Classy cocktails in an Art Deco setting – the amazing Beaufort Bar @ The Savoy
While I don’t flash the cash every night, now and again I like to treat myself. Over the past 10 years, I have been gradually working my way around the best bars and restaurants in London – many of them in the capital’s top hotels and The Savoy has been on my list of ‘must dos’ for some time. When a close friend of mine was having a hard time last week, I thought, to hell with it, lets live a little and decided to bring her to the Beaufort Bar at The Savoy Hotel to cheer her up. Those who saw the ITV documentary in 2010 charting the refurbishment and reopening of the iconic London hotel may well be tempted already. I had walked past the hotel many times over the years, but had never entered… until now.
The Savoy has been known as a by-word for grandeur for decades and is arguably one of the most famous hotels in the world – up there with The Ritz in London and Paris and The Plaza in New York. Built just off The Strand in 1889, it was Britain’s first luxury hotel, with its selling point being electric lighting and lifts and hot running water in the bathrooms – something we take for granted these days. Over the years, some of the biggest stars stayed in the hotel, including Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Charlie Chaplin… the list goes on. In recent years, the hotel was bought and closed for three years for an extensive refurbishment and renovation, re-opening in October 2010.
Anyone that has done a hop-on, hop-off bus tour or the capital may already know that Savoy Court, the small ‘road’ leading into The Savoy, is the only place in Britain where you can drive on the wrong side of the road. Cars enter on the right-hand lane , which is deemed easier to get in and out this way due to the design of the court. As Savoy Court is private property, this rule does not contravene UK driving laws… and makes mainland Europeans and Americans perhaps feel a bit more at home.
Situated on the site of hotel’s former cabaret stage, the Beaufort Bar is a new addition since the refurb, a throwback to old-fashioned glamour and styled in Art Deco black and gold. After walking through the striking lobby and Thames Foyer, we were greeted at the entrance of the Beaufort on the left by a very helpful and friendly female hostess. She guided us to an intimate ‘booth’ area against a dramatic backdrop of a gold wall. Despite being handed the menus, we didn’t look at them for several minutes as we took in the grandeur around us. A truly stunning room.The menu was extensive and included mostly vintage or original cocktails, as well as an extensive range of wines and champagne. We were all in the mood for cocktails, which are a bit pricey at around £14.50 each, but the ambiance, service and location makes it worth every penny. Our cocktails were delicious, and went down easily as we sat and chatted. At various points in the evening, we were entertained by the honey tones of a jazz vocalist on the piano, and kept our hunger at bay with the very more-ish nibbles of nuts and olives that were regularly topped up by our hostess.
So if you want to experience the high-life for the night and live another life, I can thoroughly recommend the Beaufort, which has already appeared on No.2 on the list of London’s best drinking holes on World’s Best Bars.
- Beaufort Bar @ The Savoy, Savoy Court, The Strand, Westminster, WC2R OEU. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Embankment or Temple. Opening hours: Mon-Sat 5pm-1am. For more information, visit The Savoy website.
For a review of Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill at The Savoy, click here.
For a full list of Metro Girl’s reviews of bars and restaurants, click here.