The Beaufort Bar
The American Bar is, hands-down, one of the best bars in the world. Since opening in the late 19th century, the American Bar has written bartending history: from Ada Coleman, who invented the Hanky Panky cocktail to Frank Sinatra. But the American Bar is not the best bar at the Savoy.
We walked past the lustrous drapery and white French furnishings and deep into the heart of the Savoy. The doorway has moved following, which makes it impossible to stumble across The Beaufort Bar. Inside it’s dramaturgy with black lacquer walls and glimmering gold leaf. The bar itself stands on the hotel’s former cabaret stage, where George Gershwin once played. The tradition is still alive and notes from the Steinway hung in the air when we walked in.
The Beaufort Bar is theatre.
Suitably opulent with black and gold, velvet and silk, all with an art deco edge. Hercule Poirot could well be in the corner sipping emerald green absinthe.
Then comes the menu: taking the form of a limited edition pop-up book, the menu features beautifully hand-drawn and painstakingly cut illustrations and throws open a heady world of characters, tales and scents, with each exquisitely crafted cocktail telling its own unique story. The Impressionist, one of the Beaufort Bars most popular cocktails, arrives at the table with a smoking rose.
3/3 – Worth going out of your way for. First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.
The Beaufort Bar has a spectacular cocktail menu that pushes the boundaries of cocktail making, imagination and design.The whisky selection is very good, exceptional maybe. But while it has some nice bottles, it isn’t as comprehensive as we’d expected. We wouldn’t recommend coming if you want a specific and rare whisky. The Beaufort for is made dramatic cocktails. While the Sinatra drink, Ol’ Blue Eyes, is wonderful it’s tough to justify paying £40 for a Jack Daniels based cocktail. The Epiphany (Dewar’s 18-year-old, camut 6-year-old, calvados, honeycomb and mead liqueur, sherry blend) is a relative bargain at £16.
2/3 – Outside the mainstay bottles which, taken in sufficient quantities, may produce all the effects of drunkenness
The Atmosphere and Clientèle
The Beaufort is so romantic you might think your waitress is your soul mate. We felt the waiter’s pity as everyone else in the room gave each other bedroom eyes and declared undying love while we mumbled away about politics and other mood-killers. As a date place, The Beaufort would be perfect chiefly because your date will only see glimpses of you as the candlelight rebounds off the gold leaf walls. And even we look moderately handsome by candlelight. Also, if conversation dries up, there is great people watching and The Beaufort is still devoted to music with live music every night as well as cabaret and burlesque acts on the first Sunday of every month.
3/3 – This is your new local. Go, even by yourself, it’s a great advantage to not drink among hard drinking people
Visit the Beaufort Bar next time you're in London, you can find them here: