Dukes Bar

Bars and pubs St James'
Recommended
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
Dukes Bar

If you are looking for a single, mind-blowingly strong, heartbreakingly delicious cocktail, in surroundings designed for talking rather than shouting, you’ve come to the right place. Dukes is one of London’s true classic bars, and justly famous for the theatrical presentation of martinis created on a tray brought out specially for you. But don’t neglect the rest of the list: the level of cocktail skill here is phenomenal. The drinks are among the most expensive in the city, but the bar snacks are fabulous. Take your drinks date through the cobbled streets of St James’s to Dukes and you won’t fail to impress.

By: Richard Ehrlich

Posted:

Venue name: Dukes Bar
Contact:
Address: Dukes Hotel
35 St James's Place
London
SW1A 1NY
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 2pm-11pm, Sun 4pm-10.30pm
Transport: Tube: Green Park tube
Price: Free
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:0
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LiveReviews|5
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Tastemaker

First of all, I did not even know it was possible to charge £19 for a cocktail, but Duke’s Bar manages it. This is definitely somewhere you would only go for a special occasion or a big treat. Our experience was so lovely and polished that we left feeling slightly okay with the fact we had spent over £40 on two drinks. We went on a Saturday around 5:00 and the bar was getting quite full by 5:30. Spaces can only be reserved for hotel guests, but we didn’t have to wait for a table. The main focus here is the martini menu, said to be a favourite of Ian Fleming. The ingredients are sourced from the finest places and the martinis are made on a trolley at your table with each ingredient explained as it goes in. I went for an orange and ginger martini which was incredibly strong but nice. Along with the drinks you get complimentary olives, crackers and nuts which help to lessen the effects of the very stiff drinks. Duke’s Bar is definitely worth a visit the next time an occasion that calls for celebration arises.

Tastemaker

As any seasoned traveller will tell you, posh hotel bars are a reliable bet when it comes to excellent cocktails, especially the classics. They are also often served with very decent and replenished without failure snacks and the service is better than at the more hip establishments. Dukes Bar, hidden in London’s St James, is a testament to that. Of course, its main claim to fame is that itwas frequented by Ian Fleming, the ‘father’ of James Bond. But to me, and to you, the only thing that should really matter is that they mix arguably the best martinis in town. It’s a full on experience too: the barman comes to you with a trolley, full of vodkas, gins, vermouths and bitters. It’s a performance second only to Mr Bean’s gift wrapping scene in “Love Actually”. The prices are steep (£ 20 a pop), but the cocktails are very strong. After a Martini and a Miss Moneypenny I was ready to slide under the table, so totally worth the price at the end of the day.


tastemaker

Amazing martinis in a wonderfully grand but cosy setting. You feel pretty special sitting here while the waiter wheels over the trolley to prepare your drink. Lucky they provide you with some nibbles to soak up some of the alcohol. Drinks aren't cheap but for a special treat this bar can't be beaten.

Staff Writer

Famous for a number of things. Where Ian Fleming got his inspiration for James Bond, the martini's, which are truly unbelievable. I thought I had been lucky enough to have some amazing ones before visiting Dukes. But Dukes martini's are to a whole new level. There may be a good reason they will not serve you more than two as well. Wonderful bar, exactly what you would expect considering the hotel and location. The staff are so welcoming to everyone and you might even feel a bit like Bond by the time you have finished.