Photography by diffordsguide.com
Words by Simon Difford on 16-Oct-2016
The Connaught Hotel, 16 Carlos Place, London, W1K 2AL, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 499 7070
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat 4pm-1am, Sun closed
Style: Hotel bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Food: Bar snacks
Formerly known as the American Bar, the Connaught was named World's Best Hotel Bar at Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans in 2010 and again in 2016. Head bartender Ago Perrone was also named International Bartender of the Year in 2010. It continues to impress as one of the capital's finest cocktail emporia.
The original wooden panelling of the old classic American Bar has been glammed up with several layers of gold and silver spray paint by designer David Collins. Crocodile skin booth seating and low chairs surround bijou round tables under the original ornate ceiling. The design and layout means the bar appears as a glittering stage at the end of the room, reflected in the polished marble floor.
The 'dream team' of Ago and Erik Lorincz, now at the Savoy's American Bar, might have long disbanded but Ago continues to run a tight ship. There's real theatre in their moves, and more eye candy when Ago takes that Martini trolley table-to-table.
Slick customer service is all the better by virtue the fact that it remains an accessible and none-too-snooty venue, frequented by regulars as well as those seeking cocktail enlightenment. Drinks are exemplary and worth the expense.