The World’s 50 Best Bars...AND 3 of the top 5 are in London....as if You Need Another Reason to go for a drink
London is known for its drinking culture. Raising a pint or two with your mates as you unwind from your day or a shaken not stirred martini. In my opinion nothing is more British than a friendly “throwing one back”. Even the Queen is rumoured to have a daily Dubonnet.
So it should not be surprising that London took 3 of the top 5 spots at The World’s 50 Best Bars competition this year including NUMBER 1. The judges comprised of more than 500 drink experts around the world. I convinced a girlfriend (I think all I had to say was “cocktail”) and we were off to explore this list and see for ourselves what makes them the World’s Best Bars.
Dandelyan ~ Voted Number 1 Best Bar in The World.
I heard some buzz about this place. Inside the lobby of the Mondrian Hotel on the Southbank overlooking St Paul’s (great view). But I have to honestly say…..really? Number 1…in the world???? I admit that this Chardonnay sipper might not be the best judge of a cocktail but this girl has been inside a bar or two, (please don’t judge). It reminded me of any other hotel bar right down to the overweight businessmen and the Russian hookers. I sound harsh but my bar has been set very high (pun intended). I probably should have had one of their signature cocktails instead of my gin and tonic fallback. But even this classic G&T was incredibly meh. Their celebrity bartender/owner Ryan Chetiyawardana certainly is highly regarded as a mulit-awarded mixer of libations. He was even voted Personality of the Decade 2017. Wow, I wonder how many free drinks he had to pour for that?
The American Bar ~ Voted Number 2 Best Bar in The World.
Inside the opulent Savoy Hotel we find the totally elegant, American Bar. This bar has been serving cocktails for nearly 130 years making it Britain’s oldest surviving cocktail bar. Voted number 1 last year, it slipped to number 2. But unlike its number 1 winner you actually felt like you were walking into something special. Its beautiful hard bound cocktail list called, Every Moment Tells a Story” had their cocktails inspired by celebrity black and white portraits by renown British photographer Terry O’Neill.
The drinks were presented on beautiful glass coasters AND I didn't have to ask for the spiced bar nuts and olives, score!. This time I did order one of their signature cocktails called First Impressions and it was delicious, like a very expensive dessert in a frosted martini glass.
The tuxedo wearing piano player and the deco inspired decor gave me the feeling that Humphrey Bogart would be asking Sam at any moment to "play it again”.
The Connaught ~ Voted Number 5 Best Bar in The World
Inside the beautiful Mayfair hotel lies the glitzy, art deco inspired The Connaught bar. Not totally dissimilar from the vibe of The American Bar, it too feels like you have walked into a more glamorous era although the bar itself is only ten years old. The clientele is older (the men) and well dressed (the younger second wives).
Their current cocktail menu is called the Essence of Connaught boasting the “best martini in the world’. You would have to be the judge of that one because unless you have the word “chocolate’ in front of the word “martini” that will be the only martini I will be sipping on. But certainly worth the visit, especially if someone else is forking out the £25 for the cocktail.
The older I get the more sceptical I do become …or is it wiser? But after Trip Advisor rated London’s Best Restaurant to a fictitious restaurant this year TRUE STORY I do wonder what else can be manipulated by clever people with a great understanding of search algorithms, especially when there is alcohol involved?
As I have happily explored London, its bars and pubs, old and new there is no shortage of incredible places where you can raise a glass. But I think I best keep doing the field research on this one and come back with my own, A BROAD IN LONDON’S Best Bars. I promise I can’t be bought off… but I will let you buy me a drink.
Please let me know what your favourite bars are in London and maybe I will drop in and say you sent me. Work, work…work.