May 11, 2018
Modern cocktail bar meets art deco splendour in this sophisticated and trßs French spot in the Sofitel Hotel. Located just at the entrance to the venue, it’s popular with guests and visitors alike, and it’s certainly easy to see why. Drinkers sit in low, wide armchairs done out in cream and black fabric, all elegantly spaced over a large floor, set in front of a dark mahogany bar. Plush carpets and 25ft high ceilings add to the refined hush, while thick hanging drapes in green and red add both glamour and a certain French mystery, with an excess of lamps giving a flattering glow. All of this is emphasised by attentive staff and a fantastic cocktail menu with mellifluous-sounding signatures like the Marquis de Rochambeau; the key ingredients of which are olives and anchovies. Which is where we personally draw the line: olives in a drink we know, but anchovies? You decide. There’s a more standard selection on offer for more cautious souls, and a decent selection of wines (though these can veer into the pricey). Le Bar is open from 10am until midnight daily and prices are about what you would expect for a hotel bar, but the service is exemplary efficient without being stuffy and the drinks are top quality, so you’re unlikely to feel short changed. As a result it tends to attract an older, moneyed crowd that is happy to pay for its lush ambiance expect a lot of suits, especially through the day and just after work, and don’t turn up looking scruffy unless you really, really want to stand out for all the wrong reasons.