Lots of London bars try to recreate a fantasy world of retro glamour. The 125-year-old American Bar already has one. There’s no single element that creates the feel, but it’s a mix of everything: the portraits of showbiz stars, the tasteful buff/ivory colour scheme, the gleaming baby grand (in action every evening), the impeccable jazz, the polished welcome from tie-and-jacketed waiters who greet you as a long-lost friend. In this setting, you could drink a can of Foster’s and have a good time. But you’ll be drinking much better than that, of course. The cocktails here have always ranked among London’s finest, whether on or off the extensive list (which is organised both by historical eras and by spirit and wine categories). This comes at a cost, of course, but prices are not out of line with other top hotel bars. And your drinks come with not only excellent bar snacks but the thrill of sitting in a room where Marlene Dietrich turned heads back in the day.