Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar

Once upon a time, in the heart of London, there was a magical cocktail bar called St James Bar.

Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + Whisky

Inspired by Coco Chanel’s 1920’s Paris appartment, it was aluxurious and elegant place, with a dark marble bar, velvet seats and painted paneling.

Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + Whisky

The bar itself was a bit of an alchemist’s den and hosted a myriad of little vials.

Bitters, shrubs, syrups and liquors lined up on mirror shelves, each a key component for the fairy tale cocktails concocted by the gifted team of bartenders.

Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + Whisky

The cocktail menu, taking inspiration from classic tales, read like a fables’ book and making a choice was no easy fate.

Should I follow Peter to Neverland or Pinocchio in his mischievious adventures?

Should I watch in awe as Belle’s & the Beast’s love unfold before my eye or join Alice in her race with the White Rabbit?

Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + WhiskyFairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + Whisky

But in the end, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, so it had to be the Satine’s Dilemna.

Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + WhiskyFairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + Whisky

Combining sweet and sour flavours, this subtly floral cocktail arrived topped with red rose petals and an edible diamond.

Just like it’s namesake, it’s entrance definitely made an impression!

Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + Whisky

A heavenly mix of Botanist gin, rose syrup, plum bitters, lemon juice, homemade grape shrub and bitter foam.

And just like Satine’s aspirations, it’s perfectly balanced.

Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + Whisky

My second choice was a bit wilder – but that’s just how life is when you’re a Lost Boy Girl!

Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + Whisky

A playful take on the classic Negroni, the Fear O’ Clock  is a great representation of the story of the boy who doesn’t want to grow up.

Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar, London / Cake + Whisky

And on that note, tick-tock, time’s up!

Race you to St James Bar for Friday celebratory cocktails?

St James Bar at Sofitel London St James, 6 Waterloo Pl, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4AN

More on cocktails

A British Cocktail Masterclass at Hixter

Autumn Cocktails at TwoRuba

Cocktails & Magic at Mr Fogg’s

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Fairy Tale Cocktails at St James Bar

The Balcon at Sofitel

Do you ever find yourself hungry near Piccadilly Circus?

If you appreciate shopping, love theatre-going or (god forbid) are hosting guest that insisted on dragging you to Leicester Square on a weekend, I’m going to go ahead and assume that yes, yes you do!

 

The Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + WhiskyThe Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + Whisky

Of course, there’s plenty of not-so-great chain options nearby, but if you look around, there are also absolute gems to be found.

My latest discovery? The (rather grand) Balcon at Sofitel.

The Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + WhiskyThe Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + Whisky

A stone’s throw away from Trafalgar Square, with windows overseeing Pall Mall, The Balcon is just the place to trade the business of London’s most tourist-y area for elegant surroundings and excellent French-British cuisine with a contemporary twist.

The Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + Whisky

Starting, as all good (French) stories do, with bread & (salted) butter.

The Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + Whisky

Followed by a not-so-classic yet absolutely excellent Steak tartare…

The Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + Whisky

At The Balcon, the French classic comes adorned with artichoke crisps and drizzled in truffled egg yolk.

A brilliant update if you ask me.

The Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + Whisky

For mains, the ‘Grill’ section seemed to be the most popular (but then again, can you blame anybody to ever fall for Rossini steak?), but having had a sneaky peak at the dessert menu, I decided to keep things a bit lighter…

The Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + WhiskyThe Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + Whisky

That said, the Crispy skin sea bream with samphire, fricassé of salsify and chive beurre blanc was still very indulgent while allowing me to save some room for pudding.

The Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + Whisky

Pudding that came in the form of a glorious Passion fruit and Sauternes creme brulée with mango sorbet.

The Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + Whisky

Rich, creamy, and topped with an ice-thin layer of caramelised sugar it was everything a great brûlée should be.

And then some, thanks to the addition of sweet Sauterne wine and tangy exotic fruit bringing in some very welcome freshness.

The Balcon at Sofitel • London restaurant review • Cake + Whisky

Absolutely flan-tastic from the beginning to the end!

Food, service, atmosphere, decor; everything’s done the classic way to an excellent standard, making The Balcon perfect for a business meal, a romatic date… And also all those times when central London’s crowds get too difficult to handle on an empty stomach!

The Balcon at Sofitel, 8 Pall Mall, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5NG
The Balcon at Sofitel