American Bar @ The Savoy Hotel

Day Drinking

American Bar @ The Savoy Hotel


1 / 5 4 / 5

May 11, 2018

It’s about as grand as entrances go: sauntering up to the elegant The Savoy hotel and through those classic turning doors. We recommend a pit stop in the small museum before you head into the bar itself, where you can see all sorts of relics that form part of the bar’s rich history, with a cabinet of vintage booze bottles older than your grandfather’s father, and a framed letter from astronaut Neil Armstrong.

It has to be said though – considering the bar’s worldwide fame and barrage of awards (currently known as the ‘World’s Best Bar’) – the first section of the bar is a little underwhelming. The seated area doesn’t blow you away as you’d hope. Think fancy cruise ship vibe, with a smart art-deco style, retro carpeted floor and grand piano, but lacking in atmosphere.

In the evening the bar comes into its own though, with a live pianist taking centre stage playing swing music. Still, to make your experience truly special you need to nab a seat up by the bar. Now that is a real show-stopper, with a bold curved white frame, mirrored back wall and bartenders suited and booted in a white jacket and black tie – up here it feels like you could be drinking with James Bond himself!

The cocktails are equally as theatrical, the current menu is based on the celebrities featured in the photographs hung on the bar’s walls since the eighties and each drink comes with a coaster that looks like a camera lens. ‘First Impressions’ is inspired by David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor, simple in design, yet intricate in taste; with layers of delicious zesty bergamot, botanical gin and a luxurious drop of floral jasmine oil on top. But the must try is the bar’s world famous Hanky Panky cocktail, created right here by the legendary Ada Coleman in the early 1900s (just make sure you ask for the non-vintage version to avoid spending a small fortune).

Yes, this is the kind of establishment you visit after pay day – the cheapest cocktail on the menu is £18 and comes with a 12.5% service charge to boot. Despite this, the service could be a tad more slick. A glass of iced water along with your alcohol intake goes a long way! However, we still say it’s good value for money, considering the quality of the cocktails, the visit to the museum and the sole fact you’re having a drink in the London’s first ever cocktail bar! It’s certainly something you should do at least once. Even if you can’t afford to go twice…