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Beaufort Bar at The Savoy

Critics' choice
Britta Jaschinski
Strand

Following the £220m revamp, The Savoy’s devotion to debonaire drinking now stretches beyond the iconic American Bar.

The Beaufort might be the second bar, but second-division it is not. It’s a considerably more salubrious space to sip than the American Bar, and combines a wow-factor interior with good service and top-quality (if pricey) drinks.

Art deco opulence abounds. Although it’s as dark as a pawnbroker’s soul, £38,000 of gold leaf adorns the alcoves and ornate cornicing, the fittings are exquisitely finished and the black velvet furnishings and drapes suitably plush. It’s very glamorous, that’s for sure.

The broad range of bubbly leans heavily towards Louis Roederer: the Champagne house has backed the bar. Prices start around £16 for a glass of Louis Roederer Brut Premier and go up to as much as you want to pay. Beers, meanwhile, cost £6 and include Meantime Pale Ale or Guinness.

While the Beaufort doesn’t boast the wealth of cocktails available at the American Bar, the seven-strong list is worth exploring. The Sugar Strut, which blends Bacardi 8 Year Old with Guinness Foreign Syrup, is a terrific twist on a rum old fashioned, and the Gilded Cage, made with vodka, fresh passionfruit and chartreuse comes served in a birdcage and is designed for dual-drinking.

Yet it’s The Winston, priced at £50, which is the most masculine two-fingered salute to the recession. Inspired by Winston Churchill’s habit of wetting his cigar in his Cognac, it has Hennessy XO, blood orange purée and quince liqueur muddled with a Romeo y Julieta cigar (seriously) and served straight up.

If you’re going to have one drink at The Savoy (and let’s face it, one is all most of us can afford), then, in terms of appearance and atmosphere, the Beaufort Bar edges it over its American counterpart.

The Beaufort is definitely the looker of the pair – though the American Bar is hardly the ugly friend. But the American Bar is the only one you will ever be asked about. Take your pick. Be warned that at both bars, you may need to queue to get in, and bookings are not taken.

Venue name: Beaufort Bar at The Savoy
Contact:
Address: The Savoy
London
WC2R 0EW
Cross street: 100 Strand
Opening hours: Open 5.30pm-1.30am Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Charing Cross tube/rail or Embankment tube

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5 / 5

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Ceecee

I just spent the last 4 days of a month long vacation in London. I spent three of those nights at the Savoy. It is undoubtedly one of the best drink venues I have ever been too. There is no attitude nor pretention with service. You feel very welcomed. I had Ole Blue Eyes in the Champagne Bar ( the Art Deco bar) and at 25 GPS it was great. A special Silver Jack Daniels, with a touch of Benedctine and a few squeezes of fresh orange burned with a match served on a coaster of an old 45 rpm record of an old Sinatra recording. after the 5 minute description of the drink from the bartender and his traveling Art Deco bar - it was fabulous!!!!