Claridge’s remains one of London’s best hotels. The downside: everyone knows it, and its beautiful bar (designed by David Collins) can be a little oversubscribed.
On a quiet night, there are few finer spaces in which to enjoy a cocktail, whether traditional or 21st-century. Walk in when it’s busy, though, and you’ll have to fight for space with Taras gossiping about their PR clients over a bottle of sauv, big-night-up-west partiers getting warmed up with a glass of bubbly, and a scattering of ostentatiously rich Eurotrash.
Still, the staff treat everyone with respect and always mix their cocktails with care. And if the crowds prove too much, the hotel’s Fumoir bar, a cigar-lover’s paradise until the smoking ban, is an elegant escape hatch.