The Four Seasons’ three-story Italian bar and restaurant, including an outdoor terrace, takes its cue and name from the plum-colored Amaranthe flower. Inside, it’s romantic and cozy with rich burgundy tones, wine-colored velvet arm chairs, padded red leather walls and a sleek black-leather bar. Bold designer touches include a colorful Murano glass installations featuring the four seasons and the martini trolley, the latter personally designed by Rochon. It’s a fabulous spot for a cocktail after a Mayfair shopping or sightseeing afternoon.
The American Bar at the centrally located Savoy is a great spot for a cocktail.
John Oddy, the executive director of the Royal Oak Foundation travels to London three times a year. He recommends: “My favorite pub is Black Friars, which has incredible Art Nouveau interiors. It’s worth seeing and stopping in for a pint.”
Now that the Connaught is well on the way to its restored glory, it has two seductive spots for drinks and conversation. The larger Coburg Bar, to the right of the front door once you enter the lobby was designed by Parisian based India Mahdavi as a “destination bar”. It draws the most modern of Martini drinkers with seductive elements like deep purple velvet club chairs and perky orange leather ottomans. The Julian Opie art work perfectly fits the urbane but unstuffy vibe. For a more glamorous gathering, the Connaught Bar lays on the shine and dazzle as only designer David Collins can. You can enter from Mount Street or a hallway off the lobby by the elevators. Either way, you will instantly be immersed in the high-gloss style of London now. The walls have been dressed up with silver leaf and linen panels of pale pink, pistachio and lilac. Of course, there are special whiskies and wine available as well as a light menu in case you want to nibble with your cocktails. Open Monday to Saturday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Closed Sundays.
Hosting a Private Cocktail Party
Read an exchange on our Discussion Boards with suggestions for great venues for a private cocktail party in London.
The Roof Gardens feels more like a hidden oasis than a rooftop bar, even though it is perched 100 feet above one of London’s busiest streets. Completely renovated in April this year, the 1.5 acres of open-air gardens occupy the entire roof, circling the main bar and club area in three distinct sections; the Spanish Garden (complete with mini-Alhambra), Tudor Garden and traditional English Garden. There are even resident flamingos, ducks and fish. Go for an alfresco supper in the summer, or join the party-goers at the club from 10pm-3am on Fridays and Saturdays. Alternatively, you can call ahead to arrange a daytime visit and meeting with the full time gardeners.
The Artesian Bar
A very sexy spot for drinks in the West End is the newly glammed up bar at the Langham Hotel.
The Donovan Bar
One of the swishest places for drinks in Mayfair is the redone bar at Brown’s. Olga Polizzi, sister of Sir Rocco Forte, who owns the property has brought her flair to what once felt like a warren of dark rooms and made them cool and classic. Named after the British photographer, Terence Donovan, who captured well-known figures in iconic moments, the bar features more than fifty of his black-and-white prints. Cult leather designer Bill Amberg fashioned the handsome bar that now complements the stained-glass window preserved from the original hotel. Afternoon tea is served until 5 p.m. and there’s live jazz from 9 p.m. to midnight, Monday to Friday.
The Trafalgar Hotel
The roof garden at the Trafalgar hotel is the perfect setting for pre-dinner drinks high above the hustle and bustle of Trafalgar Square. The city looks completely different from day to night, so go a little early and watch as the lights come on around Nelson’s Column (it’s hard to miss across the street) and the London Eye in the distance.