Mandarin Oriental Hotel , 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7235 2000
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat 10:30am-2am; Sun 10:30am-12am
Door: Open door
Style: Hotel bar
Price guide: High-end
Food: Bar snacks
Images By: diffordsguide.com
The already busy Mandarin Bar has become even more buzzy now that Heston Blumenthal has opened his first London restaurant in the hotel. Although Dinner had yet to officially launch and was only open to friends and family on our last trip, it had noticeably increased the traffic through this already popular bar, as the restaurant's entrance is reached through it.
The bar itself actually defies explanation, for however striking it is, like a large couture catwalk, with the back-bar stock making its only appearance enigmatically from behind frosted glass, the fact remains that all the actual mixing and shaking, throwing and pouring - all the actual mixology, basically - is done back of house. Critics might say this is a clear case of style over substance, and there's definitely something missing in the atmosphere of this theatre of invisible bartenders, but ultimately it's all in the drinking. Choose from a sizeable collection of original cocktails and adventurous flavour combinations, each served in extreme-shaped glassware and with a never-ending supply of posh nibbles.