The Artesian is very nearly a very great bar. Its elegant space on the ground floor of The Langham, London is lovely. Tables are well spaced. Service is friendly and ultra-efficient even when – as so often happens – it’s packed out. A free plate of tasty canapés may arrive unbidden. Their own cocktails are well conceived, and the classics are flawlessly rendered and generously poured. These bright spots are darkened by two failings, one minor and one major. Minor: good crisps and mixed nuts were not fresh enough – both were slightly flabby. Major: piping in incredibly loud Euro-pop, which is completely at odds with the room – and with the pricing of the drinks, which are among the most expensive in London. This may be an effort to reach out to a younger clientele, but to us it doesn’t make sense. We’d rather see this classy place achieve its full potential. It would be easy for them to do it.