Cocktails in the City, celebrating drinks and bars, is coming back this summer with a series of weekend outdoor events in central London.
The festivals will feature over 50 of the capital’s finest bars reimagined in pop-up form in Bedford Square Gardens, a leafy oasis in the heart of Bloomsbury.
As England tentatively emerges from lockdown, the events will all be entirely outside, offering immersive drinking experiences focused on enjoying fantastic cocktails.
The first party, from 17 to 19 June, is designed as a celebration of the re-opening of London’s bar scene, with champagne and cocktails flowing. Bars taking part are due to include Coupette, Nightjar, Swift and Bourne & Hollingworth, serving up their signature cocktails over the weekend.
To provide extra support to bar staff affected by a year of closure and restrictions, 10% of each ticket will be going to The Drinks Trust, a charitable organisation that works to help people in the drinks industry who have been affected by the Covid pandemic.
The second event on 23 and 24 July has been dubbed “A World of Cocktail”, offering a chance to discover flavours and experiences from around the world at a time when overseas travel is still likely to be restricted.
It will draw on the incredibly diverse international bar influences found within London, from the Americas to Asia, from aperitivos to awamori, from tiki to Nordic aquavit, showcasing the capital’s global outlook and its most exciting cocktail talent. Bars due to take part include Laki Kane, Kosmopol, TT Liquor and Café Pacifico.
The third part of the summer programme will be “Festival of Drinks – The Ultimate Cocktail Festival” on 20 and 21 August. This is described as an immersive and interactive cocktail celebration alongside live music, street food vendors and games.
Edmund Weil, co-owner of London bars the Nightjar (pictured below), Oriole and Swift, said: “As an operator of three late-night London cocktail bars, we were hit hard by the restrictions from last March 20. Cocktails in the City provides the perfect opportunity to showcase our hospitality to guests again this summer.”
Andrew Scutts, founder of Cocktails in the City, added: “Bedford Square Gardens is the perfect wide-open and spacious setting for guests to rediscover, celebrate and support the welcome return of London’s world-class bar scene. We can’t wait to host a series of unforgettable weekends this summer: the bars are back and open for business.”
Each event will be split into ticketed sessions from midday to 4pm and from 5pm to 10pm. Each ticket costs £20 which includes a cocktail. Tickets at cocktailsinthecity.com/events/london-summer-series