Cavendish Hotel, 81 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6JF, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7930 2111
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Sat-Thurs 4pm-12.30am; Fri 4pm-2am
Door: Open door
Style: Hotel bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Bar nibbles
Images By: diffordsguide.com
The bar is named for Rosa Lewis, a British chef and former owner of the Cavendish hotel from 1902 to 1952. Apparently an indomitable woman, she is held to have had an affair with Edward VII. When she was working for Lady Randolph Churchill she once chased her ten-year-old, red-haired son Winston out of her kitchen, shouting "Hop it, copper knob!"
Today, there's little to connect this charming story to the frankly bland contemporary decor and overly lit interior of the lobby bar, which is practically shoehorned into a corner of the lobby, save for a few papers and a portrait displayed on the walls. But the staff are friendly and more than capable of turning out a well-balanced cocktail.
It has to be said the list does not immediately speak of the modern 'craft' cocktail revolution, being as it is fruit-led, whether you're drinking long, short, Martini-style or sparkling. But as it's often said that too many bartenders make stirred, brown drinks for other bartenders, why not? In any case, there's nothing offensive here - indeed there are some revived drinks that bear closer inspection (the Golden Cadillac from 1952). And if you don't like anything on the list, they ask you to 'test' the bar staff by asking for unlisted classic cocktails and bespoke creations.