45 Park Lane Hotel, Park Lane Mayfair, London W1K 1PN
Apparently a new opening. I had only vaguely noticed the hotel when I heard about 'Cut' the steak restaurant within its walls. Originally named 45 Park Lane really is smart, you can't miss it, it's lit up like a beacon and on a Tuesday evening at 7pm, the bar was busy.
Its not obvious where to go, but thankfully I caught sight of my friend waving like a maniac at the top of the stairs. A barman kindly showed us to some seats, we then got moved by a very polite waitress, who couldn't have been nicer (its ok to be moved if they are nice about it). Now seated at the bar with a front row seat of the barman in action, we settled in to peruse the cocktail menus. Now I want to mention; these menus have the best layout ever, when I go out I tend to spend ages looking through menus trying to find the vodka based cocktails, the bar at 45 groups its cocktails by main spirit - brilliant! This just saved so much time.
"Crouching Tiger" Cocktail available at Bar 45
We started with a 'Crouching Tiger' and a 'Show me love' both vodka based. The Crouching Tiger used vodka that had been infused with Jasmine and green tea, shaken up with lemon juice served in a martini glass, not a sweet but, none-the-less very good, I felt comforted by the slight possibility that I was cleansing my body with the green tea - although I think I'm may be looking through rose-tinted spectacles! The 'Show me Love' was gorgeous, it tastes like lemon sherbet! Sweet but with a kick, lethal if too many are consumed I imagine. We were told that apparently the chef takes a hand in the cocktail recipes as well to ensure all the flavours go.
"Show Me Love" Cocktail at Bar 45
We finished off by testing the barman, apologies to all cocktail barmen, but I like to do this - a barman that can make a decent Cosmopolitan is alright in my book. He succeeded, they tasted perfect and he has successfully converted my friend back to Cosmo's.
The staff here could not have been friendlier; the barman was extremely knowledgeable and attentive without being intrusive, the seats comfortable and, although we were able to just walk in the bar has the air of exclusivity to it which is rare these days in London. At £72 for 4 cocktails and service charge its not a hugely cheap way to have after work drinks but for the service, the atmosphere and the style Id go right back there and do it again tomorrow.
Budget: Splash the Cash