The Bentley-lined streets of Mayfair feel like they’re a long way from the wild and windswept moors of Scotland, but it’s in W1 you’ll find this incredibly smart hotel, within its plush and discreet bar stocked to bursting with a bold range of Scotch. As you’d expect in a five-star hotel bar, the atmosphere encourages contemplation and conversation rather than getting mad wae it (which is exactly how you should treat fine whisky anyway, of course). Your fellow dram drinkers are likely to be hotel guests, naturally, but also in-the-know Londoners prepared to splash out on something special. The whisky ranges from the £7.50 Teachers blend to Mortlach 50-year-old for £169. Apparently there are 364 in total – one for every day of the year except Christmas, when the hotel manager has a break. Phew. Ivo Silva is the 'whisky sommelier'. He says ‘If I had to choose a whisky to take with me to a desert island and drink for the rest of my days, it would probably be Highland Park 18-year-old, because it encompasses all the flavours of Scotland, from the Lowlands to the Highlands, Islay and Campbeltown.’
The Athenaeum also serves one of the best afternoon teas in London, and has a British restaurant which is bookable online.