From 1600 feet high, to 120 metres long, to 1100 years old, as well as some of the most picturesque, take a look at our set of bucket list bars both at home and abroad that you have to try before you die.
AER – Mumbai, India
One of the most iconic and picturesque bars in all of the world the AER bar is perched on the 34th floor of the Four Seasons in Mumbai and boats 360-degree views of the city, with the ‘Sunset Happy Hour’ the most popular time to visit.
The high-energy lounge, which is one of the highest in India, is open to residents and public alike, and is kept abuzz by the resident DJ playing nightly sets of upbeat jazz, funk, house, club and a unique twist on classic hits from the '80s and '90s.
Ozone Bar – Hong Kong
Now if you thought that the 34th floor of the Four Seasons was vertigo-inducing then how about the 118th floor of the Ritz Carlton? Well if the thought of that scares you you’re in the right place for a stiff drink. In fact you’re in the highest bar in the world.
1600 feet up the aptly named Ozone Bar offers mesmerising views across the whole of Hong Kong whilst you can enjoy a wide range of signature cocktails, wines and champagne whilst listening to the latest and hottest tunes presented by a DJ.
You can choose to stay inside or venture out onto the roof terrace, although please note that even in Hong Kong it can get chilly being that high up.
Sean’s Bar – Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland
It’s not all about the location though. Sometimes it’s about the history. And when you’re talking about history how does a pub built 1100 years ago grab ya?
Needless to say Sean’s Bar in Athlone is in the Guinness Book Of Records for being the oldest pub in Europe (there’s still some confusing over whether it is the oldest pub in the world).
Athlone, translated into Irish is Atha Luain, meaning "the Ford of Luain." Luain was an innkeeper who guided people across the treacherous waters of the ancient ford. The crossing point and the pub date back to the year 900AD.
During renovations in 1970, the walls of the bar were found to be made of "wattle and wicker" dating back to the ninth century. Old coins which were minted by various landlords for barter with their customers were also found and dated to this period. The walls and the coins are on display in the National Museum. One section remains on display in the pub.
And for the record if you want to go to the oldest pub in England……well you’ll have a job as there’s no record on what is the oldest with no less than 4 places claiming the title, all of which are unable to prove it.
Atelie Wals - Olhos d’Agu, Brazil
And from the oldest, to maybe the newest. Atelie Wals is a brewery, bar, restaurant, and shop all in one that really is a work of art.
Exuding minimalist sensibilities with contemporary flair, the design is punctuated by a large sculptural wood roof, whilst inside the building features a bar area that pays homage to English-style India Pale Ale, while behind it is a large shelf full of bottles designed especially for the project. Up above is is a large canopy creating a theatrical appearance that is made from 135,000 cork stoppers.
In addition, seating area throughout is provided by sets of wood tables, as hundreds of wooden barrels scattered in the space also acts as a division for spatial areas.
Beer Barrel Saloon – Ohio, USA
This is another piece of history – The World’s Longest Bar. Located in downtown Put-in-Bay, on South Bass Island and affectionately called "The Barrel" by many islanders, the Beer Barrel boasts a 124 metres long bar, 160 bar stools, 56 beer taps and a total seating capacity of 1,200. On a busy night the bar employs over 20 bartenders and opens two extra bars in the back and side of the building.
On a fine day customers can choose between relaxing in air-conditioned comfort while enjoying some of the island's favorite entertainment, or taking in the beautiful lake view from the breezy and sunny outside patio and bar.
Sunland Pub - Modjadjiskloof, South Africa
Now if you thought the earlier mentioned 1100 year old Sean’s Bar was impressive for its longevity, then the Sunland Pub will leave you speechless!
This truly unique pub is within the hollow of a trunk of a 6000-year old Baobab tree – The age is disputed by ‘experts’ but let’s gloss over that.
This isn’t the reason it fails to make any lists of old bars mind you, that reason is due to the fact that it only took residence inside the tree in 1933. And if you’re thinking of visiting the bar and wine cellar be warned that it can only serve 15-20 patrons at any one time.
Le Bar Botaniste – Paris, France
While France’s most famous Bonaparte led the French Revolution, his great-nephew had a rather more sedate legacy: botany. Rolande Bonaparte, born in 1858, dedicated his life to science, amassing the world’s largest private plant collection of over a million botanic specimens, which he catalogued and stored in his stately palace on Paris’s Avenue d'Iéna. Today the palace is home to the justifiably grand Shangri-la Hotel, and while the plants may be gone, its bar is a foliage-filled ode to Rolande’s pet passion.
Tucked away behind green drapes and a living wall of plants, Le Bar Botaniste's theme is subtly referenced with various shades of green: from the pistachio ceiling and striped wallpaper to the forest-hued leather seats and the cucumber and dill-infused drinking water. An opulent gold chandelier and Regency-style furnishings lend the bar the air of a particularly sophisticated library or club-room; somewhere to retreat after dinner for a glass of something stiff.
The menu also keeping within the theme being focused around herbs, spices and botanically-infused spirits with a mixologist on hand to whip up whatever you desire.