Mr Fogg Quirky Bar in London

The UK’s quirkiest bars: Top 5 weird and wonderful venues

Guest Posts, Things to do

This week we wanted to treat the lovely readers from citysocializer to the inside scoop on some of the coolest bars around the UK. We set the challenge for the experts at DesignMyNight the UK’s leading nightlife guide to compile their pick of the quirkiest bars around and they came back with their top 5 weird and wonderful venues – we can’t wait to try them all:

Mr Fogg’s – Mayfair, London

Mr Foggs bar London

Only fitting in an exploration around the weird and wonderful bars of the UK, our first bar on this list is home of Victorian explorer, Phileas J. Fogg. An ode to the eccentric ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ traveller, Mr Fogg’s is full of carefully curated brik-a-brak and a cocktail list with influences from cities far and wide; from Suez to…Yokohama. The venue itself is a grand mish-mash of Victorian opulence with more worldly touches, like the cocktails served in Red Indian’s heads (yes, you heard me right) – either way, this amazingly bizarre venue is definitely worth a visit. One tip from us to you: go easy on the absinthe cocktails.   

Dusk til Pawn – Northern Quarter, Manchester

Dusk Til Pawn bar Manchester

An idle eye might miss this little number located in Manchester’s ever trendy Northern Quarter. Dusk til Pawn is a former fortune tellers den and conceals itself as a fake pawn shop. From the outside you’ll see old TVs, radios and clutter, but find the entrance and you’ll enter a secret speakeasy with oodles of unique character, slamming drinks and a jukebox soundtrack. One of Dusk til Pawn’s boasts is that their expert mixologists will whisk you up any concoction you so desire…even if it includes pepperoni (don’t ask).  One to look out for, literally.

Hillhead Book Club – West End, Glasgow

Hillhead Book Club Glasgow

Drinks served out of gramophones. Check. A caged ping pong area. Check. A Nintendo room. CHECK. The Hillhead Book Club doesn’t have a damn thing to do with books, and that’s why we love it so – expect taxidermy, banging cocktails and more breakout rooms than Google HQ. I mean, who doesn’t want to kick back with an ice cream Mojito whilst playing Mario Kart? This Glasgow favourite is a great place to catch up with friends but is also the epitome of raucous party come the weekends. Weird? Yes. Wonderful? Definitely.

The Prince of Wales – Moseley, Birmingham

The Prince of Wales Bar In Birmingham

A generic pub name made the list, I hear you ask? You’d be forgiven for glossing over this seemingly normal pub in Birmingham, but you’d be wrong. Wrong I tell you! Wander into the beer garden and that’s where the magic really happens. A cigar shop, cocktail lounge AND hidden tiki bar all can be found in the massive outdoor space at the back of The Prince of Wales. We were pretty caught off guard with this one, which only contributes to its charm. Talking of charm, make sure you pucker up and take a sit down on the ‘love benches’ at the back of the garden (awww).

Drink, Shop & Do – Kings Cross, London

Drink Shop Do London

With events like ‘Lego Robots’, ‘Apache Dance Class’, ‘Lionel Rich Tea’ and ‘Doodle Club’ –  there was no question that Drink, Shop & Do would make our top 5 weird and wonderful list. Whether you want to learn how to dance like Will Smith, fashion David Bowie’s head from a lump of clay, or perhaps just sup on some of their experimental cocktails – this is the place for you. With a host of oddball events to choose from, DS&D never fails to impress with its quirky antics. But don’t take our word for it, try it out for yourself!

Have you been to any of these bars? Can you think of the quirkiest bar in your city? Let us know in the comments.

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This post was written by

Luke Sillett

National Editor at Steadily drinking my way through the best clubs, bars and pubs in the UK.

  • John Combs

    Hillhead book club tries to be quirky but is just a corporate pub full of asshole staff. I have to question if anyone who recommends such a place has even been or just read the press material!

    • Luke Sillett

      Hi John – Yep, I have in fact been to the Hillhead Bookclub. Though I guess it’s not everyone’s cup of tea; I thought the gramophones, ping pong and general vibe were great – and have to say I loved it! As an aside, the staff were lovely on our visit too!