Free London bridge sunrise view

Three London Hotel Bars with Unique Twists Worth a Visit 

London hotel bars abound where class and opulence reign and cocktails are stirred and shaken with aplomb. While historic names like the Savoy, Artesian, and Connaught claim their deserved place in the spotlight, the city has lesser known little gems with very unique selling points. Here are a few of my current favorites:

Scarfes bar in the beautiful Rosewood hotel is styled like my dream sitting room

Scarfes: An Elegant London Hotel Bar with an Artistic Edge

Located in the resplendent Rosewood, Scarfes is the epitome of London hotel bars for the culturally attuned with discerning palates. Concept and cocktails are on point thanks to a strong team overseen by the duo of Martin Siska, Area Director of Bars, and Yann Bouvignies, Head of Mixology. Bookshelves heavy with works sourced from a Portobello antiques dealer line the walls of this chic drawing-room-inspired space. Jewel toned arm chairs and sofas beckon guests to settle in before the roaring fire and savor world-class whiskeys, wines, cocktails, and gourmet bar snacks like miniature tuna tacos or crusted tiger prawns. 

Scarfes doesn’t merely raise the bar of luxury; it imbues it with an artistic verve. This London hotel bar not only provides the perfect soundtrack to a sultry evening with live nightly jazz, but also has their own resident musicians: chanteuse Kitty La Roar and pianist Nick Shankland. Scarfes takes its name from its resident visionary, British artist and caricaturist extraordinaire, Gerald Scarfe, famed for his iconic Pink Floyd “The Wall” artwork. Here, Scarfe’s evocative characters, capturing the essence of politicians and illustrious British personalities, adorn the walls, turning the bar into his personal gallery where sophistication dances cheek-to-cheek with playful edginess.

But this artistic alchemy isn’t confined to the walls or the music. Scarfes’ menus are known for their conceptual depth, delivering drinks adhering to coherent themes. Past menus have riffed on musical inspirations or showcased miniature sculptures of British figures, while the current iteration commemorates their 10-year anniversary, weaving together new creations with the greatest hits from their past menus.

In short: If you can afford to spoil yourself for a night at the luxurious Rosewood, definitely do so. (Really, do so…it’s awesome!) And if you can’t spend a night here, you can still get a taste of that luxury over a drink at Scarfes.

Tip: The Holborn Dining room, the hotel’s brasserie, is a must for dinner before or after drinks. And don’t skip a peek at their dedicated pie room. 

Christina’s: A London Hotel Bar Celebrating Wild Local Ingredients

At Christina’s, a twist on old favorites emerges, as local ingredients infuse each creation with the tapestry of London’s wild landscape. This Shoreditch outpost of the on-trend Mondrian London hotel bars is an all-day haven of up to date elegance and vibrant charm, serving coffee, tea, natural wine, stand out cocktails, and moreish bar snacks. Here, a fun East London crowd gathers for a cocktail menu that pays homage to independent UK-based producers, embracing a philosophy of responsible sourcing and sustainability. 

Laurel’s On The Roof on top of the Mondrian Shoreditch hotel is well worth a visit for dinner, lunch, or brunch

A celebration of the unique, the bar thrives on the use of wild and foraged ingredients or producers who use them, transforming the local ordinary into the extraordinary. Notable highlights include the Hogweed Martini, where the delicate flavors of foraged hogweed in the Ostara white vermouth harmonize with Hepple gin from the north of England garnished with house-pickled radishes, creating something both familiar and new. This goes for much of the menu with cocktail offerings grounded in classic styles such as the martini or margarita, but reimagined through a locavore and/or sustainable lens. 

The bar design mirrors the same tastefully jubilant aesthetic found in the Mondrian chain worldwide and the Shoreditch venue itself. The hotel, its two restaurants, and Christina’s bar embody a playfully smart substance that makes any or all well worth a visit. And I also highly recommend a treat yo’self massage in the spa!

Exploring and learning about foraging with the team from Christina’s and Ostara vermouth

Tip: Shoreditch is a good area for a cocktail hop, so start a night here and make the rounds. A few of my favorites within relative walking distance include Black Rock, Calooh Callah and Happiness Forgets

I love the open space of Silverleaf, but it also has an intimate feel

Silverleaf: A Minimalist London Hotel Bar with a Naturalist Bent

Elevate your senses and step into the enchanting realm of Silverleaf, a standout London hotel bar on the third floor of Devonshire House. This stylish escape is a testament to naturalism, which expresses itself not only in the design but also in the deftly crafted drinks. Entering the bar, you have a sense of both the grand and the intimate as you sink into a stool or booth to peruse the innovative menu, which is a work of art itself. Drinks are described with symbols representing flavor profiles accompanied by colorful abstract visual representations. 

Silverleaf has a hidden downstairs bar where you can privatise or do exclusive whisky tastings

Drawing inspiration from the core principles of naturalism, the cocktails at Silverleaf take you on a sensory journey. Each drink is a compilation of two or three essential ingredients, worked over with innovative techniques to highlight their full flavor potential. The result is a harmonious blend of tastes, improved by house-made ingredients that are clarified and batched or otherwise treated for consistency in the pursuit of perfection.There is a welcome simplicity to presentation with garnishes present, but elegantly sparse like a single delicate flower or a few drops of flavored oil that add both visual and gustatory value. Silverleaf also stretches beyond the menu to deliver a bigger experience. They invite a rotation of guest bartenders – like the recent visit from the noteworthy Nico de Soto – who infuse the locale with a dynamic element and keep the team’s skills and knowledge fresh with cross pollination. 

Tip: There is a tiny hidden downstairs bar, Alba, that seats up to eight guests and is available for bookings but also hosts occasional tastings. 

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