London >> Ritz Paris in Residence at The Connaught Hotel, Mayfair

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Last night, after a day of jumping from appointment to appointment with some new LWSY collaborators, all I needed was a cocktail. To know I was off to one of my favourite places at the end of the day was just a joy. The Connaught Hotel has invited Paris’ Bar Hemingway to London for one week only, and last night we were treated to an evening of total decadence. Caviar macaroon anyone?

“Two of the world’s most iconic hotel bars have come together, with the Ritz Paris’ Bar Hemmingway taking up a week-long residency at the Connaught Bar from 7th – 13th April. Representing their legendary venues, two cocktail geniuses, Colin Field of the Bar Hemingway and Agostino Perrone, Director of Mixology at the Connaught Bar, have united to create a specialised drinks menu that blends their retrospective styles.”

Well this certainly got me in the mood for my week of hotel visits ahead (read why here). With six new cocktails created for the residency, of course I was ready to find my favourite. The Pink Poire, served in a wine glass was filled with ice chunks, with a combination of Grey Goose Poire vodka, freshly squeezed rhubarb juice, Suze fresh aperitif, freshly squeezed lemon juice, almond syrup and champagne. Garnished with orange zest, a dry pear slice and orange flower water spray. No ice and a slice found here. At £17 a cocktail each one looked impossibly perfect.

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Ago (left) and Colin (right)

Colin Field has been head barman at Hemingway Bar since 1994, he’s also been crowned as the ‘World’s Greatest Bartender’ by Forbes magazine. Kate Moss penned the preface to his book ‘The Ritz Paris: Mixing Drinks A Simple Story‘, which by the way is the most amazing read filled with elegant illustrations sharing his passion for storytelling. Colin (also one of my favourite names for reasons you don’t need to know) is the friendliest character. He effortlessly worked the room last night, greeting us all like we’d been friends for years. His knowledge, wit and charm is infectious. I could have stayed propped up at that bar supping cocktails all night.

Ago Perrone, head mixologist at the Connaught is at the centre of our contemporary cocktail culture. I read a recent interview quoting him as saying how he was more of a Trailer and Lab kind of guy, that’s it. He’s got me. These 2 institutions go along way in understanding his commitment to this industry. After two years at Notting Hill’s Montgomery Place Ago was invited to head up the hotels iconic bar.

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It’s no secret this hotel is my favourite in London. Espelette, with it’s sweeping views of Mount Street, played host to my sister-in-laws birthday pre-baby, the Coburg Bar designed by India Mahdavi was my bar of choice for pre-dinner drinks on my 30th birthday in December, and the Connaught Bar is quite the date night location let me tell you… 

Such an elegant hotel, sister to The Berkeley and Claridges, occupies a quiet little corner of Mount Street, home to some of the most fashion forward brands such as Celiné  (read the story here) and Lanvin. The design is both traditional and contemporary. The Apartment occupying the penthouse floor was designed by the late David Collins, Guy Oliver has designed the beautiful rooms and suites. Original artworks by Barbara Hepworth and Damian Hirst can be spotted if you know what you’re looking for, and Tadao Ando’s Silence water feature at the front of the hotel omits a certain sense of serenity as you enter the hotel. 

Whilst the hotel isn’t going anywhere, you better get your skates on so you don’t miss one of Ago and Colin’s cocktails this week. 

With thanks to The Maybourne Group

 

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