We blame the fact that Mr G was celebrating a very significant birthday as to why we embraced The Cocktail Lovers theme with such gusto. Even by our standards, December was one helluva cocktail-addled month…
It started with mulled wine in a private capsule on the London Eye on Thursday and ended sipping champagne watching the Bootleg Beatles in a box at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday. In between there were cocktails at Smith’s Of Smithfield, BKB, St. James’s Hotel & Bar, Artesian, The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz and a fabulous soiree in the Alpine Lodge at The East Room. Did we mention Ms S’s fabulous Martini and Manicure and Mr G’s Pint & Pedicure at the Sofitel Spa? Or our amazing room and equally wonderful dinner at the newly opened Dean Street Townhouse in Soho? Well, it was a special birthday and Mr G is definitely worth the fuss.
He was still in birthday mode when he joined Desmond Payne at The Langham. Beefeater was launching its new G & Tea and the combination of cakes, dainty sandwiches and gin really appealed. The big surprise was the complexity of the tea itself: blended from Sencha tea, angelica and citrus, the same botanicals used in Beefeater 24.
A couple of days later we finally made it to 69 Colebrooke Row, a bar that’s been on our radar for aaages. Head honcho Tony Congliaro is to the bar world what Heston Blumenthal is the the kitchen, he’s a man who deconstructs the classics and reworks them into something complex, refreshing and totally new. We were invited to try his soon-to-be launched menu featuring ultra-cool ways with Beefeater 24 and in the process, managed to get a peak in the lab where he creates all of his amazing drinks. How we love being us!
We were a little nervous about the arrival of the Supper Club in London. We’d both been to the original in Amsterdam even before there was an ‘us’ (which seems like a very long time ago). So how would the formula work years later? Surprisingly enough, really well. We did the whole cocktails in the bar bit before being ushered to our bed where we ate a really good meal and enjoyed the ultra-cool DJs.
It’s rather fitting that our last official engagement of the year should be hosted by Pernod Ricard seeing as it looks like we’re on its payroll (if only!) Ms S had the privilege of sitting next to Desmond Payne at the Christmas lunch, this year held at The Criterion. She was thrilled to see that Brand Ambassador Dan Warner is back in London after his Stateside stint – London feels all the better for it.
Words to the wise (or just plain curious)
“The barman is the central pivot of any bar and today the head barman carries on the tradition of his predecessors. Drinking, like eating, should able activity carried out at leisure, in surroundings conducive to relaxation and enjoyment. The Rivoli Bar provides all these things: comfort, service and an ambience which is to be found in no other hotel in a capital city.”
The Ritz London Book Of Drinks & Cocktails by Jennie Reekie.