Strand, London, WC2R 0EU
020 7836 4343
In a theatrical, Art Deco interior of jet-black and burnished gold, the Beaufort Bar is all about champagne, cocktails and cabaret. The bar offers one of London’s most extensive choices of champagne by the glass and by the bottle including rare vintages from Louis Roederer and Cristal. Cocktails are served with a witty and playful presentation and accompanied by nightly entertainment.
For most people, the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel is the bar that comes first to mind over it’s sister the Beaufort. It’s older, larger and has been tended by legendary bartenders Ada Coleman, Harry Craddock and today’s man of the moment Erik Lorincz. The Beaufort Bar by contrast has only been in existence since the hotel’s budget-busting makeover completed in 2011, although the cabaret stage upon which the bar sits has been around a whole lot longer.
Black and gold art deco is the name of the aesthetic game here; to call it masculine would be missing the point, but it’s no shrinking violet that’s for sure. With gold-leaf adorned alcoves in which to snuggle up, and stage-top stools upon which to be seen, there is something for everyone, and an atmosphere that feels just a touch more sophisticated and mellow than the oft tourist-laden American bar just a hop skip and a jump up the stairs. A particular favorite are the high chairs to stage left and right, hidden from view from much of the bar, sitting here feels as though you are part of the show. With a pianist singing everything from crooner classics to “Money, Money, Money” by Jessie J, the vibe is light-hearted and relaxed despite the serious-looking decor.
And what a show it is. Service is as one would expect of a hotel of this calibre; swift, efficient and a well-judged balance of friendly benevolence mixed with a knowledge of when to leave you to your own devices. Champagne is the bar’s distinguishing attraction,apparently there’s plenty of the rare stuff should you be so inclined. Of course I wasn’t, and similarly-minded folk will be equally pleased to see the bar giving it’s sibling a run for it’s money in the cocktail stakes.
Whereas the American Bar cocktail menu focuses on a more classic style of drink, the Beaufort makes it’s name by looking towards a seasonally-inspired menu. The cocktails remain however reasonably conservative in style, with ingredients such as the lemon sherbet used in the Perfect 10 as unusual as you’ll find. Including ‘Perfect’ in the name of any cocktail is asking for trouble, but the combination of blanco tequila, pineapple and agave alongside the sherbet provide a fresh and subtly flavored libation that is admittedly hard to fault. A delicate touch of flavour is a common theme throughout the rest of the menu, but a thoughtful approach to the end result is evident in all. The signature ‘Le Beaufort’ combines Grey Goose vodka, Galliano L’Autentico and Louis Roederer Champagne, but perks everything up by touch of cardamom fragrance. What was to be a little uninspiring is suddenly lifted to quaffable affability. The Dapper Dandy is where you’ll be wanting to head however for a full-on attack of the silky-smooth. Aged rum, Manzanilla sherry, and rhubarb honey water combine to such glorious effect that only the sullen stare of the lone businessman in the corner prevents you from offering a standing ovation.
Few bars could stand up to the might of the American Bar, but the Beaufort does. By not trying to be ground-breaking, but instead offering the sort of solid and reliable consistency that should be the hallmark of a great hotel bar, it not only delivers the goods, but presents itself as a destination in it’s own right.
The Encantador - Bacardi Superior, Aperol, Eau de Framboise, Fresh Lemon, Vanilla