London’s nightlife scene is always evolving, and immersive experiences are the latest trend in the UK capital. A new crop of interactive bars has opened in the past year, offering a range of extraordinary experiences, with themes ranging from the old west to pirates to dystopian future realities. These bars go beyond a typical “themed” environment and instead immerse you into a new world (if only for a couple of hours). Whatever your interests are, one of these themed bars in London is sure to make for the perfect night out in the UK capital.
I was invited to review some of these experiences for free, but all opinions are my own.
The Grid is a newcomer to the immersive bar scene, and it offers one of the most unique nights out in London. This experience is best described as a “Black Mirror”-esque escape room-meets-cocktail bar. When you enter, you’ll don a silver jacket and head into the “Neosight” AI laboratories before joining the resistance against the evil technology organization. The experience is incredibly themed, and the cast does an amazing job of immersing you into the dystopian sotryline. The Grid costs 29.99 GBP per person, and the experience includes 2 cocktails.
Pirates of the Hidden Spirit
If you love pirate movies, or if you want to take up a life of swashbuckling, this is the experience for you. Pirates of the Hidden Spirit is a pirate-themed bar set on a replica of a 16th-century ship. That’s right- for this experience, you’ll be going below deck on the exact type of ship pirates used to sail the high seas! The premise Pirates of the Hidden Spirit is that you’ve joined a crew of sailors to sail a swath of riches back to the United States! Of course, things don’t go quite as planned, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise! The actors at this production are amazing, and the unique setting on a ship makes this a truly one-of-a-kind experience. The experience costs 34.99 GBP and includes three drinks, and it’s available Thursday-Saturday with multiple seatings each night.
Head back in time to the old American west at Moonshine Saloon. Drink alongside moonshiner Clyde Cassidy and watch out for the sheriff as the night unfolds! Moonshine Saloon, like Pirates of the Hidden Spirit and Alcotraz, is a theater-like experience that includes actor interactions and an immersive storyline that you get to take part in. Fans of Westworld or old western movies will love Moonshine Saloon. This is a BYOB experience, in line with it moonshiner theme, so be sure to bring an unopened bottle of liquor with you! Moonshine Saloon is open Thursday-Saturday, and it costs 33.99 GBP, which includes the experience and 3-4 cocktails made with the liquor you bring.
Once you’ve experienced the criminal life at Moonshine Saloon, serve your time at Alcotraz Penitentiary. Alcotraz is themed after the pop culture surrounding its namesake, Alcatraz, the infamous California prison. Like Moonshine Saloon, this is a BYOB experience where the bartender makes cocktails using the liquor you “smuggle into prison.” This experience costs 33.99 GBP, and it’s open Wednesday through Sunday.
Check out my full review of Moonshine Saloon and Alcotraz for more details about these experiences.
Breaking Bad fans and chemistry nerds, rejoice! ABQ London is one of the omost popular themed bars in London. Unlike the bars listed so far that have a distinct storyline and actors, ABQ allows you to cook up your own Breaking Bad-themed cocktails using molecular chemistry. Put on your hazmat suit and hop into the RV to create your own cocktails with flavored foam and changing colors. The whole experience is so exciting and hands-on, and there are so many Breaking Bad references. The cocktail-cooking experience costs 35 GBP and includes 3 drinks. Upstairs, try your hand at one of the Breaking Bad-themed arcade games in the shot bar- your game score determines the type of shot you get!
Check out my full review of ABQ London for more information about one of my favorites of these themed bars in London.
Are you a history buff? Do you have a penchant for puzzles? The Bletchley is an escape room-meets-spy bunker cocktail experience set during World War Two. Help the Allied powers solve puzzles to end the war, and get some great cocktails along the way! There are different levels of difficulty, depending on how ambitious you’re feeling that day. I chose the middle level, and it was fun and just a little challenging. I brought my parents to The Bletchley for my dad’s birthday, and they absolutely loved the experience. This experience costs 34.99 GBP per person and includes 3 drinks.
I’ve dedicated a full review to The Bletchley – check it out for more information.
The Best Themed Bars in London
Whether you want to spend your night as a raucous pirate or a World War Two spy, these themed bars in London are sure to make for a memorable night out. I’ve visited every one of these bars, and each experience has been so unique and incredibly well-themed. If you’re visiting London, be sure to book an experience (or all six) for an unforgettable time. Most of these experiences cost around 30 GBP, last around 1.5-2 hours, and include a costume to wear during the themed experience. If you have allergies, or if you want to avoid alcohol, just let the bar know ahead of time and they can accommodate. I’ve seen bachelorette parties, work groups, and more during my visits to these bars, so I’d highly recommend them for any upcoming events you have. In fact, I’m already planning to go back to some of these bars when my friends and family come visit me in London!
Which bar do you want to visit?