Do you want to mingle with the locals in London? Head to Hoxton and Shoreditch, two neighbourhing areas that are home to some of London's most coveted bars, bustling pubs and uber-cool rooftop hotspots.
Hoxton and Shoreditch bars
Sager & Wilde
Choose from more than 30 wines by the glass and a large by-the-bottle menu featuring selections from around the world at Sager + Wilde. There are plenty of small plates to accompany your choice of wine at this Hackney Road venue, including its famed cheese toasties.
Venture up to achingly cool Boundary Rooftop for 360-degree views of the London skyline, great cocktails and tasty food. Take your pick from the constantly changing seasonal cocktail menu and specialist list of gin and tonics, which you can pair with the likes of huge seafood platters and grilled steak.
Sample creations by Ryan Chetiywardana, AKA Mr Lyan, at Hoxton's Super Lyan. The menu created by award-winning mixologist focuses on classic cocktails with a twist, featuring ingredients such as stamp glue and beef tea. But don't be scared, you can trust Mr Lyan to create something truly delicious.
The Book Club
Join the fun at The Book Club, which has been a Shoreditch staple for years. The cocktails and food are consistently good; but what really sets this place apart is its events and parties. From guest DJs and bands keeping the basement dancefloor alive, to ping-pong tournaments and dance-along film evenings, there's always something new to liven up your night.
Venture through an unmarked door just off Old Street's roundabout and down some basement stairs, and you'll find opulent jazz den Nightjar. Settle down in the cosy booths as you listen to mellow tunes, and select cocktails that hark back to prohibition days from the menu printed on a pack of cards.
Take a seat at the 185-year-old oak tree trunk table at Black Rock and watch two rivers of whisky flow over the wood to the taps at the end. With roaming bartenders there to help you choose your poison, even whisky novices can be persuaded to try something new.
Hoxton and Shoreditch pubs
The Owl and Pussycat
Soak up the sun in the garden terrace or unwind in the spacious dining room at The Owl and Pussycat. There's reputedly been a pub on this spot since the 1600s; and this venue near Shoreditch High Street has kept things traditional with rotating ales on tap, a good-sized wine list and hearty British classics. Keep an eye out for regular events, including "meet the brewer" talks and live music.
The Water Poet
Find your spot in one of the many rooms at sprawling pub The Water Poet, near Old Spitalfields Market. Visit this popular hangout for a few drinks and stay for a bite eat, with generous Sunday roasts and a list of poetically inspired burgers featuring on its "pub grub" menu.
The Ten Bells
Explore The Ten Bells' dark past, which has rumoured links back to Jack the Ripper. Besides its fascinating history, this Spitalfields pub has a rotating selection of local craft beers, cocktails and locally sourced meat and cheese boards. Head to the upstairs bar to discover one of the regular pop-up themed bars.
The Old Blue Last
Rub shoulders with digital types, music lovers and fellow visitors at this lively pub between Shoreditch and Old Street. The Old Blue Last is spread over multiple floors, so there's plenty of space to dance to live music and DJ sets, 7 nights a week.
Work your way through the many craft beers on offer at BrewDog Shoreditch. Run by BrewDog craft brewery, this Shoreditch pub serves its own brews alongside a changing display of the team's favourite guest ales and IPAs. Tuck into burgers, hot dogs and pizzas, and ask the knowledgeable staff to pair the perfect pint.