London may have cutting edge nightlife when it comes to clubs and restaurants but sadly the bar culture isn’t quite NYC. Fortunately the much maligned (if pricey) hotel bars are here to save the day.
In the coming month the scene is going to get a serious boost with a host of new luxury hotels soon to open their doors and their bars. The American Bar, with its classic Savoy Cocktail Book, will soon re-open along with a new art deco Beaufort Bar at the restored Savoy. The Amaranto lounge bar will be debuting at the re-modelled Four Seasons in December, featuring an impressive-sounding wine wall. Up the road The Dorchester’s little brother, 45 Park Lane, is due in January and the much anticipated W Hotel on Leicester Square soon after
The new five-star Corinthia’s Bassoon Bar is also looking exciting down by Trafalgar and will be designed by David Collins. Finally, Von Essen’s Verta Hotel by the Battersea Helipad has just been cleared for take-off and their Vertilon Bar promises to whisk you back to 30’s glamour with a jet set crowd.
There are plenty of golden oldies too.
For a modern classic with a colourful twist try David Collins’ beautiful Blue Room at The Berkeley, or for old school style with a touch of contemporary glamour it’s hard to beat the world class Connaught Bar (similarly a David Collins creation) and the slightly more tranquil Coburg Bar with its Bacchanology menu’s historical insight into your tipple.
For older school still there is the superbly refined Dukes Bar for the ultimate Martini made at your table or Library Bar at the Lanesborough for its Regency gentleman’s drinking den and Garden Room, a clandestine smokers’ paradise.
Modern options include the lively Light Bar and exclusive Bungalow 8 at St Martin’s Lane and the Miami-esque Long Bar and stunning Courtyard Garden at The Sanderson, also home to the intimate and luxurious Purple Bar. The Met Bar has been reliving its rock star heritage of late and The Sanctum Soho rock ‘n’ roll credentials are improved by its 24-hour Roof Garden Bar. Newcomers to the scene include the stylistic HUNter 486 at The Arch, the buzzy Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental and the surprisingly funky hidden find of Fleming’s Cocktail Bar.
Tim Badham is the founder of concierge company Innerplace. www.innerplace.co.uk