It is a well-known fact that Londoners flock to any outdoor space they can get, the moment the sun shines down on the Capital. We thought we’d bring you some respite to this never-ending heatwave and introduce you to three of our top London Hotels, where you can cool off with a refreshing cocktail.
Hidden away down the historical lanes of St James is The Stafford. The American Bar at the Stafford stayed true to its roots and remains one of the few hotels in London that have kept the name; relaunched in May this year it is a history book in a bar. We were greeted with walls adorned with classic college photographs of individuals who have visited throughout the years, signed photos of pop stars, politicians racing car drivers and many other notables. The bar itself is a rich mahogany with shelves of crystal cocktail glasses sparkling in their own reflection, dark green fabric, mahogany panelled walls and plush maroon chairs.
Having chosen the hottest day of the year, the Stafford’s private courtyard is a glorious suntrap hidden behind the hotel. Here we sat on the cobbles enjoying a cocktail, the Moonraker, chosen from their classically curated cocktail list and admiring the foliage that decorated the Grade II listed Carriage House. Formerly used as stables for horses of the nobility of St James, the stable yard was converted into accommodation for the hotel in the 1990s. The Moonraker cocktail, designed for M of the James Bond novels and exquisitely English, was a nod to the historical Gentleman’s Clubs of St James, frequented by the likes of Ian Fleming. The concoction of rhubarb liqueur, elderflower cordial, framboise liquer, Champagne and Sipsmiths Gin made for the perfect summers sipping.
New to town is The Beaumont which was named after the fictional character Jimmy Beaumont, a US Bartender made redundant because of prohibition who moved to London to follow his dreams. It is the 1920’s in post war Britain and everyone is living for the moment. Jimmy creates a hotel that captures the spirit of era. Set in an art deco building formerly the garage for Selfridges, the interiors reflect old world luxury.
The Beaumont is one of the newest hotels to feature an American Bar. This magnificent room leads into the Colony Grill Room which has firmly proven itself with London’s foodies. Both rooms are inspired by the 1920’s and incorporate dark wood with bottle green chairs. Our favourite feature of the hotel are the thousands of black and white portrait photographs. Notables such as Hollywood celebrities and glamorous pictures of members of the public from the 20s and 30s, whose portraits found their way to auction, now sit proudly on the walls of the Beaumont watching over others as they chat, gossip and celebrate as they sip their Manhattan’s.
The Ham Yard Hotel is perhaps a lesser kept secret, but it definitely deserving of its hype. With interiors designed by Kit Kemp, this hotel makes us instantly want to redesign home interiors and add colour. Kit mixes warm corals with burnt oranges, lime greens, lilacs and mellow yellows. It sounds mad and it is mad but it works fantastically well and is reflected in the running of this hotel.
Their roof terrace in the place to be in the summer. The Terrace frequently partner with bars and brands to throw a series of equally inventive events such as; the Sipsmith’s Hot Gin Roof where the Ham Yard partnered with Sipsmith’s and playing on the historical origins of this popular spirit, they created a selection of hot and cold gin cocktails.
Recently the International Wine and Spirit Competition had 600 gin entries from around the world with 40 of the top awarded spirits receiving the coveted symbol to display on their bottles. Try KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin at 45-55% proof from Japan and winner of the outstanding award. Closer to home the Black Powder Flintlock Navy Strength Gin a stonking +57% proof will take the roof of your mouth off. So please sip wisely LT readers and go and treat yourselves to a cooling Gin and Tonic (Fevertree of course) at one of these fabulous London gems.
Banner and flag images of courtesy The Stafford; American Bar and Exterior image of The Beaumont courtesy The Beaumont Hotel; Roof Terrace and Colourful Hotel bar image courtesy Ham Yard Hotel; all other images Luxury Topping’s own.