The Gilbert Scott‘s standalone bar is all grandeur, gold and Victoriana: this is old world London at its best. The dramatically high gilded ceilings and rich red furnishings will make you feel as though you have your very own 60-acre country estate with a stable of horses … but maybe you do.
With these classic-cum-opulent surroundings, you’d imagine white tablecloths and snooty service behind the bar, yet it is quite the contrary. The neatly dressed staff are happy for you to pull up a seat as they talk you through their thoughtful cocktail list.
We’re partial to their twist on the Last Word: The Last and Final Call with Tanqueray gin, Aperol, yellow Chartreuse and Maraschino. For the warmer months, try the Bee Keeper with lavender-infused Langley’s No. 8 Gin, honey, sloe gin and elderflower. Flowery, light and fresh — plus one pound is donated to the Honey Club. Good for you, good for the bees.
Best Bars tip: While it’s easy to find any excuse to visit this step back in time, they’re serving up some seriously boozy brunch every day from 10am (with three kinds of Bloody Marys as well as a few classic cocktails). And the food is surprisingly reasonable: £10.50 for a Dorset crab ‘benedict’ or £14 for The George, basically a full Scottish breakfast.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips