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London has been perfecting the art of drinking for two millennia and counting. (We blame the Vikings.) Its late-night pubs and glittering lounges have been home to momentous bits of cultural history: They're where Shakespeare found inspiration, where Lenin met Stalin, and where The Sex Pistols first stepped onto stage. And that richness seeps its way into every posh lounge, gritty speakeasy, and skyscraping aerial watering hole you can come across, from Edgware to Tooting. Pair that with the new wave of nightlife innovators and you've got a city whose bar scene rivals Paris, Hong Kong, and – dare we say it – The Big Apple. Bar and mixology heavyweights like Byran Pietersen and Alex Kammerling have not simply been keeping up with trends, but redefining rules and setting new benchmarks for London nightlife. Not to put too fine a point on it, London's bars have never been so imaginative and refreshing, and no visitor to the city should miss out. Whether you're after the true aristocrat experience along the Strand, or cashing in your street cred down Hackney's shadowy crevices, we've painfully selected the ten bars to leave you with stars in your eyes (and quite possibly a pounding in your head come morning).