A small stage to one side hosts occasional jazz and cabaret performers. And theres a secret second room which feels more like a cosy members club, with lots of dark corners to hide away. Drinks skip the wine and beer its got them, of course, but theyre not even mentioned on the menu. The cocktails are the only thing to sip in such an opulent setting. But in contrast to the old-school decor, there are no classics here. Nearly all of the 16 playful signature drinks use at least one ingredient you definitely wont have heard of before. The closest to a classic is the white vesca negroni, served with a comically large, pink ice cube which gradually adds a tang of strawberry sweetness as it melts. The Broken Window combines smooth 12-year Scotch with spicy Ancho essay reyes, sherry, aniseedy sweet cicely and celery bitters for a crisp, sweet, piquant drink. For something lighter, try the hive mind: Sweetdram Escubac (like gin, but juniper-free tequila and more sherry, mixed with tart white balsamic vinegar, soda and honey-fragrant propolis (the bartenders call it bee spit).
From vegan alternatives to locally sourced ingredients and needed feminist undertones, this place is a barometer of our times. Bar snacks hungry guests will scoff the deep-fried truffle mac and cheese or spinach, parmesan and truffle gougères (a kind of cheesy choux pastry while crudités with smoked babaganoush, crispy kale and oysters are smart light bites. No boring breadsticks here. The verdict from ingredients and menu through to the management, this seriously impressive operation is all about the backstory. By lauren Hepburn Address: Green room, The curtain, 45 Curtain road, london EC2A 3pt telephone: Website: m Fitzs, Bloomsbury a ritzy, glitzy hotspot with cocktails to expand your vocabulary and your palate hotel bars rarely live up to the hype or the elevated prices. But the one at the new Principal London on Russell Square is an exception. As soon as you saunter into the grand marble lobby, you know youre set for a smart night out. The atmospheric main room serves serious Oscar Wilde-at- soho house vibes, with impressively high ceilings, low lighting, velvet sofas, leather-panelled pillars and a central plume of ostrich feathers underneath a huge disco ball.
And if youre seated in the midnight-blue, shell-shaped club chairs, no one will blame you for asking a staff member to snap you sitting there. This is Shoreditch cool at its best. Drinks no surprise that the drinks menu here is brilliant: the hotels 30-year-old beverage director, jenny willing, launched globally-acclaimed London bar Dandelyan with Mr lyan before masterminding the menus here. Cocktails are inspired by east London. The fragrant Sunday service, made with Tapatio blanco tequila, eucalyptus, pear, lemon, floral bitters and egg white (or a clever chickpea substitute for vegans) is inspired by the flower market. The holiest Harlot is inspired by jane Shore, king Edward IVs very influential mistress, after whom Shoreditch is supposedly named, a tribute nicely befitting of a hotel whose management is largely female. Its made with Scottish Braemble gin liqueur (a nod to jennys home martini reserva bitter, lemon sorbet and rosé Champagne and garnished with powdered beetroot, and is both beautiful and delicious. Wines are sourced from nearby suppliers, honey is provided by east London beehives, and the wild strawberry vermouth is homemade.
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The current one, benoit Provost, is only the third since the bar opened in the 1930s he came to london for a year to improve his English and ended up staying for a quarter of a century. Memorable guests on the other side of the counter include Prince harry, who brought david Beckham along, and paul Newman, who just ordered a beer (this is also the only bar with a signed photo of Bill Nighy, as verified by the actor himself). Yes, benoits English has improved, but more importantly the cocktail list has been refined. The 12 drinks are inspired by the history and characters of St Jamess, including Ian Fleming (The moonraker, gin with rhubarb liqueur, elderflower cordial and Champagne the queen Mother (The qm, which mixes gin with her favourite dubonnet, as well as pear, benedictine and lemon. But first-time visitors should order the gin-sour-style White mouse (saffron gin with fizz, lemon juice, rosemary syrup and egg white) and toast the bust of the incredible woman who inspired it, which sits on the left-hand side of the bar: Nancy wake, an American Bar. Food ben Tish, who founded and ran the smoking Salt Yard group, has taken over the hotels restaurant, game bird, and brought a whole larder of flavours to the American Bar go large with plates such as chicken Milanese or charcoal-grilled ribeye, or snack. The verdict certainly not a museum piece for a quiet central-London drink, this is splendid, with a rare outside terrace in the mews for long summer drinks.
Address: The Stafford, 16-18 St Jamess Place, london SW1A 1nj telephone: Website: m Green room at The curtain, Shoreditch The east London hangout gets a new studio cocktail bar The Green room is a feast for the eyes. This brand-new addition to the one-year-old Curtain hotel in Shoreditch has replaced tienda roosteria restaurant on the ground floor (dont worry, tacos are still available downstairs at Red rooster) and filled a void: the venue now has a much-needed (and very elegant) dedicated bar space. There are plush green velvet banquettes, gold-accented floral murals and imposing industrial-style windows and concrete floors. A neon artwork above the bar reads Dont wait for tomorrow! Tracy Emin meets Latin aphorism.
Its like an alcoholic apothecary, with liquors infused and syrups boiled by the staff, and gives new impulse to the old drinking for medicinal purposes excuse. Bar snack while youre here, chew the fat (or a mouthful of pan con tomate) with Celia, the cordoba-born bartender whos as entertaining as the decor. Other flavour-packed small plates include oysters with Champagne granita, nicely tangy tandoori octopus, shrimp and avocado tempura, along with cute little cubes formed of tapioca and parmesan. The verdict a surreal bubble of a bar thats an escapist antidote to west End malaise. Address: The mandrake, 20-21 Newman Street, london W1T 1pg website: m Telephone: Jason bailey the american bar at the stafford, st jamess revived cocktail legend with a pocketful of anecdotes There are some people who believe theres only one American Bar in London. You know, the one with the cocktail book and the little museum, at The savoy.
So by all means start to tell such people about this place, but then think better of it and walk away whistling. For while the savoy bar is lovely and makes excellent drinks, this American Bar is squirrelled away on a little mews in St Jamess and feels like a secret little part of London. Its recently been refurbished, the counter given a handsome marble top and brass frame and extended, green velvet sofas added, and its collection of memorabilia (a flurry of club ties, model aircraft, baseball caps, signed photographs of famous visitors, as well as famous events, which. American Bars were christened in the 1920s to appeal to transatlantic visitors hopping off ocean liners in search of a proper cocktail. In that sense, most bars in London are now American Bars. But this one at the Stafford Hotel has some of the best stories. Drinks despite being an American Bar, theres always been a frenchman in charge. The first was louis Burdet, a former high-ranking French Resistance leader who helped liberate marseille.
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The waeska bar at the mandrake hotel, fitzrovia. The west Ends most show-stopping hotel bar has a add new plant-based cocktail menu. The mandrake rotated a few heads when it opened at the end of 2017, not least from Londons creative world, who pounced on it as a home-from-home during Fashion week (Jourdan Dunn and needed Johnny depp have been spotted here, and Vogue editor Edward Enninful. Its a fizzy, immersive montage of European arthouse film, modern-art gallery and perfume bottle, set down a club-like passageway off Fitzrovias Newman Street and guarded by a showgirl ostrich made from recycled handbags, shoes and coats. Theres tattoo art inked on the lift walls, a candlelit candelabra in the lobby, two huge rainforest palms from New zealand in the outdoor courtyard and cascading jasmine from the terrace above. But one of the highlights is the cocktail bar, which is dominated by another fabulous creation by artist Enrique gomez de molina a shimmering peacock/deer creature poised in mid leap above the bottles of spirits. Drinks, with these sort of surroundings and a name that references the trippy ayahuasca ritual, a normcore cocktail list was never going to cut the mustard. Riffing on mandrake a root known to necromancers and early doctors for its hallucinogenic and medical qualities walter Pintus (formerly at the ritz and The connaught) has created an intriguing Ethnobotany menu that draws on esoteric herbs and plants such as blue skullcap (the seeds. The menu includes a brandy Alexander-ish wooden cup of pudding-rich sherry, betel-nut milk and cognac, but lighter drinks include the passion Flower, a champagne cocktail with fruity, flowery notes, and more subtle depth comes from creations such as the nutty palo santo, adding kola and.
Drinks, a new summer cocktail menu rna by expert. Tony conigliaro brims with curious ingredients and witty names, and was so intriguing that the wine and beer menu didnt even get a look-in. If you like stiff drinks and appreciate a decent tumbler, The last laugh is a cognac connoisseurs cocktail, made with cider brandy, merlet cognac, caramel-apple syrup and bitters. At the other end of the spectrum is Lift the punch, a summery, buttery rum, coconut and caramel cocktail-dessert that tasted like melted Werthers Originals, with a dash of lemon juice to give it a mouthwatering zing and make it dangerously moreish. All the cocktails are skilfully prepared by smart waiters who know what theyre doing without drawing attention to the process. Bar snacks, i arrived hungry and left feeling comfortably sated, having tried the aubergine dip, a smoky, fleshy bowl topped with softly caramelised onion (it looks raw but isnt doughy bao buns and a cheeseboard to share. But if youre settling in for a long evening, line your stomach beforehand the cocktails are deceptively strong and the bar snacks are delicious but light. Theyre also on the pricey side, but nothing you wouldnt expect from a high-end bar in Marylebone. The verdict, a cool, quiet space that feels like a living room where someone else makes the drinks and you can really unwind.
halloumi-and-pear fillings, smoked aubergine dip. The verdict, just the place for long, outdoor summer ale-quaffing. Brewer ryan reckons that the uk is about 10 years behind the usa when it comes to craft ale, but places like this are closing the gap. By rick jordan, address : St John at Hackney brewery, 16-17 Bohemia place, london E8 1DU. Website : m, seymours Parlour, marylebone, named after Uncle seymour, who collected antiques and cocktail recipes with equal fervour. The idea behind the, zetter Townhouse s second cocktail bar was to recreate the feel of a private residence one that feels faintly naughty but incredibly nice, where patrons young and old can loosen their ties and switch off their emails; where briefcases are discarded. The baroque-patterned porcelain plates on the walls might remind you of your grandmothers house, the antique-style mahogany furniture is mismatched enough to look like its been collected over several decades and a quirky drinks cabinet overflows with miniature bottles of spirits. Theres a well-trodden rug underfoot and the bars soundtrack consists of the soft crooning of various jazz greats. Our table by the window felt perfectly private, although I couldnt help but listen in to a pair of elegant young French men amicably debating something behind me (I dont speak a word, so it simply added to the soundtrack).
The pews are a little design pun, as the rector of nearby St John at Hackney, one of Londons most credible churches it's hosted gigs. Florence and the machine and Coldplay has been a key driving force behind getting the project off the ground. Drinks, the team here are passionate about their ale. Founder luke scanlon gave free rein to American craft-ale obsessive ryan Robbins, and the results so far are lovely and very drinkable, though still being tweaked. But current favourites from the ones made on the premises are the citrussy ipa no 2 the names are refreshingly straightforward, so far which ryan describes as having a smooth mouth feel, and the lager, a crisp, munich -style creation with an, american spin. But aficionados should try a third of a pint of the Imperial stout, fragrant with toasty, chocolatey, coffee flavours. Grab a beer tasting with ryan when he has the time. The bar will strange also be showcasing beers from other London and. Uk breweries highlights include an incredible blueberry sour from Charlton Brewing co, and a non-alcoholic pale ale from Infinite session.
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Scroll down for 54 more of the best bars in London. St john at hackney brewery, craft ale with a mission and a large beer garden in Hackneys latest foodie hub. A few years ago, had someone asked for a pint of wu gang Chops The Tree, or fearless Spreadsheet Ninja, one would assume theyd either been a bit too liberal with the magic mushrooms or were"ng an ancient Monty python sketch. But as anyone whos recently dawdled at the taprooms of Tottenhams beavertown brewery or in switched-on pubs such as The wigmore will know, craft ale. London is big foamingly big, with almost every postcode having its own craft brewer, feverishly designing manga-style labels for limited-edition saisons and porters and pale ales. Now theres pdf a new ale champion, St John at Hackney brewery (no relation to fergus Hendersons joint which has set up its gleaming fermentation tanks under the railway arches on the aptly named Bohemia place, hackneys latest hot destination (pop-up Night Tales opens full-time nearby. The warehouse-sized space has real character, with smoke-blackened brickwork, steel-framed windows, a lovely lattice of bare timber in the architrave above, and reclaimed church pews along the walls. At the back is a sprawling beer garden with long tables from where you can watch trains spark and rumble on the tracks above the brewery.