Wednesday, 20 April 2011

My favorite hotel bars in London

There's simply something magical about enjoying a great cocktail in a gorgeous setting served up by handsome suited bartenders! Perhaps again I imagine myself as a jazz baby, or a 1930's starlet meeting her married lover, or a spy waiting a rendezvous like a scene from Casablanca, if only in my imagination. So when I am feeling in need of a bit of mid week glamour & attention, without jetting off to Paris, I can often be found at one of these bars.

Here are some of my favorites in no particular order:

1. Claridges Bar at Claridge's Hotel Scene: Celebrity and Eurotrash. Best for people watching if you can get in, and especially if you can grab a seat at the bar. Exceptionally friendly and down to earth staff.
Claridges Bar
2. Rivoli Bar at the Ritz.  Scene: Impeccably coiffed British Countess. Lovely art deco inspired bar with soft peach lighting to purposely soften the complexion and make us ladies look as young and dewy as Doris Day! Overdressed? Never at the Rivoli. Best place to wear red lipstick and your gran's veiled hats.
Rivoli Bar
3. Knights Bar at Simpson's on the Strand. Scene: Dapper Gentleman's Bar. Great for a crisp, dry martini and priced less than the average hotel bar.You'll be in the company of suited men who have been drinking martinis there for about 40 years.
Knights Bar

4. Connaught Bar at the Connaught Hotel.  Table side martini service. Need I say more? Read my very first post.

5. Amaranto Bar at the Four Seasons. Scene: Ripe for romantic tryst. Red, sexy and exclusive. Purposefully not a destination bar which means lots of seating and anonymity. Not available to the public in the late evening.
Amaranto Bar

6. China Tang at the Dorchester. Scene: 1920's Shanghai Spy. Make your way downstairs to this dimly lit bar and exchange spy stories. Wear your shades if you want to give the illusion of "mysterious celebrity". Chances are you are sitting next to one. Be sure to check out the loos before you leave.
China Tang
Honorable Mention. Beaufort Bar at The Savoy Hotel. It's long and colorful history attracts underdressed tourists, but it's still a gorgeous bar with award winning bartenders known for crafting amazing and always interesting cocktails (such as the the Winston with cognac and muddled cigar!) Worth a visit.
Beaufort Bar

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