Service, sophistication and situation
Where is it?
Straight out of Regency times, The Library Bar is inside the 5-star Lanesborough Hotel, a few moments walk from Hyde Park Corner tube station or within walking distance of Knightsbridge. Bentleys line up outside. The imposing and grand hotel entrance can be a little confusing, so ask the concierge for directions.
What's it like?
Inside, The Library Bar boasts wood panelled walls, comfy chairs, deep reds and browns and, surprise surprise, shelves laden with heavy books. The service is just as traditional, with humble and discreet bar staff keen to keep you happy. The clientele is older than most London cocktail bars, but there's still a great buzz and you can't help but feel like important decisions are being made at the tables close to you. There's some great extra-special touches, such as the waiters bringing over vegetable crisps to every table and circulating the room with little canapes such as foie gras blinis and figs, all at no charge. The drinks prices will frighten all away except for the aforementioned Bentley drivers, with the cheapest cocktails costing £12.50, and some of the cognacs reaching four figure price tags. The drinks list comes in an old library book, and the must-try is a Lanesborough champagne cocktail, which blends champagne, orange juice, gin, vodka and limencello.
Why does Johnny Ikon love it?
The Library Bar holds its own against stiff competition from hotels such as the Ritz or Claridges. You can't help but feel like you've arrived somewhere pretty special after spending an evening here.
Chi-chi, smart and exclusive. More than the froth!
L'Atelier de Joel Rubuchon
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