participating venues have the right to ask for personal Identification to verify the winner and those accompanying the winner are aged 18. If no valid Identification is presented, the venue has the right to refuse serving the winner and those accompanying the winner.

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