After spending Tuesday and most of Wednesday recovering from working on the LCW launch party, I was very pleased to be invited to The World’s 50 Best Bar Awards. So I picked myself up, brushed myself off and got dressed to the nines for another memorable evening.
My fiancée and I arrived slightly after 8 at, it has to be said, one of the most amazing venues in London, No.8 Northumberland Avenue. We ventured down and down and down again into a massive white room filled with the great and the good of the drinks world. I noticed many people from my Monday night adventure, but having been so busy working, many names had slipped my mind. One that hadn’t was JJ from LCC. Great guy, great bar, sadly not in the top 50 this year, but don’t be surprised if next year you see them rising up the ranks.
As I am sure you can imagine, there were some beautiful cocktails on offer. There was also a nice selection of brands there. Nikka Whisky were offering tasters of their single malts and blends, whilst still whipping up some great whisky cocktails. Also Botran Rum were there, offering up some sweet cocktails. I sampled the Botran Daiquiri that was on offer and it was everything one would expect from this rum based classic. But as my eye always does, it was drawn to the Caoruun Gin. They were serving a couple of different cocktails that were very tasty indeed.
As I was sipping a very delightful Bramble, I saw that the bartenders were using a bitters I had not seen before. This was the Dandelion and Burdock Bitters from Dr Adam Elmegirab’s great selection. I was blown away by the great concept behind this bitters and loved the flavour. Obviously, it is right up The Gypsy Chef’s street, as both dandelion and burdock are staples in the Gypsy kitchen. I have done some more research into this brand and cannot praise it enough, so on trend at the moment. I am sure I will come back to this some time in the future. But for now, back to the awards.
As the drinks flowed, some lovely, smart canapes were passed amongst the growing crowd. There were rare beef strips of sirloin served with bernaise and disks of golden beetroot with a goats cheese mousse. Just as I began to do some networking and introducing, the ceremony started, the crowd hushed and the countdown began. I will not regale you with the whole list as you may find it here.
The top of the list is very Londoncentric, in fact 6 of the top 10 are London venues. These are just a few of my favourites.
London’s Highest New Entry at No. 12.
In a very dark basement in Hoxton Square, this new kid on the block seamlessly blends the classics with serious innovation. A must for romance, fun and general dark basement cocktail drinking.
Rising from 27 into the top ten at No. 9.
As many have said, it was not a surprise to see this great bar rise as it has. And I would not be at all surprised if it keeps on rising; this bar being the elder sister to the new BTT, as featured in the previous blog. As the name suggests, this is a place where imagination takes control; beautiful vintage furnishings, Narnia-like wardrobes and the most amazing drinks. What more can I say, except get down there.
Artisan at The Langham Hotel
Rising from No. 3 to the No. 1 spot.
No surprise for many in the industry as the total package is offered at Artisan. They have a true classic list of cocktails but also great variations on a theme, whether it’s a G & T or Martini. They also offer an extensive list of Rum and other spirits. All that is left to say is that the decor is a beautiful balance between austerity and classic hotel extravagance, and the staff are like your best friends.
Tune in tomorrow for the last part in The Gypsy Chef’s journey into the cocktail world.