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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Trader Vic's, London United Kingdom, London, United Kingdom (restaurant)
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Trader Vic's, London United Kingdom, London, United Kingdom (restaurant)
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5072
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-08-29 2:05 pm   Permalink


Nice photo, I just got that in the mail this weekend from cheery old England. What a great shot of the Trader Vic's bar area when if first opened.

Here a full scan of the original photo which is 8 X 6.

A close up of the table with the great lamps and napkins.

The bar area sporting some nice old Trader Vic's mugs.

Have some other stuff from London that I will post later.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5072
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-09-06 12:42 pm   Permalink

As promised, here is an early postcard I have from the London Trader Vic's.

The entrance

Close up of the dinning area with a glass wall looking into the Chinese Ovens.

The dinning room by the bar.

And, a Menehune matchbook.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 09, 2004
Posts: 1095
From: The Haole Hut, London, UK
Posted: 2013-07-08 01:24 am   Permalink

Went by the other day and noticed a sign saying "Closed for Refurbishment", the Barney West Ku is no longer outside.
Lets pray to the Gods they do it right

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 277
Posted: 2013-07-08 10:04 am   Permalink

According to their web site they will be closed for refurbishment from July 28th through August 16th. The Emeryville refurbishment in 2010 (also an "old school" location having opened in 1972, around the same time as London, Munich and Atlanta) was a big success so hopefully the London Trader Vic's will be better than ever.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5072
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2015-05-08 6:15 pm   Permalink

I stopped by the London Trader Vic's last summer on my way back from Paris after seeing Sven Kirsten's Tiki Pop exhibit. The place was amazing with all of the old original décor intact!

Love that tapa carpet!

It was during World Cup, so we watched some soccer in the Tiki Room over Mai Tais.

I recently acquired this old super size matchbook from the Trader Vic's in London. Never seen one like this before.


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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Posts: 924
From: Agoura Hills, CA
Posted: 2015-05-08 10:04 pm   Permalink


On 2015-05-08 18:15, Dustycajun wrote:
I stopped by the London Trader Vic's last summer on my way back from Paris after seeing Sven Kirsten's Tiki Pop exhibit. The place was amazing with all of the old original décor intact!

Love that tapa carpet!


Now that's some carpet I can get behind.

if it's not a little complicated, it's probably not worth it.
5 Minutes of Rum

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 12, 2015
Posts: 16
Posted: 2015-05-12 1:49 pm   Permalink

I was here last month. Will try to post pics soon. No mugs for sale and though she said she was "waiting for a shipment from San Francisco" I'm not sure if that was really the case or if they just didn't sell the mugs any longer. I literally would not leave the bar until they figured out how I was going to leave with one of the coconut mugs. They finally found one with a slight chip in the inner rim and just gave it to me. Hostess thought I was nuts. I thought she was beautiful. It all worked out. Had a nice dinner in the main dining room and drank two Mai Tais. Really great place.

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Joined: Oct 19, 2016
Posts: 10
Posted: 2016-11-14 05:17 am   Permalink

Just been to Trader Vics in London and thought I would update you on what's happening there as the last post seems to be a while ago. Went on a Saturday evening at around 6.30pm. A group of five people. We had pre booked for a meal in the restaurant. When we arrived it was not very busy, so we ordered drinks at the bar and I took the chance to have a good look around and took lots of photo's. Will not post as already lots of pics on the site. Staff were very friendly and the atmosphere was very good. I would definately pre book if you want a meal but OK to just walk in if having drinks or bar food. This would only apply if arriving early as you would not get in later without booking or are a resident at the Hotel. Door staff are big and very strict. Dress code is smart but casual (no trainers or tee shirts, and would not recommend a Hawaiian shirt as you would not get in and would look very out of place as nearly all the people in there do not really seem the slightest bit interested in Tiki). It is just another themed bar to most people. Throughout the evening I did not see another person who seemed slightly interested in the decor.

The decor is as to be expected and you will not be disappointed. The background music is Latin/Mexican and spoils the atmosphere completely. Our meal was very good and all waiting staff were excellent. The drinks were rather disappointing. We had five cocktails each throughout the evening and as already stated we were a party of five, so we gave the cocktail menu a good bashing. The drinks came in a variety of mugs, glasses and bowls so no complaints. The drinks all tasted quite different, but thats about it. About 80% of the drinks arrived with a straw, a chunk of floating lime and a sprig of mint. When ordering the same drink again it tasted completely different. I am not a heavy drinker by any means but after having five cocktails I walked out not feeling the effect of the drinks at all. Three decent cocktails is normally my limit.

The food and drinks are expensive but is to be expected when in Mayfair, London. Our bill for meals and five drinks eack came to £654.00 If you visit just for the TIKI appeal then I suggest you arrive early, preferably mid week and just have a drink, plus a bar meal, if you want to spend that little bit extra.

There is a diplay cabinet near the entrance of the bar with a really nice display of mugs coasters, bowls and lots of other items, but no prices on anything. It was obvious that they really were not interested in selling any items. I went to the bar near the restaurant which only opened later in the evening and asked the barman if they had any mugs for sale. He pointed to two at the far end of the bar and said you could buy those two if you wanted. I said how much and he looked puzzled and said £30 each. As I knew the evening was going to be expensive I said that was a bit too much for me. I said do you sell the Aloha Coconut mugs. He said yes, £20 each. I said Ok I will have one, and do you sell the Mai Tai glasses. Again he said yes £15 each. Again I said yes, I will have one. I spotted a jug of swizzle sticks at the back of the bar (none in your drinks) and asked if I could have one. He took out two and put them in the glass for me. At the same time another barman watching walked over and put two paddle stirrers in the glass, I was very impressed. He explained that they are told not to push the selling of mugs as that is not what they are really for and it is just an inconvenience for them to sell them. The barmen told me he would wrap the items and bring them to my table which he did in a carrier bag with a receipt.

We returned to the bar area after our meal and was found a table by the 'front of house' as the bar was really starting to get busy by now. At approx 9pm a female singer and man on guitar arrived in the other area of the bar and played very modern music, and the floor started to fill with people dancing. We stayed untill approx 11.30pm and by this time it had turned into a very very busy dancing and music bar. If this is what is needed to keep it open then I have no complaints.

I went to the bar to pay the bill and asked the waitress if I could have a couple of the 'drink mats' for my Tiki bar at home. She said sure and gave me a wad of them and then said hold on a minute and went under the bar and pulled out a Trader Vics ashtray, saying have this as we dont use them any more. (You are not allowed to smoke inside anywhere in the UK anymore apart from your own home). I paid the bill and gave her a decent tip. She gave me the ashtray and coasters and said 'here, quickly, put this in your bag' and gave me a drinks menu and bar food menu. I was over the moon..... (I know you wouldn't but I would not suggest trying to 'borrow' mugs and menu's as there are lots of staff about and lots of people in dark suits wandering around. Also many security cameras.)

So my trip to Trader Vics..... Very expensive, but the decor outstanding. Would I go there again, HELL YES...... I plan to go back soon... I'm regretting not buying those other mugs already.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 4027
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2016-11-14 09:10 am   Permalink

Nice story Chris, nice gifts from the staff, you were luck I'm sure this doesn't happen often.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 13, 2004
Posts: 74
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2016-11-14 12:37 pm   Permalink

I was also at Trader Vic's London last week for my first visit. We got there on Wednesday night around 6:30. We were just going to have drinks so got a table off the bar in the side room. It was pretty busy in the room we were in and a further back party that was having bottles of champagne and super dressed up.

We got 2 1944 mai tais and a classic mai tai. They all tasted like they were suppose to and were pretty strong. Also ordered some crab Rangoon which was very good. No swizzles in the drinks and forgot to look at the bar for them.

I walked around and took loads of photos but since I forgot my real camera they are all kinda dark on my iPhone. The space looks great as I knew it would.

There were only 2 people eating in the dining room but then I saw another large party off to the side of the bar.

The display case didn't have too much in it. Maybe 2-3 mugs? And no prices. Though I was glad the display case didn't have as much stuff as the Emeryville location or else my pocketbook would be crying.

When leaving, the hostess asked us if we wanted a photo in the peacock chair so that was nice. We chatted a bit and I said I was from San Francisco and always have to go to trader Vic's.

As we were walking out she chased us down and asked if I wanted to meet the manager since I've come so far. So we met the manager Andras who was very nice and seemed happy I was so into Trader Vic's. I said I go to the Emeryville location and he said folks from that location where just there the other week. He then said he'd look around to see if he had anything for me. He gave me an ashtray and this glass which I assume the London sour comes in. I was stoked to get it and didn't know it existed since it wasn't in display case.

What is interesting in reading Uk_chris123 post and my experience is that the staff seem genuinely happy when us tiki folks roll through which seems like not that often. They seemed very proud of their location and its place in TV history which was cool. It seemed to be doing well there so hopefully the location won't meet the same fate as many of the US locations.

It was a fun night and I got to take my recently turned 21 niece to her very first tiki bar. Will be hard for her to top TV London!

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Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2375
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2016-11-14 1:02 pm   Permalink

Great story, sounds like you had a great time. You could try to top TV's London by taking her to TV's in Munich -- during Oktoberfest!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2011
Posts: 363
From: Southern CA
Posted: 2016-11-14 9:32 pm   Permalink

uk_chris123 and Tiare, awesome trip reports! Thanks for taking the time to write them up and for posting the pictures. I hope I'll get to see this Trader Vic's someday.

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Joined: Oct 19, 2016
Posts: 10
Posted: 2016-11-15 12:55 am   Permalink

Pleased you enjoyed your visit Tiare. Very jealous of your 'London TV glass'. Would love to own one for the rarity value although living in UK makes the scene on the front rather less interesting. I have never seen one before. It seems they may have a collection of ashtrays available to give to customers with a good story, or good tip. New visitors to TV London might like to take note...

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5072
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2017-02-07 3:30 pm   Permalink

I finally tracked down the Trader Vic's London postcard with the great Sake barrels in the lobby. One of the last ones to elude me.


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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 05, 2017
Posts: 42
Posted: 2017-06-06 2:39 pm   Permalink

Now that I'm posting here I should add my trip report for Trader Vic's. We took our first trip to London in mid-March not specifically to celebrate my birthday but it coincided. So my wife and I went and had dinner at Trader Vic's for my birthday on our first night in London. We flew in that morning and spent midday getting SIM cards and lunch in Leicester Square before going to the hotel in Vauxhall. Then we watched the sunset from the top of the Shard before heading over to the Hilton.

We got there about 6:45 and based on this thread and looking at the menu we had already decided to just go to the bar and eat there. It was dead for the 75 minutes we were there. It was a Thursday night so I'm not that surprised but I expected more than the couple of other parties we saw. I had signed up for their Mai Tai club and they had my card waiting. I started with their London Sour which, big thumbs up and then had a Rangoon Ruby. My wife had a Rusky Mai Tai and I think a Trader Vi'cs Grog. We also had some bar bites. Nothing amazing but nothing we regretted either.

After I finished my London Sour I asked if they sold the glass which they do, for 20 pounds. They have a white and a black ink version. Our waitress also threw in a bunch of coasters, swizzle sticks, a couple of paddles, and the flags that were in the drink. I asked if I could get a menu too and she kind of hesitated, then said yes, and even went and got me one that was in better shape than the one I had been using. On the way out we took a couple of pictures. I looked into the restaurant area and it was just as dead as the bar.

Both my wife and I enjoyed the dinner and with the Mai Tai club card giving us 25% off the order (not the glass though) it wasn't even that expensive. We'll be back on a future trip. Our waitress took very good care of us and I sent the manager an email complimenting her (I had emailed before we went to make sure the Mai Tai card was setup correctly) and thanking them for the good time.

[ This Message was edited by: JasonMa 2017-06-06 14:40 ]

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