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‘Tis nearly the season to be jolly – and that means sharing a few drinks with colleagues at the end of a busy day. Here are some brilliant bars to try in Mayfair and Belgravia.
A cut above your average pub, Belgravia’s Star Tavern on Belgrave Mews West offers a concise but classy wine list (there are no fewer than five champagnes to choose from, if you’ve got something to celebrate) and a range of bottled, craft and guest beers. The food menu includes classic favourites like burgers and fish and chips, alongside upscale alternatives.
If you’re looking for a change of pace, it’s hard to see past the iconic Blue Bar at the Berkeley. Recently refurbished, this Wilton Place haunt has retained its signature blue panelling and Edwin Lutyens lighting, but now boasts an airy glass extension for an even more spacious feel. The cocktail menu is divided into low-alcohol options, celebratory champagne cocktails, potent highballs, spirituous classics, and innovative signature cocktails. We’re tempted to try one of each.
A long-established Motcomb Street favourite, this bar nails the balance between sophisticated drinking and dining destination, and friendly neighbourhood hangout. It’s become something of a Belgravia institution, with owner Philip Lawless often manning the bar or working the room. But its many regulars don’t come back just for the warm, friendly atmosphere – there’s a carefully curated, sensibly priced wine list and a food menu that covers all bases from snacks to seasonal specials.
Step out of the office, step into the Luggage Room – and step back in time to the decadent days of the Jazz Age. This intimate cocktail bar on Mayfair’s Grosvenor Square oozes atmosphere and the menu draws on the past for inspiration, with lost and forgotten recipes mixed up anew in authentic period glassware. You’ll be tempted to come back over a weekend and try their Low Tea – canapés, cocktails and cakes are the perfect way to bridge the hungry gap between lunch and supper.
Two words: Martini Trolley. While The Connaught’s glimmering gem of a bar in Mayfair’s Carlos Street is admired for its divine décor and extensive, imaginative cocktail list, we think you don’t need a better excuse to pay a visit than the sheer indulgence of having your martini mixed table-side, with a choice of spirits and extracts to create your own signature drink.
Go on, admit it – cocktails are all very well, but there are times when only a fine malt whisky will hit the spot. If you’re dying for a dram, head to this lively Scottish restaurant on Eccleston Street where, alongside British tapas, oysters and caviar by way of a snack, you can choose from more than 30 pages-worth of fine whiskies from around the world. Oh, and there’s a cigar menu too, so you can enjoy a soothing smoke on the terrace afterwards.