Cocktails? In the city? In this economy? Go on, then

Bedford Square. Nice place. You may have walked across it on your way to the British Museum and thought to yourself: My, what a handsome collection of grade II-listed Georgian townhouses.

You might have gone on to think: You know what might make it even better? The return of London’s ultimate alfresco cocktail festival. Well, thanks to Cocktails in the City, that’s exactly what you’re going to get. More than 50 of the capital’s most-adored bars are going to be appearing as outdoor pop-ups in Bedford Square across the summer. It’s going to be absolutely crawling with mixologists.

The first event, taking place June 17-19, will be a big celebration of bars in general. They have had a pretty crap time of it recently, after all. Coupette, Nightjar, Bar Swift and Bourne & Hollingworth are just a few of the names that will be setting up shop. Ten percent of ticket revenue will go towards The Drinks Trust, an organisation that supports drink-industry folk adversely affected by the pandemic. 

The one after that (July 23-24) has a kind of immersive worldwide theme, to make up for the fact most people haven’t done any international travel for a while. Venues taking part include Laki Kane, Kosmopol, TT Liquor and Café Pacifico. The final weekend (August 20-21), as far as I can tell, is just a massive party with loads of street food, outdoor games and live music. Don’t know why I said ‘just’, like putting on a big party with food, booze and dancing is the most straightforward thing in the world. It sounds great. 

Tickets to each event cost 20 quid and include a free cocktail. Get yours here.

London’s best outdoor bars.

The beer gardens we rate. 

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