The intimate 54-seat Connaught Bar is part of the Maybourne Hotel Group, which offers its guests a unique and authentic experience that reflects the individual nature of their legendary five-star hotels. Operating a no reservation policy, the bar gets very busy at the weekends so get there early. The cocktail menu is impressively clean cut in offering, in addition to their signature cocktails, a variety of five cocktails from three continents of the world, Europe, America and Asia. These cocktails have been inspired from the foremost hotels of those regions and thus the Connaugt Bar offers the best cocktails from any part of the world in one location. By working through the menu from Signature, Glamorous, Revisited and Elegance, you will have covered the world. There is also a good selection for those not partaking in alcohol. The Signature Connaught Martini is highly recommended not only for the taste but also for the whole experience of watching it be made for you by the mixologist from the bespoke Martini Trolley. I was lucky to have the Connaught Director of Mixology, Agostino Perrone make my martini. Have a look at the video here. This is definitely a place to visit if you are a keen martini lover. Expect to pay a hefty price, but it is worth it for the experience, service and ambiance of the bar.
This opulent bar is found in the deluxe Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane. Soft red lighting, velvet seating and light background music make it the preferred choice for those who would like to relax with a quirky cocktail. The mirrored glass along the curved bar gives an outstanding reflection to all the coloured bespoke glasses and the finest bottles of champagne and luxury spirits which creates a unique atmosphere. The renowned Giuliano Morandin heads the team at The Bar and has devised new and classic cocktails with a twist. The cocktail list is spectacular with bespoke glasses for certain exclusive cocktails. Ladies try the ‘Champagne Simmer’ which is served with the Dorchester Collection’s very own lipgloss! There is also ‘Her Majesty’s Cup’ which was created to pay homage to the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee. This Earl Grey flavoured champagne cocktail is served in a quirky teacup with an accompanying teapot! There is a wide selection of food available at the Bar, not just bar snacks, where you can expect extravagant delicacies such as lobster, prawns and Wagyu Burgers. This Bar is one of the finest in London and is a place to see and be seen in.
Housed in the old luggage room of the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, this quirky bar does resemble a giant travelling trunk with studded luggage trimmings along the leather panelled walls. The leather armchairs are very comfy and allow you to indulge in the sumptuous cocktails at your leisure. The signature champagne cocktail is served in a Bentley Cup to share. The discreet entrance to the bar has allowed it to be quite anomalous, considering its prestigious location in one of London’s regal squares. A knock on an unmarked navy door, a peep through window, followed by an escort inside, makes this bar distinct in its own right. The bar is themed around the 1920s and after the famed Bentley Boys, all 16 of them, whose initials are embossed on the sides of the tables. The bar staff, dressed according to the 1920s theme, together with the art deco interior makes a sophisticated atmosphere. Only drawback is the walk to the restrooms!
A Polynesian paradise in the heart of Mayfair. A quirky venue which has no VIP rooms (definitely unique considering the location). Known worldwide for it fun and friendly atmosphere with superb cocktails served in signature tiki cups. Made famous and in the spot light by celebrities, British Royalty and popstars. A place to want to be seen at.
At the Metropolitan Hotel in Park Lane. Regarded as one of the best bars in London, formerly a ‘members-only’ bar but is now open to all. Quirky midweek acoustic sessions feature at this bar from 6.30 – 9.30pm and live DJs at the weekend. The bar is open till 2am, giving you plenty of time to work through their innovative cocktail menu.
Found in the Playboy Club in Mayfair, this bar is named after the master mixologist Salvatore Calabrese. This glamourous bar has live music every night and is open from 5pm. The Playboy institution originated in the 1960s in USA and only opened in London in 2011. Although a members club, the Salvatore Bar, which has a separate entrance, is open to non-members. The rich opulent décor exudes success and glamour in this affluent area of London. The most expensive ‘property’ on the Monopoly board! The main display at the entrance of the bar is off the vintage cognacs and spirits that the infamous Salvatore has selected to house for his signature vintage cocktails. Some of these date back to the 1700s. Exclusive vintage products are sourced to be used and to savour one of these you would have to spend £350 to £2,000+. This surely must be heaven in a glass for a true cocktail connoisseur and is a unique chance to experience a taste of cocktail history. The White Lady at the price tag of £350, was originally created by the legendary bartender Harry Craddock from the Savoy Hotel in 1920. Salvatore has used Gordon’s Gin and Cointreau from the 1930s with fresh lemon juice. The priciest of them all is Salvatore’s Legacy, which at a price tag of £5,500 I’m sure it will be if it is consumed by many! For this drink some of the world’s rarest spirits and liqueurs have been used - 1788 Cognac, Curaçao 1860, 1770 Liqueur and 1915 Angostura Bitter. In accordance to the Guinness Book of World Records Salvatore has created the oldest cocktail ever produced. Back to reality, I have tasted the infamous ‘Spicy Fifty’ which is more affordable at a mere £14.50 inspired by his former home at Fifty St James, this has Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Elderflower Cordial, Fresh Lime Juice, Honey Syrup and Chilli Pepper. Another which can be indulged in is the ‘Bunny Bubbles’ which has Benedictine, Raspberry Puree, Fresh Pressed Pomegranate and Champagne served in an exquisite tall martini glass, be careful it doesn’t topple over. There is a happy hour in this exclusive bar, very rare for a venue in this location, so make the most of it from 5-7pm daily.
Found in the basement of the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, this tropical Polynesian paradise brings a ray of sunshine to the Capital city. The bar staff are dressed in tropical attire and the huge selection of signature cocktails are equally dressed with exotic fruits and decorations. Various cocktails are served in quirky ways for sharing. The bar has live music through out the week starting from 9.30pm to 11.30pm. The various styles and genres range from Soul, Jazz, Latin, Spanish, to Pop and Funk.