Head Here If: You like things dark, smouldering and ever-so, ever-so sexy
You can’t beat The American Bar for history and status but when it comes to sheer luxe, the Beaufort Bar wins hands down. Really, how could you not fall for a bar decked out in sassy jet black and a whopping £38,000 of gold leaf detailing?
There’s history here too; the bar stands proud on the same cabaret stage where luminaries like George Gershwin once performed and if that doesn’t rock your boat, then the dramatic backlit Lalique counter certainly will. In short, this is a place designed for guests to slip out of the stresses of the day and into an expertly mixed martini. And who are we to refuse?
Champagne is a big thing here with 27 available by the glass and the most sought after collection of Louis Roederer outside of Reims. Given the stats, it would have been rude for Ms S not to have opted for one of the six bubbly cocktails. The Impressionist (Cherry Marnier, Creme de Violette, artisan raspberry syrup, Louis Roederer Brut Premier and rose fog) gets the thumbs up from our barman and when it arrives, she can see why. Firstly, it looks amazing – the long, slim glass reeks of elegance and the blush pink concoction inside looks equally classy. It’s served alongside a silver pot containing a single pink rose and what seems like an endless supply of dry ice infused with rose water. The result? A delightful but subtle rose scented aroma to enhance your drinking pleasure. It certainly does the job. It’s an easy drink designed for anyone to enjoy: just the right balance of sweet and dry to hit the spot.
Ordering a dry martini in any decent bar is always one of life’s pleasures for Mr G (what a surprise), but doing so in these kind of surroundings takes this particular pleasure to an altogether different level. Although the house gin is Bombay Sapphire our waiter suggests Tanqueray or Hendrick’s, but when pushed recommends the former for a “smoother martini”. It arrives looking very at home in the environment in a particularly tall, classic martini glass, sporting an elegantly cut, long piece of lemon peel. There’s just a hint of the gin behind the lemon aroma, while the temperature is just right – allowing the flavour to really open up from the first taste all the way through to the long refreshing finish. And slipping down perhaps just a tad more pleasingly in the midst of such opulence.
By this point Ms S and Mr G have left the intimate seating area for front row seats at the bar. There are so many tempting drinks to try but in the end Ms S goes for a New Dawn (Oxley gin, Royal Tokaji wine and lemon oils). Or if you like, a new twist on the classic martini. Everything about it is refreshing and different, from the chunky but elegant modern rocks glass its served in to the perfectly hewn of ice sitting like a whopping big diamond chilling the drink down in the centre. It’ll never replace her beloved martini but makes for a welcome and delicious alternative.
There are a number of things about The Real McCoy (Woodford Reserve bourbon, Stone’s Reserve ginger wine, sherry over ice) that call to Mr G. It has the feel of a Manhattan, the Stone’s adds a touch of nostalgia and then there’s the neat glass flask serve. A huge single cube of ice (we’re talking 1 1/4 inch here) practically fills up the whole of the beautiful clean-lined rocks glass and cleverly keeps the drink good and cold with hardly any dilution. The taste is big but not harsh with a richness that Mr G wants to keep on savouring. And, as the drink is served in an individual glass flask from which you help yourself, he can happily do just that.
And To Eat?
Plenty in the restaurant but sadly nothing more exciting than nuts and olives in the bar.
What’s The Damage?
£14.50 for regular cocktails, £16.50 for anything with a bit of fizz, £9.50 for the two glamorous sounding virgin cocktails (Marilyn Monroe and the Vivien Leigh).
Look Out For
Behind the bar: Gaby and Jill, the two fabulous (and extremely rare female) bartenders shaking and making excellent cocktails in London. On the menu: The Winston, for the cognac and cigar aficionado (Hennessy XO cognac, blood orange purée , quince liqueur, vanilla syrup with a muddled Romeo y Julieta cigar, served straight up). In the room: Nightly live music and entertainment.
Ms S says
If there’s a sexier, more overtly grown up bar in London, we’ve yet to find it. Granted, the all black and gold fixtures and fittings might be a tad over the top for some tastes but when it comes to impressing a date, it’s guaranteed to score you maximum brownie points.
Mr G says
This really is the perfect place to spoil the very special lady in your life. Take your places on a luxurious gold sofa or sit at the feel-like-a-star bar, enjoy the attentive but understated service, then order The Gilded Cage (Vodka, mandarin liqueur, yellow chartreuse, fresh passion fruit and mango with pomegranate foam) to share. It doesn’t get much more romantic than this.
Beaufort Bar, Savoy Hotel, Strand, WC2R 0EU. T: 020 7836 4343. fairmont.com/savoy.
Open Mon-Sat 5.30pm-1am. Dress smart.