10 best bar trolleys for the ultimate home drinks parties
Be the host with the most and serve your drinks in style with one of these elegant bar carts
Staying in is the new going out. Whether you’re serving your guests extravagant homemade cocktails or a few chilled beers, there’s nothing like a stylish drinks trolley to help turn your evening into an occasion.
Indeed, with the home bar trend seeing no sign of waning, the domestic bar cart, once a relic from the 1970s, is back with a bang.
Design-wise, many modern bar trolleys find their natural home in the Art Deco era, with rich metallics and shiny surfaces adding an unapologetically ostentatious touch to our living rooms.
If you’re fully on board with the metallics trend, Deco-fabulous is the way to go.
Some designs come with mirrored trays, allowing for a reflective dazzle, especially when ornamented with our best light-catching crystal decanters and matching glassware, while some offer a charming aged finish in old gold or antiqued brass, cleverly mimicking a rare vintage find.
As we discovered in putting our best bar trolleys to the test (while supping a few G&Ts for research purposes), they should be sturdy enough to hold our precious glasses and bottles without fear of them toppling over.
But they should also be sufficiently lightweight, with smooth-functioning castors allowing us to wheel the drinks around swiftly.
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Argos Home 3 tier chrome and glass drinks trolley: £65, Argos
Sleek and modern, this three-tiered drinks trolley tops our list for affordability, yet it looks and feels much more expensive than it is. Its trio of stacked ovals in toughened glass is held together with a shiny steel frame, while nifty castors make manoeuvrability a doddle. We loved this one for its simple design, giving our fancy glassware and gin bottles the limelight, all the while keeping the overall look light and reflective, no matter how much we filled it up.
Atkin and Thyme Stirling bar trolley: £279, Atkin and Thyme
A thing of architectural beauty, you’ll want to keep this Deco-inspired trolley on display long after the party’s over. With its toughened glass trays and sturdy brass-finished iron frame, it is a heavy-duty piece that demands pride of place. We loved its asymmetrical design with thoughtful and functional compartments for bottles, and its spacious bottom half that allowed for a sizeable champagne bucket. Understated glamour at its finest.
Kalinko Savoy rattan butler’s tray, white: £160, Kalinko
Who needs wheels when you can easily detach a drinks tray and hand round the martinis? Not technically a bar trolley but a beautiful addition to any sophisticated house party nonetheless, the hand-woven rattan tray sits atop a solid hardwood stand and offers a warm, travel-inspired aesthetic. A brilliantly versatile product, we loved how it simply folds away when not in use – but we wouldn’t ever want to take it down.
Normann Copenhagen block table, dark grey: £143, Red Candy
As with all the best Scandinavian design, this nifty trolley marries simple form and perfect functionality. Its pair of deep steel trays are held together with four ash poles, sanded and smoothed to perfection to allow the natural patina of the wood to shine. Unapologetically large and operational castors make for easy movability, while the tops of the poles can be used as convenient handles. Ideal for fans of Scandi minimalism.
Audenza fabulous golden drinks trolley: £485, Audenza
Fabulous by name, fabulous by nature, this exhibitionist of a bar trolley does not hold back on Art Deco influence. In fact, it wouldn’t look out of place on the set of The Great Gatsby. While you don’t necessarily need a West Egg mansion to enjoy its striking angular lines, it does come with a high-end price tag. But we loved its sturdy gold-coloured iron frame and its chic blackened glass trays. Make sure you do it justice with only your finest crystal glassware.
Cox & Cox mirrored drinks trolley: £450, Cox & Cox
For a less showy but equally Deco-inspired choice, this statement drinks trolley is a delight. Party guests will be forgiven for thinking you’ve made a unique vintage discovery with its duo of mirrored trays supported by its cage-like frame in antiqued silver-brass. Awarding the Art Deco trend an industrial edge, it’s reliable functionality is obvious – you won’t have any wobbly mishaps here. On its own it is an arresting piece, but when filled with reflective glasses and bottles, it positively dazzles – and truly comes into its own.
Oliver Bonas rattan trolley: £145, Oliver Bonas
We cannot get enough of the indoor natural rattan trend, and neither could our guests when they picked up their Abigail’s Party-themed cocktails from this boho number. Delicately crafted, its woven circular shelves are finished with those classic Seventies scalloped edges, and are held together with a wooden frame in contrasting mint. A versatile trolley that will transition from daytime to evening without fuss, this one looked equally charming serving tea for two.
Cane-Line roll bar trolley: £795, Cane-Line
On the higher end (and price) of Scandi minimalism comes this sleek and chic serving trolley from the Danish and Icelandic design duo Welling Ludvik. A substantially sized product, its industrial influence is clear on first sight. The robust frame is made from powder-coated aluminium, while slatted natural teak forms one of the two trays. We loved the way the wooden tray could fit top or bottom, depending on preference. Simple, beautiful, timeless design.
Fermob Luxembourg trolley bar: £539, Houseology
Don’t forget the barbecue drinks. This cleverly designed trolley, finished in highly protective anti-UV powder paint, is made for outdoor use. Its aluminium tube frame makes it surprisingly lightweight despite its size, and it boasts a handy removable tray as well as an integrated wine rack for a trio of bottles. Best is that it comes in an array of inviting colours, from cactus to rosemary, chilli pepper to carrot... choosing just one isn’t easy.
The verdict: Bar trolleys
By its very nature, a bar trolley should feel like an extravagance, and Argos Home’s 3 tier chrome and glass drinks trolley was an impressive find. Its sturdy structure and simple, elegant design makes it look more expensive than it is. On the pricier side, we loved Cox & Cox’s mirrored drinks trolley for its deceptively vintage look.
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