This warren of Samoan-themed, carved-wood campery in the bowels of the Hilton has been here since 1963. There’s even a cocktail in honour of its arrival: the London Sour, made with scotch, orange, lemon and ‘a whisper of almonds’. On the cover of the menu, bare-breasted native lassies engage in Tahitian revelry while a sailor type soaks in rum.
As the 50-strong list within urges, ‘Pirates, buccaneers and beachcombers never bandy their drinking.’ Thus, Trader Vic’s Grog, a ‘potent blend’ of dark rum, pineapple and passion fruit, or the Suffering Bastard, a ‘forthright blend’ of rums and lime from the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo.
Many of these flamboyant concoctions are served in agreeably daft vessels: it’s almost worth ordering the Samoan Fog Cutter just for a close-up look at its absurd, vase-like glass. For better or worse, a London institution.