I’m always on the lookout for a great cocktail bar. So when I was invited to the launch of Smith & Whistle, I grabbed my magnifying glass, put my bowler hat on and jump in the nearest cab (aaaaah, isn’t the Tube Strike a blessing?). To Piccadilly please, Driver!I followed the light beams to the scene of the crime…Or rather, the most stunning modern Art Deco bar I’ve ever seen. Nestled in the Park Lane Hotel on Picadilly, the newly opened Smith & Whistle masters the mix of genres. I’m happy to report that my investigations made me discover that it also has a very well stocked bar indeed! What I truly fell head over heels for was the decor. And those delightful blue-green-gray chairs!
My sidekick and I started the evening with a glass of Chapel Down Brut, a wonderfully British sparkling wine. Just as we were getting cracking’ on some urgent matters (us detectives don’t have an easy life!), we were offered some extremely crunchy pork crackling, which led me to do that epic face (and consequently ruined any chance of us getting onto any serious matter that evening…).
Instead, we investigated the cocktail menu in search of our next tipple. Which was more complicated than we thought it would be. Not that the menu was long (it was refreshingly short), but it was very interesting (I might even have used the word ‘bulls-y’). We finally made our choice, placed our order and indulged in a bit of people-watching while the bar team got busy doing their thing… Huge silver trays crossed the room, full of glasses in all shades of yellow, from the pale gold of sparkling wine to the bright orange of those cute bottles.The Detective Inspector Smith (Jameson, lemon, simple syrup, Angorusta bitters and beer foam) was obviously a must-order (the bar was named after him after all)! The perfect cross between a whisky sour and a pint of beer. Which gave my rather smug-looking sidekick the perfect opportunity to practice his best pub-buddy smile. I truly recommend you give this a go (both the cocktail and the smile!) as it truly is on of the most balanced cocktails I’ve had in a while.
I went for another crowd-pleaser, The Fuzz (Havana Rum infused with rosemary, Cocchi Americano, Aperol. Carbonated). I mean, who could not like such an Instagram-worthy cocktail?One by one, people started to leave and the atmosphere went from buzzy to cheerfully relaxed.Brilliantly crafted cocktails, smiles all round and classy hats… I miht just have found my new Mayfair local!
Smith & Whistle, The Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London W1J 7BX