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In this well-trodden patch of London, it’s still possible to discover lesser-known gems. At these charming boltholes, you’ll be a step ahead of the crowds.

  • Soho Sky Terrace

    Courthouse Hotel, 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7HL
    With a coveted view over Carnaby Street, this hotel rooftop bar is a little-known escape from Soho’s buzz. Though it’s something of a daytime suntrap, blankets are provided for when the chill sets in. Prices are pretty reasonable considering for a central location.
  • Opium, The Jade Door

    15–16 Gerrard Street, London W1D 6JE
    Behind a discreetly-marked green door in Chinatown, Opium’s three floors are a mecca for those in search of hedonism with a side of dumplings. Hunker down with some contemporary dim sum, or sample the Apothecary Bar’s Asian-inflected cocktail list.
  • Trisha’s

    57 Greek St, London W1D 3DX

    Behind an anonymous blue door, down some slightly shabby stairs, you’ll find Trisha’s (aka New Evaristo Club, aka The Hideout), a strange little bar that, thanks to its diminutive size and eclectic clientele, has the air of a private party.

    The lack of personal space adds to its charm; come prepared to make friends and stay late.

  • The Vault

    3 Greek Street, London W1D 4NX
    Accessed via Milroy’s, London’s oldest whisky shop, this place lurks behind a bookcase – once that’s pushed aside a tiny staircase leads to the subterranean bar. Feeling like a Bond villain yet? Order a Smoking Gun cocktail, and they’ll smoke the whisky in front of you.

Image credits: © Jamie Lau; © Jamie Lau; © Jamie Lau; © Jamie Lau; © Jamie Lau