Dukes Hotel, 35-36 St James's Place , London, SW1A 1NY, United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 (0)207 491 4840
Website: View bar's website
Door: Make reservation
Style: Hotel bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Food: Plates & dishes
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Dukes is renowned for its Martinis, memorably mixed by Alessandro in its main bar, but now the hotel has opened a separate champagne lounge. Just as Harvey Nichols has a Perrier-Jouët bar on its fifth floor, so this lounge is decorated in a similar way, though is on a lower ground floor. You might expect that all those bright colours and flowers - the brand's Belle Epoque anemones are interwoven into the design, that looks like a drawing room on acid - might appeal to the fairer sex, but on our visit it was evenly split between the sexes.
The bar itself is actually a glass display case, with a small selection of Belle Epoque vintages ranging up to £600.00 per bottle, though two non-vintages are available by the glass (grand brut at £13 per glass, rosé at £17). There is also a small range of champagne cocktails ranging from £15-£17. Everything is presented in bespoke glassware with those anemones on again. The Dukes Classic Champagne Cocktail offers a twist to the usual recipe through a homemade blend of Martell cognac and Grand Marnier to mix into it. There are other versions too, from chocolate-flavoured to fruity ones. There are delicious canapés on offer too - choose from 6 or 12.
It's all incredibly private, like being in an exquisitely decorated drawing room of a private house. Service is personable and efficient - just one waiter is needed to work the small space. A hidden gem.