If the quintessential hotel bar experience is about fine drinking and elegant hospitality, Connaught Bar is the exemplar. Here, surrounded by the gleaming David Collins-designed cubist decor, every detail is meticulously thought through, from the welcome to the goodbye and everything in between. The smoothness of the operation is driven by the ever-impressive trio of leaders: Agostino Perrone, Maura Milia and Giorgio Bargiani. Nothing is left to chance: eight hours of preparations goes into every service.
Top of the bill is the Dry Martini, which sees the bar’s own licor stirred down in a bespoke mixing glass and made to measure with a choice of homemade bitters designed by Perrone himself. But if you’re after something more modernist, the latest cocktail menu Synergia is inspired by the dynamics of human encounters, with Icebreaker (rum, pisco, sherry, peanut butter, fermented banana, verjus and bitters) a standout among a list of distinguished drinks. And one more thing: do visit the bar’s Masterpieces section – it lists the most popular cocktails over 15 years of the bar’s lifespan and each and every one is a banger.