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We like our drinks with a dash of strange. It’s not just the oddly named ones, it’s also bars that make it hard for drinkers to find them. Luckily for you (and your Instagram feed), we did a little digging and gathered directions to five hidden watering holes serving cocktails worth discovering.


The Dead Canary |Cardiff, Wales

Located in an isolated alleyway in Cardiff’s city center, this hard–to–find bar greets you with an industrial steel door, an empty birdcage and a buzzer. There’s no name or address, but once you’re in, it’s a 1920s style speakeasy with velvet couches, dark wood, and cocktails like “Way of the Ninjah” or “Dead and Dirty.”


The Blind Pig | London, England

Walk in and there’s nothing to see. Keep going back and up a narrow flight of stairs, and there’s a lounge with antique mirrored ceilings, a copper–topped bar and cocktails made with technical precision and a shot of attitude. For example, the “Kindergarten Cup,” made with Skittles–infused vodka, or the Pooh–themed “Hunny Pot,” featuring rum, salted butter and mead.


Hoot the Redeemer | Edinburgh, Scotland

Located down a flight of steep stairs beside Bella Italia is a fun house themed bar featuring boozy ice cream and slushies. There’s “Oreos over Dublin,” “Whisky and Dark Chocolate,” and a selection of wine–infused sorbets.


Boilermaker | Nottingham, England

At first glance, this Nottingham watering hole looks like a sketchy electronics shop – there’s even a sullen salesman standing guard (aka the bouncer). But walk through the “staff room” door near the sink and you’ll find strong drinks, reasonable prices, and comfortable chairs. To quote: “The aim is for you to chill, our method is booze, and the playground is Boilermaker.” Enough said.

The Maven | Leeds, England

Head to Call Lane and follow the staircase to find a bar hidden behind blacked–out windows. Though it’s hard to find by design, if you’re really mixed up, the bartenders will text directions. Once inside, grab a seat and drink in both the stylish scene and bespoke cocktails and be happy you’ve arrived. 


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