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Hen's Guide to

Last Updated 01/04/2016

South of the Thames is oh-so-achingly cool. It’s fun, quirky and loud – with a gorgeous stream of the busiest and best bars in the capital. This deliciously decadent and sinful zone has a huge selection of nightlife treats, cocktail bars and out of this world clubs – encompassing a massive and vibrant area to drink, dance and flirt the night away.

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Clapham

Three tiled images - including two cocktails in martini glasses, a bartender pouring champagne into four yellow cocktails, and two women making sparks on stage

Clapham is the epicentre of all things South London. It’s the crazy, exciting younger sister of West London. Aquum is chic and glamour personified. This SW bar has a real trendy vibe during the day, and effortlessly flows into the place to see, and be seen in, as darkness falls. It’s spread over three sprawling floors, with a basement bar and a VIP mezzanine bar, as well as a Pan-Asian food menu, expert in-house mixologists and delicious cocktails – with ingredients kept a closely guarded secret. Dirty Martini is another silky smooth spot on Clapham High Street. Dedicated to the classic martini (hence the name), this place draws in an exclusive crowd, sipping cocktails in the swanky interior. Set directly opposite Aquum, and a four minute stroll from Dirty Martini, lies SO.UK Winner of Best DJ Bar in 2015 – this popular Clapham joint is new-age. It’s all premium spirits, magnums of uber-posh champagne, Asian-inspired cuisine, fabulous cocktails and even famous faces.

Balham

Three tiled images - including a black and white image of people dancing, one of four cocktails lined up on a bar, and one of the bar and cashier tills at Lost and Found bar, London

Two tube stops down the road from Clapham Common, you’ll stumble across Bohemian Balham. There are plenty of hip and cool bars lining the bustling streets, alongside ironic, hipster boys in their tortoise shell glasses, plaid shirts and vintage trainers. This place is also the perfect spot to experience London’s madcap nightlife, due to its close proximity to the Underground and National Rail stations. Lost & Found is the sassiest spot on Bedford Hill. This gorgeous, cocktail paradise has a delightfully whimsical drinks menu the length of your arm, featuring cool concoctions – such as Daddy’s Hip Flask, served in an actual hip flask, and Alice, drunk out of a steel top hat.

Brixton

Three tiled images - including one of a woman dancing with lights flashing around her, one of men and women on a dance floor, and one of a group of people dancing

Brixton, once synonymous with all-nighters and hardcore gatherings, has gone upmarket. From craft beer joints, to rustic venues, to quirky bars and stylish cocktail lounges – the future is seriously bright in Brixton. The Courtesan, a hidden dim-sum and cocktail bar, is a slice of China, right on Atlantic Road in the heart of South London. It has all the charming characteristics of the bustling country – with beautiful orchids by the windows, red hanging lanterns, dark, vintage décor and exquisite oil paintings. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find Club 414. This place is home to the capital’s dance-psytrance-techno-trance and house community. It’s well known around town, with two rooms – including a dance club and chill-out area for when all that celebrating gets a little too much. There’s even a huge, open roof terrace for those balmy nights in London town. You can also enjoy these nights at The Grand Union Brixton - famed for it's Pleasure Garden. This is London's most popular beer garden, filled with fairy lights, al fresco drinking and quirky tables.

Battersea

Three tiled images - including a bartender mixing a cocktail, the seating area and tables at Lost Angel, London, and the bar and tables at Bunga Bunga

Battersea, Clapham’s effervescent next door neighbour, is not just home to a huge power station. This area has come on leaps and bounds over the years, and is now uber-stylish and chic. Bunga Bunga is one of the most unique spots on Battersea Bridge Road. It’s dedicated to the playful and cheesy side of Italy – the ‘naughty’ former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is the bar’s actual poster boy. There are political caricatures and Roman busts on the walls, and even vintage mopeds hanging from the ceilings. It’s colourful and crazy – and try to take some time out for the tangy Berlusconi Bellini. Lost Angel is another longstanding Battersea institution, dedicated to old Britain. There’s a picture of the Queen on the wall, a typewriter in a traditional phone box. They even have Tea Party Saturdays, as well as Bloody Mary Sundays.

The South London scene is unlike any other in the party capital – you’ll be completely seduced by the cool and hip glamour. You can find out even more of our fabulous range of options on our London hen weekends page.