Hong Kong is a city that I am more than familiar with now, having been more times than I can remember. When it comes to bars, the city hits the mark in a big way; from hidden speakeasy’s, skybars perched on top of the highest skyscrapers, all night drinking dens and bars serving sophisticated cocktails. Bars pop up every day across the city, so here are some of the must goto bars right now.
In a building dating back to 1888 that used to be the famous Woo Cheong Pawnshop, The Pawn is a unique restaurant and bar concept. The restaurant is run by renowned chef Tom Aikens who is the youngest British chef to win two Michelin stars and serves up traditional Brit favorites. The ‘Botanicals Bar’ is a comfortable living room-like space with two bars and both indoor and outdoor seating. The Pawn is most proud of their Russian mixologist who has won several international awards, so you can expect some impressive and innovative cocktails. The Pawn has worked with various collaborators to add unique touches to the bar including a designer to make custom furniture and Hawkes and Grieves to stylishly kit out their staff. With DJs on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, this bar is a great place for after-work meet-ups or weekend chill-outs.
Inspired by the pin-up girls of 1950s USA, the Varga Lounge is a mashup of nostalgic music, and kitsch décor, peppered with vibrant artwork (which is all for sale) and delicious cocktails. Self-described ‘maximalist’ in style, this compact bar is a cross between a luxurious 70s lounge and a 50s stage siren’s boudoir. Spread across two floors, the bar is often packed given its relatively small size. The atmosphere is lively and the duke box is always playing a varied repertoire of retro music from 20s swing to 70s disco via Broadway show tunes. This bar is ostentatious and totally OTT but luxurious and comfortable all the same.
Skybar at Hotel Indigo Hong Kong
Skybar may be small but it makes up for this in style and incredible views looking out over Hong Kong. This city has an abundance of skyscrapers so cocktails with a view are de rigueur in HK. Skybar at Hotel Indigo stands out from the others though thanks to its adjoining glass-bottomed infinity pool which allows a stress-free pool to bar transfer. The intimate rooftop bar has floor to ceiling glass doors that give an indoor-outdoor feeling and allow easy movement between the bar itself and out to the terrace to enjoy the vista. The décor has a contemporary and indulgent feel much like Hong Kong itself, with contrasting textures of shining sleek metals and opulent red velvet and chenille. The bar is well-stocked and staff knowledgeable although we would suggest trying the Lychee Martinis as they are city-renowned.
Another bar with amazing views over the city, Sevva is often considered to have one of the best. This sleek penthouse bar lives atop the Prince’s Building and has unrivalled 360 degree panoramas of Hong Kong. Décor is sophisticated but modern – think dark wood with flashes of bronze and copper. Smooth jazz filters throughout the bar and the penthouse has an impressive collection of valuable art giving the place a certain refined quality. The bar claims to have the best signature cocktails in the city but be warned Sevva charges a premium for drinking in its surroundings. Get your glad rags on for a classy evening amongst the skyscrapers at Sevva.
This secretive bar hidden away behind a hand-made umbrella boutique can only be accessed by those in the know. Visitors have to touch a specific umbrella handle to gain admission to the concealed bar through an unmarked entrance. If you can get in, the Foxglove Bar promises an evening of relaxed glamour in an extensive 20s/30s style bar. The experience feels pretty genuine – the Foxglove is reminiscent of the hidden away speakeasies of the prohibition era, not only in décor (by Nelson Chow), but also in the feeling of comradery amongst patrons who are all in on the secret. Low lighting, lots of sumptuous leather, dark wood with touches of gold and an impressive menu of original cocktails, mean this bar feels much more underground New York than fast-paced Hong Kong. If you get the chance, check out the VVIP room lined with shelves of books and full of comfy club chairs.