RUM-pa-pum-pum: Pick Your Holiday Poison in London’s Best Drinking Dens!

The pandemic has forced all of us to hole up within the safety of our homes, hindering us from going out with friends at our favorite restos and bars. But putting the current issues aside, it would be good to plan your next outdoor drinking session with friends so you better start reading up on the best drinking spots in the London area.

Note that health protocols and other safety measures must be strictly observed if going out. Plan nights-out with consideration to crowd density to avoid being exposed to lots of people.

Trader Vic’s

The first thing that demands our attention is Trader Vic’s all-out Hawaiian diner interiors. Complete with a bamboo bar, a (carpeted) tiki hut, and the background music, this restaurant transports customers to a Polynesian food paradise.

The menu features the traditional seafood, meat, and fruit, but the bar is the game changer. For starters, the bar serves cocktails in bizarre and unique manners such as with the signature wild-eyed zombie head, rum barrel keg, canoes, and sharing bowls shaped like pearl-lined clams. Trader Vic’s is also the home of the original Mai Tai cocktail. Exhibiting creativity and high quality of service are the qualities that push lovely people in the city of London to return and patronize the restobar everytime.

Trailer Happiness on Portobello Road

Known for its Caribbean-style snack food and kitsch-filled interiors, Trailer Happiness specializes in serving cocktails in the Tiki and exotic drink style together with popular classics and their own originals. Its interiors offer a retro, Polynesian style 70’s living room vibe that’s sure to make its visitors feel at home while enjoying their award-winning concoctions.

This basement bar is easily the best and the original one in town, and it’s proven by the long-time patronage of locals rooting all the way from 2003. It’s also the go-to place of the best bartenders in town on their days off, and this just solidifies the deal that Trailer Happiness gives nothing but good drinks!


Unlike the previous Polynesian-inspired menus and motifs, Floripa is a favela-style Brazilian bar located in Shoreditch, offering an incredible cocktail menu and London-Brazilian fusion of food.

The ambience screams South American influences as you are engulfed by dancey samba sounds, and if you happen to be there on a weekend, live bands will serenade you as you drink Floripa’s flaming cocktails. With this atmosphere and food quality, there’s no doubt that you’ll do a samba on your way to the dance floor.


Another Caribbean restaurant, Cottons is a colorful and laid-back dining place that offers its own modern take on Caribbean food and drinks. The resto mainly serves fritters, coconut seafood soups, jerk chicken, curried mutton, rice and peas, fried plantain, Caribbean roti, and callaloo. If you’re planning to bring friends around, you’re in good hands because group meals are affordable and very much worth what you’re paying for.

A fun fact about Cottons is that its Notting Hill branch is a record-holder for having the biggest rum selection in the world—a whopping 372 rare varieties to sample! Big flex alert!

Cottons was originally founded in Camden in 1985 but it now has newer branches in Notting Hill, Shoreditch, and Vauxhall.

The Rum Kitchen in Brixton

Seemingly a celebrity favorite, The Rum Kitchen is a 2012-born Carribean-influenced brand that has easily squirmed into the hearts (and tummies) of locals and tourists alike. It offers a wide variety of rum coupled with menus that show off crowd meal favorites as well as new twists on classics, making it one of the go-to restaurants for people who crave for their Caribbean cocktail fix.

According to reviews, the resto is all about chicken; chicken in jerk barbeque gravy, chicken wings in hot sticky sauce, and crispy buttermilk-fried chicken. The menu also offers slow-cooked curries and pulled pork burgers. These meals could be ordered for solo dining or for sharing… whichever is demanded by one’s appetite.

The Soho branch in Kingly Court is decorated by Caribbean interiors that show in the bar’s motif, and other interior decor items include hanging oil drums, sunburnt signs, and wall hangings that really bring the vibe of living the island life. It also features a space for dancing!

Ellen Hollington

Ellen Hollington is a freelance writer who offers to ghostwrite, copywriting, and blogging services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.