Filed under: Spirits
One of London's defining traits is the ease and elegance with which it blends grand heritage and modern panache. The Connaught Hotel and its Coburg Bar are two shining examples of this phenomenon – making the latter an easy choice as a Luxist nominee in the best hotel bar category.
The hotel's history dates back to 1897, when it was founded as The Coburg Hotel. The original name was a tribute to Queen Victoria's late husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg. The hotel gained its modern moniker in 1917, renamed after Victoria's third son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught.
Since then, the hotel – which has had just six general managers in a century of existence – has maintained its old-world charm while adding flair more modern than other standbys like Claridge's hotel bar. The Coburg Bar is a perfect showcase, thanks to an interior recently redone by Parisian designer India Mahdavi. Burnt orange and purple velvet upholstery now adorns the bar's wingback chairs; black-and-white wall hangings complement the wood-paneled interior.
Then there are the drinks. Starting with rare ales from the Harviestoun Brewery in Scotland (8 pounds apiece), the selection soars to rare vintages of Krug champagne (a bottle of 1964 will set you back 8,000 pounds, plus VAT). In between are a range of cocktails Britishly listed as "Compounded Drinks," from the classic Bloody Mary (12 pounds) to the arcane Sazerac (12 pounds). Even a mundane Jack Daniels on the rocks (16 pounds) will feel sophisticated at The Coburg.
Vote for the hotel bar that you believe is the best of breed. The voting period runs through April 30 and winners will be announced on May 1.