13th October 2015

There's been an explosion of 'secret' venues over the last few years, popping up behind hidden doors, in basements and down alleyways. It all sounds a little sinister, but some amazing spots lie in these covert places, just waiting to be found by those in the know.

We all need a little mystery and excitement in our lives, so here are seven of the best for you to enjoy or use to create an event with a little je ne sais quoi...you'll just have to find them first.

1. Looking Glass Cocktail Club

OLD STREET

In a stylish speakeasy bar in the heart of Shoreditch lies a secret room. Behind an opulent floor to ceiling looking glass you’ll step into a wonderfully eccentric, secret world inspired by Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland.

An evening here is a whimsical journey, accompanied by delicious cocktails with tags that say ‘drink me’...it would be rude not to.

See photos and prices»

2. The Little Yellow Door

NOTTING HILL GATE

You’d be forgiven for walking straight past this West London venue, hidden in plain sight behind a bright yellow door. The only giveaway is the queue outside on a Saturday night for its acclaimed ‘house parties’.

Based on a fictional flatshare, five ‘flatmates’ welcome you into their home for dinner parties, drinks and old school flat parties at the weekend - you can also hire it exclusively. With mismatched furniture, menus written on magazines and drinks inspired by TV shows,

The Little Yellow Door has a quirky yet homely vibe and makes you feel like you’ve stumbled on the coolest party in town.

3. Barts

SOUTH KENSINGTON

Set in the 1920s prohibition era, Bart’s is run by ‘Chicago gangsters’ involved in illicit bootlegging activity. To keep their operation secret, the bar is located in a Sloane Avenue apartment, dressed up as the residence of Uncle Bart.

The decor could be described as junk-shop chic with chintz wallpaper, stuffed animal heads and cuckoo clocks, it’s certainly eccentric. There’s also an extensive list of cocktails, some served in top hats and tea pots, by bartenders in 1920s get-up.

Oh and don’t forget to join in the fun by throwing on something from the well-stocked trunk of fancy dress.

See photos and prices»

4. Purl London

BAKER STREET

Named after a 19th century drink sold on the streets of London, Purl is an underground 1920’s speakeasy you should know about.

It’s got a broody atmosphere, with leather booths and vintage furniture that you can sit back and relax in whilst watching an array of interesting and experimental cocktails being made.

Chandeliers, photos of gangsters adorning the walls and dimmed lighting transport you to a sophisticated prohibition era bar.

See photos and prices»

5. The Doodle Bar

CLAPHAM JUNCTION

The Doodle Bar is hidden down an alleyway within an old warehouse near Battersea Park, not somewhere you’d stumble across. It’s a venue designed to promote creativity with TESTBED1 as a backdrop, an arts and events space.

You can literally make your mark on the venue, as you’re encouraged to unleash your inner child and doodle all over the walls and take part in ping pong tournaments. It’s got a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for low-key events.

6. Opium Chinatown

LEICESTER SQUARE

Find it behind a jade door in Chinatown, when the amber light is on, you can go in.

Spread over three floors of a townhouse, a labyrinth of rooms make up this intriguing venue. East meets West in this Chinese-influenced bar, you can sit in retro armchairs as the smell of incense drifts by, try dim sum in the Dining Room and mysterious concoctions in the Apothecary Bar.

Visiting the toilets is also an experience as you’ll be greeted by rather loud Mandarin announcements over the speakers.

See photos and prices»

7. The Lucky Pig

REGENTS PARK

A set of fairy lights adorning the staircase down to the venue are the only indicator that The Lucky Pig exists. Once you’ve found it, hidden down a back street in Fitzrovia, you’ll be greeted by a 1920s style bar with exposed brick work, shabby-chic decoration and cosy corners.

A solid list of classic cocktails and live music at the weekends make The Lucky Pig is a classy affair and a great venue for events.

See photos and prices»

For more amazing venues, head to hirespace.com