The Mandeville Hotel, Marylebone, London, W1U 2BE , United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7935 5599
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-1am; Sun and Bank Holidays 11am-10:30pm
Style: Hotel bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Food: Bar snacks
Images By: diffordsguide.com
The Mandeville is one of those posh but discreet back-street hotels. It's basically behind Selfridge's and has a design-led, boutique feel. The Reform Social, its new bar and restaurant, is to the left of the lobby but also has its own entrance on Mandeville Place.
Awaiting you is a long, zinc-topped bar and a range of contemporary lounge furniture, all very new and polished - it will probably look better when it's a bit more 'lived-in'. A glance at the back-bar reveals a carefully curated collection, though no surprises. A glance at the cocktail menu tells you it's focused on simple drinks with refreshingly few ingredients: pure old school and a good balance between brown and white spirits, strong and long drinks, classics and original creations. The Brooklyn (whiskey, Grand Marnier, vermouth and maraschino), the Rooster (gin, vermouth and punt e mes) and Rhubarb Rose (rose tea, rhubarb liqueur, bitters and champagne) seem to sum up the approach. Drinks service is proficient and efficient, with just enough theatrically in the serve - but not too much. A small selection of bottled ales and ciders and a short wine list completes the drinks offer.
Bar snacks are among the most unusual we've seen for some time. Dangerously more-ish bacon-flavoured almonds are complimentary, but we can also recommend duck faggots with game chips and crispy lamb bacon with mint jelly, on a list that also includes Wagyu beef burgers, tomatoes on toast (well due for a revival) and proper pork scratchings.