Whether for a business appointment, a pre-dinner meeting spot or a social soiree, the logical place to connect in most hotels is in the bar, and London’s five-star hotels boast some of the most storied watering holes in the capital. Here are some top choices, along with the specialty cocktails for which each is famous.
The Churchill Bar
and TerraceThe Churchill Bar and Terrace serves an interesting set of classic and craft cocktails. Situated at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, the bar highlights the Churchill family’s rich heritage. Indulge in cocktail recipes showcasing British legacy and fine wines from prestigious maisons and artisanal producers. Adding to the cocktails and spirits is a delectable food menu, with dishes such as scotch quail’s eggs, Cuban sandwich, fried plantains and huevo habanero.
Specially created in honor of the Winkle Club, which was formed in 1900 to help the underprivileged, The Winkle drink is a mix of Pusser’s Rum Gunpowdered, chai syrup, lime and apple juice and Earl Grey tea. thechurchillbar.co.uk
Amaranto Bar at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane is a sophisticated bar, headed by Ivan Arena. Here you can enjoy cocktails with a twist along with light bites. Don’t forget to check out their extensive wine list as well. The striking red interiors are sure to catch your attention.
Enjoy the signature Negroni Trolley Experience, which takes this iconic cocktail and tweaks it into something more unique and modern. Pick one of the 14 gins from the Negroni Trolley and infuse it with Campari and the bar’s special blend of six different vermouths. The drink is said to take you on a journey from Florence, the birthplace of the cocktail, to the British capital. fourseasons.com/london
The Bar at The Dorchester exudes an electric vibe, and is a central meeting place for travelers who seek high-profile socializing in the city. Overseen by Giuliano Morandin, this bar is popular for sourcing the finest range of spirits and wines from small, independent distilleries to established names. The menu features recipes by legendary mixologist, Harry Craddock, a pioneer in the craft of British cocktail making and the original head bartender at The Dorchester, when the bar opened in the 1930s. The Bar is also known for reintroducing forgotten spirits like the Old Tom Gin.
The timeless Martinez cocktail is highly recommended. The drink uses a special recipe made on commission by Old Tom Gin exclusively for the hotel. Punt e Mes, maraschino and Boker’s Bitters are the other ingredients added to this cocktail. dorchestercollection.com
Located in St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, this spanking new bar combines modern aesthetics with neo-gothic architecture, thereby staying true to the Victorian roots of the hotel. The bar is done in marble with brass and leather products, complemented by chic furnishing. On the menu are thoughtfully crafted cocktails such as Angel and Bragget Alehouse Flip dedicated to The Alehouse Act and The Beerhouse Act passed in the early 1800s; Livingstone’s Boatswain that pays homage to David Livingstone, the celebrated Victorian explorer and Mr. Cratchit’s Yuletide Punch inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Served over an ice sphere, The V&A Gold Fashioned is made with Chivas Regal 18 gold signature, Chivas 12 years, cardamom-infused St-Germain, bruichladdich port charlotte, calvados, demerara syrup and drops of celery bitters. thehansom.co.uk
Lanes of London
One of the hottest meeting destinations on Park Lane, the Lanes of London serves modern British cuisine along with spirits and cocktails. This London Marriott Hotel Park Lane outlet has a bar space with high chairs and comfortable sofas where you can have your official meet and greet. The bar menu includes an impressive spread of signature cocktails like Go With The Flow, Here Comes The Sun, Royal Garden, Red Cloud and Noble Blitz, to name a few.
Every month, Lanes of London organizes Art Series featuring cocktails inspired by the hotel’s bespoke art collection. Seasonal ingredients form a major part of these unique cocktails. lanesoflondon.co.uk
The Rivoli Bar
This glitzy bar at The Ritz London, a part of The Leading Hotels of the World, is the preferred spot for an intimate meet-up. Rich tones, classic artifacts and plush furnishings are some key décor elements of the bar. The Rivoli Bar spoils you for choice with its wide selection of cocktails, wines and champagnes. Some classic Ritz cocktails include Rivoli Vesper, Churchill’s Courage, Cesar Ritz and The Escoffier. Their elaborate food menu includes caviar delights, canapés and sandwiches among others.
The Ritz 110 cocktail celebrates The Ritz London’s long and vibrant history. It is crafted with gold infused Absolut Elyx vodka, Grand Marnier and peach liquor, finished with champagne. theritzlondon.com
Theo Randall at the Intercontinental
While this Intercontinental London Park Lane outlet is a favorite among Italian food lovers, Chef Theo also oversees the extensive wine list that features 90 percent Italian varietals. Carefully curated fortified wines, dessert wines, vermouths, rum and cachaca are available here. The interiors of Theo Randall at the Intercontinental are subtle with light shades and minimal furnishing. Revamped in 2016, this F&B outlet changes its menu daily, incorporating seasonal ingredients and learnings from Chef Theo’s regular trips to Italy.
Create your own variation of the Negroni cocktail through Negronificio at Theo Randall at the Intercontinental. A list of Italian gins, and bitters are available, with the bar team on hand to guide each guest through their Negroni personalization. Add final touches with a garnish of sweet Sicilian orange or zesty Amalfi lemon peel.