243 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2EP, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)207 589 8005
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Lunch: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm; Sat-Sun 12pm-3.30pm; Dinner: Mon-Sat 6pm-10.30pm; Sun 6pm-10pm
Style: Cocktail bar
White table cloths, hovering waiters and hushed tones; this bistro is a stone's throw from the shops of Knightsbridge one way, and the museums of South Kensington the other way. There's been a restaurant here for 60 years in one guise or another. This present one is relatively new, opening in 2008. On the ground floor and in the restaurant area there's a zinc-topped bar; in the basement, an absinthe lounge.
The French-led wine list is the focus here, accompanying the modern European menu, though they do serve a short list of cocktails. The absinthe 'specialisation' is relatively weak, with a tiny selection on the back-bar and only a handful of absinthe cocktails.
The ground floor is a nice space to have a drink (we found the basement a little dull), but unless there are a lot of people in here, it's strangely devoid of atmosphere and you might find yourself the loudest person in the room. That said, it's won a Tatler award for being an 'It' Room and we saw ageing socialite Nicky Haslam on our last visit, so it must be doing something right for the clientele it seeks to attract. The food looks great, and service is pretty slick, but the drinks are, it has to be said, average, and cocktail 'etiquette' is a little lacking - drinks served by the rim for example.