Address: 34, Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London, W1K 2HD, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)203 350 3434
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Noon to 10.30pm daily
Door: Make reservation
Style: Restaurant bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Food: Full menu
Owned by: Caprice Holdings

Images By: diffordsguide.com

Review last reviewed on 2012-03-20

34 comes from Caprice Holdings, owners of the Ivy, Scott's and J. Sheekey, among others. As the first totally new venue from the group in some time (ignoring for now the fact that many of its other bars have been refurbished and boast new barmen and cocktail lists), it is 34 that stands as a benchmark for group bar manager Xavier Landais' standards and aspirations for the wet side of the business. Well, the boy done good.

We've got to warn you first that 34 has a restaurant licence, so you have got to eat there - or, at least, pretend you are going to eat - in order to even make it to the four-seat bar that straddles one end of the long brasserie (which specializes in steak). But if you make it there, you won't be disappointed. Service epitomises that trademark Caprice combination of relaxed friendliness that belies a ruthless, silver service prowess. That's revealed not only by precise movements, right down to bottle positioning in front of customers, but by the fact that the drinks are mostly bartenders' own thoughtful and unusual creations.

With a selection of vintage shakers, high spec bar equipment and beautiful crystal glassware, they knock up a collection of 13 cocktails, 7 champagne cocktails and 5 non-alcoholics. Drinks are classic in style, but often manage to combine unpredictable ingredients. This they do successfully, with balance and beauty - from the Hogarth's Horror (gin, pale ale and chardonnay) to the Floradora (a Clover Club lengthened with ginger ale) and the Clifton Bridge (Scotch, vermouth, Cocchi Americano aperitif wine, lovage cordial and lemon juice). Garnishes are pretty without taking any time to prepare - there's a long tequila drink with Chartreuse that's topped with Chamomile foam and dehydrated pineapple, which is as fancy as it gets and prepared mise-en-place. All served to the tinkle of the resident pianist. Given that far lesser bars charge upwards of £12 routinely these days for cocktails, these are relatively reasonable, with most at £9.50.

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