Hush Mayfair has been in the business of making cocktails for 18 years, and all their hard work paid of this year as they walked away with the title of Best Bar in London at the London Club and Bar Awards. With a strong penchant for the finer things in life (and award-winning bars), I visited their upstairs Aviator lounge to sample cocktails inspired by all corners of the globe; from Europe all the way to Asia.
The Venue and Atmosphere
Although I was solely in Mayfair to visit Aviator, I couldn’t help but crane my neck in adoration at all aspects of Hush. Their twinkling riviera-inspired courtyard was so pretty that I may have spent a good 10 minutes lunging on the pavement to get the perfect Instagram snap. It boasted cute vintage bicycles, winding green foliage and glowing fairy lights; and although it was a warm summer’s evening and I would have given my left arm to sit in their breezy alfresco space - I found Aviator, that was nestled upstairs, just as pretty. It had a sophisticated air about it with mustard-colored velvet armchairs, low leather booths, round tables bathed in candlelight and a long bar lined with tall chairs, all excellently positioned for prime cocktail viewing. Although the space is sophisticated and undeniably stylish, it injects a bit of cheeky fun with an entire wall of black and white framed pictures of celebs and famous faces. All of which have their fingers up to their mouths silently signalling that you’ve found a gem of a watering hole, and to keep it under wraps. They also have a neon sign with loopy writing reading ‘shhhh…’ that’s the last thing you see as you descend the stairs, giving you a gentle reminder to keep their dirty little secret amongst close friends.
The Food and Drinks
Ever heard of Cocktails in the City? If you have, good. If you haven’t - sorry, but we can’t be friends anymore. This cocktail festival hosted their summer event in July and there was one cocktail that stood out from the herd: Head in the Game - Crystal Head Vodka, Violet Liqueur, Luc Belaire Rosé, fresh apple juice and fresh berries. This dangerously delicious cocktail can be found in ‘The American Expedition’ section of the menu at Aviator, and comes served in a sanded down Crystal Head Vodka skull that’s painted with bright, vivid colours. A tribute to Canada’s winter sport, ice hockey; it proved itself to be an absolute must order with its refreshing, fruity kick. While my company made his way through this Insta-worthy drink, I got a taste of Russia with Boris The Wolf, made with Russian Standard Vodka, honey syrup, apple juice, raspberry purée and passion fruit purée. I’m usually a whisky drinker, but I was pleasantly surprised at the balanced flavours between the ingredients. Our next cocktail choice jetted us from Canada and Russia to Italy with the Roman Holiday, and France with the Champagne Jacuzzi. The Champagne Jacuzzi was another Insta-worthy cocktail, presented in a wickedly white mini bathtub with hand-picked flowers resting on top of the liquid. It contained Luc Belaire Sparkling Rosé, Chateau de Provence Rosé, elderflower essence, lavender and citrus juice. My choice of the Roman Holiday was activated from my longing to return to Italy (it's been 8 long, long years), and I'm delighted to say it didn’t disappoint. Made with Aperol, Colonel Fox’s Gin, FAIR Kumquat Liqueur, hibiscus syrup and Luc Belaire Sparkling Rosé, if I closed my eyes for long enough, I found myself sitting at a table on an uneven courtyard with the sun beating down on my skin.
As you know, travelling really takes it out of you (even if it is imaginary), so in between our cocktails we ordered a selection of the nibbles from the back of the unique boarding card-inspired menu (it has bar codes, flight numbers - the lot). The salt and pepper squid was fresh enveloped in a light batter with a moreish dipping sauce on the side, the blistered padron peppers were generous in their portion size with sea salt sprinkled on top, but the chicken and almond cigars and the crispy duck spring rolls stole the show altogether. The cigars were in a light filo pastry and the duck spring rolls were packed with meat.
If there’s one thing Aviator at Hush Mayfair proved the night I visited, it’s that coming here is your second passport to discovering the rest of the world. Their cocktails whisked us from the heart of London to Asia, Europe, America and beyond with imaginative flavours and unique presentation. So, the next time you consider booking flights, take my advice and save yourself the cash and book a table here instead. Whether it’s on a sunny beach in Spain with grains of sand in between your toes or in the depths of a jungle fighting off monkeys in Thailand, this lot will get you where you wanna go in no time at all.