Bar Boulud - Hotel Bar Review
66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA. View on Map.
Well well well. Who knew? Bar Boulud does cocktails, and does them pretty well too! For those of you who live on Mars, Bar Boulud is the latest addition to the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge. I've been to the other bar in the hotel; it's good, I'm a sucker for the amazing service and the free crisps. They do lethal martinis, good and huge; but lethal. So when my friend suggested we went to Bar Boulud, I was somewhat intrigued.
Bar Boulud sumptous interior decor
The decor of Bar Boulud is...fine. It has been done to a high standard and is comfortable, but it's not going to set my heart-a-racing each time I walk through the door. We sat down and had a look at the drinks menu; the cocktail list was pretty short - a bit too short I thought but remember this, dear reader, it's not about quantity but about quality. And my goodness, they've got the quality dead-on! My White Cosmopolitan arrived in a martini glass with a ball of ice resting in the bottom and a jug from which I was able to get a couple of re-fills from - perfect! It tasted wonderful, sweet yet not too sweet cool but not freezing. In fact it was so good that I had to have two! At £12 it's not the cheapest but it's not the most eye-wateringly expensive drink I've had.
The other cocktail I tried was the 'Une Belle Poire' again arriving in a martini glass with a couple of artistically sliced pears on the side. Now, here's the thing, I hate gin; Mother's Ruin and all that have never really tickled my taste buds, but this cocktail was just brilliant, there was a teeny tiny weeny hint of gin but otherwise I could only taste the pear and apple.
Bar Boulud's impressive wine and champagne collection
What a surprisingly good evening I had, our bill for 4 cocktails and 2 (maybe 3 - can't remember - sorry) glasses of wine came to £70. If you're looking at it from the point of price only then yes, it's pretty pricey, but if you're comparing it to other bars that put themselves in the same class (and price bracket) it's good value. And....I almost forgot, we had some lovely charcuterie, thanks to our fab waiter who, when I told him I didn't eat nuts, went off and produced not one but two small bowls of salami!
The people watching is also fantastic - you get people like me (mid-20's, straight from work, with a little dash of make up to try and look vaguely cool), the Knightsbridge glamour set (shop by day, eat (not a lot though) and drink by night) and then there's the out-of-towners who have dressed up specially and look slightly nervous upon entering.
I can highly recommend this bar for after work drinks, and even stay on for dinner (if you can get a table). The food here is also excellent and without the massive price tag!