You can’t possibly start the night in West London anywhere else but Kensington. This area is swanky and sophisticated, and has more of a relaxed vibe than say Mayfair, or the West End - but that doesn’t mean it’s any less glamorous, and the bars on Kensington High Street prove that. The Kensington Roof Gardens, a London landmark for locals, are over one hundred feet in the air, set amidst 1.5 acres of rooftop gardens. This place is also home to the capital’s only rooftop private members club – it’s proper swish. And, as the door policy states ‘no effort, no entry’. Bodo’s Schloss is another to tick off the list. This Alpine inspired bar is as far away from Kensington as you can imagine. There are stag heads and sledges on the walls, waiters in lederhosen, a DJ playing from an old ski lift, Schnitzels and eccentric cocktails – including the Ski Boot, which is served in an actual ski boot and will set you back a whopping £80 – guaranteed to get you piste.
Chelsea, just down the road from Kensington, is for the high flyers. This area is brimming with top notch drinking options; from the glamorous likes of Juju to the Cuban paradise of Embargo Republica. Juju is Chelsea’s baby – it oozes sophistication with its sleek interior and extensive list of cocktails and spirits, with some even costing upwards of £700. It has even won awards, including Best Late Night Bar 2013 at The London Bar and Club Awards, and attracts everyone from royals to the Made in Chelsea cast. Embargo Republica is a slice of Cuban cool on the Kings Road – with a huge image of Che Guevara behind the bar, graffiti splashed on the walls, Latin tunes blasting and the largest rooftop terrace in Chelsea.
On the borders of Chelsea, Fulham is a palace for stag weekends. The area is rich in boozers, bars and proper plush clubs – including a pub dedicated to all things Bavarian. Octoberfest is a huge, wooden beer hall that serves 70 German beers to fill your tankard with, along with lederhosen clad entertainment – so get ready for the stein of your life. The Elk Bar is another hugely popular venue, with queues often up the street and epic drinks offers – including the delicious Tacos and Tequila option.
Notting Hill, just north of Fulham, is not only famous for the epic carnival. Due to its huge popularity with locals, and tourists alike, a whole load of pop-up restaurants, quirky bars and trendy clubs have opened their doors in recent years – and the Little Yellow Door is one of them. This place is seriously off-the-wall - based on a friendly flat share. Regulars have their own key to come and go as they please, menus are written on the back of magazines and you can even get your own personalised mug if you bring in a unique bottle of drink from home.
West London nightlife is not for the faint-hearted. It’s hedonistic, luxurious and you aren’t getting past the door in a pair of trainers. Find out more about West London celebrations on our stag weekends page.