November 2017: where to drink cocktails in London

October London cocktails Courtesan
Tim Firmager
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Vada Magazine rounds up the newest and hippest places to drink cocktails, in mainstream and fabulous alternative venues across London including a female spirits menu, a white forest party and London’s only rooftop ice rink.

cocktails in London Courtesan female spirits

Courtesan – for female spirits

Relaunched earlier this year, Brixton’s Courtesan is a dim sum restaurant, tea room and cocktail bar that we have previously featured here at Vada Magazine, and for good reason. While transporting guests to a world of exoticism and 1920s Shanghai, with neon lights, jade velvet booths and vintage artefacts throughout, Courtesan embraces diversity.

Officially launching this month the only concept like this we’ve seen in London, Courtesan has an all-female produced spirits list. The Courtesan owner has gone to extensive lengths to source female-run producers and head tasters.

Examples from this female led cocktail menu includes:

  • Opium (£9.90), made with Poppy Liqueur, Alchermes, Martell VSOP Cognac, Lapsang Souchong Tea and Beetroot Powder
Wang Zhaojun (£8.80) made with Violet Liquor, Jasmine Tea, Haymans London Gin and Finlandia Vodka
  • China Ghost (£8.50) made with Finlandia Vodka, Rose Liqueur, Lychee, Rose Peony Tea and Pomegranate Syrup
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Courtesan is located at 69 Atlantic Road, Brixton, London, SW9 8PU

Full details on the menu, cocktails and events available at

cocktails in London Madison White Forest

The White Forest at Madison

The famous London rooftop bar, Madison with views over St. Paul’s cathedral will be transformed this winter into a White Forest.
Open 9 November to 28 February 2018, White Forest will bring a festive spirit to the city complete with seasonal winter warmer cocktails and sharing boards, live music, and of course views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the London skyline.

Entering the wintery rooftop, there will be a canopy of twinkling lights, centre piece fire braziers and cosy up with faux fur wearable blankets to keep out those winter chills.

The bar team for White Forest at Madison have teamed up with CÎROC to create winter warmer cocktails including spiced hot buttered rum, warm apple pie hot toddies, mulled cider and spiked hot chocolates.

The White Forest at Madison will be open daily from 4pm until late. Booking is highly recommended.

White Forest Madison is located at 1 New Change, St Paul’s, London EC4M 9AF

Full details and bookings can be made at 

cocktails in London Skylight Tobacco Dock

Skylight rooftop bar and ice rink

Moving a touch east of the city is another rooftop bar with a difference. Skylight, which has launched a new winter season within a converted car park in Tobacco Dock in Wapping. Themed around an urban après skate bar, the East London venue plays host to delicious seasonal drinks – we recommend a round of Apple Crumble cocktails, fondue – who can say no to cheese, and London’s first rooftop ice rink.

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There are also DJs, an ice hockey shooting area, indoor and outdoor heated spaces across three levels, and fantastic views across the London skyline. This is a perfect post-work or weekend hangout, and we loved the neon-lit playground feel combined with cosy sheepskin rugs.

Entry to Skylight is free, and ice skating is priced at £10 for 45 minutes, with tickets sold onsite only and not available in advance. Cheese fondue will start at £14.95 per person with tables available to book in advance, and a chocolate fondue for £9.95 per person.

Skylight is open Thursday – Sunday until 11pm.

Skylight is located at Tobacco Dock, Pennington St. Car Park Entrance Wapping, London E1W 2SF.

For full details and to book, visit

About Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.