Starting on the 5th October, the 6th edition of London Cocktail Week returns to the capital. Crowned as the biggest drinks festival in the UK, it has grown to attract record numbers with over 30,000 people expected to visit the event. This year’s edition has moved location, taking a nod from London Fashion Week and setting up the hub in the heart of Soho. It will also take up a week-long residency in Old Spitalfields Market, transforming the 1200 square foot space into a huge cocktail village.
Those who plan on visiting the Spitalfields site of LCW can expect a maze of bespoke pop-up bars, trucks, vans and even bicycles all serving up specially created cocktails. Alongside the medley of boozy concoctions, attendees will also be treated to a vast array of various street food stalls, and at the heart of the covered market will be a stage of live music.
Another must-experience is set to be the The House of Angostura pop-up, which will have DJs, delicious Angostura cocktails and more. In the heart of the West End, festival goers can discover a world of incredible mixology, exquisite spirits and unforgettable experiences in the home of the festival, the World Class Cocktail Week Hub. A luxury pop-up, it will delight and surprise guests with a host of bespoke drinking experiences in the multi-room hub. Wristbands and pocket guides will be available here, and guests will be able to roam from one room to another on a journey of discovery, ideal for curious newcomers and seasoned cocktail lovers.
There will also be the usual timetable of unmissable parties, including the glamorous World’s 50 Best Bars awards ceremony on Thursday 8th October, master classes, supper clubs and the renowned self-guided Cocktail Tour which will visit 250 of the best bars in the capital throwing open their doors to offer specially created cocktails for £5 to wristband wearers.
Siobhan Payne, Festival Director of London Cocktail Week said: ‘Having hit record numbers in 2014 with more than 22,000 guests attending the festival, we knew that London Cocktail Week was ready to move to an even bigger home. The London Cocktail Week Village in Old Spitalfields Market and the much bigger World Class London Cocktail Week Hub in Soho is definitely going to take the festival to that next level.’
One of the most anticipated events is the 24 Hour Bar Build, where 24 of the world’s best bartenders are making their way to London to host a 24-hour international bar clash and crown one city the World’s Best. Some of the most prestigious bars from New York, Paris, Singapore and London will be united under one roof for the first time to compete in 24hr Bar Build. The four city teams will be tasked with developing a cutting-edge new cocktail bar concept. From designing the space to leading the physical build and inventing an inspiring new cocktail list, creating a social media buzz and then it’s down to the festival goers to decide.
The Buffalo Bourbon Empire pop-up will be returning for another year, allowing guests to taste some of the world’s greatest whiskey whilst they are transported back to the Buffalo Trace Distillery. From learning how to make cocktails to watching the hilarious comedy duo ‘The Thinking Drinkers’ there is a little bit of something for everyone.
There will also be the opportunity to delve into the Art of Blending with Chivas Regal: Chivas have been carefully selecting and blending whiskies since 1801 and this LCW guests can get an insight into the skill of a Master Blender. Popping up in The London Cocktail Week Village all week, visitors will be able to attend the Art of Blending experience and leave with their very own unique blend.
LCW wristbands cost £10 and are available now at LondonCocktailWeek.com. They are collected from the hub once the week begins, along with a free pocket sized bar guide mapping out all bars participating in the festival.