May 11, 2018
The Fumoir bar at Claridge’s is almost too glamorous to be true. It’s exactly what you’d wish a hotel bar of this kind to be, transportative, elegant, luxurious: a portal to a more refined age. The Thirties-inspired interior is divine, all dark, aubergine walls flecked with mirror and gilt, soft leather seating, and stylish crystal lighting, with a marble horseshoe bar, vintage black-and-white photographs on the walls and original Lalique panels. Its exclusivity is enhanced by the fact it’s incredibly dinky, an exquisite jewel-box of a space with room for about 35 people tops. The drinks are delectable the bar stocks an excellent range of cognacs, armagnacs, rums, tequilas and ports as well as offering a selection of classic cocktails (served in Lalique glassware, of course). They make an impeccable Martini, crisp and cold, and the service is efficient to the point of liquidity, as you’d expect from a hotel of this calibre. More intimate than Claridge’s main bar by some way, and slightly less well known (as the name suggests it was originally intended to be a smokers’ haven before the arrival of the ban), this only adds to the sense of romance. It goes without saying that elegant dress is essential.