One Leicester Street, formerly the St John Hotel, has had a bit of a makeover. If Don Draper could kit a place out, this would be it- mid century cool in inky palette tones. A big bunch of us from work were lucky enough to be invited out to preview the place-and very importantly-it’s bar!I stuck to the Zoe Jordan’s for most of the evening- refreshing with a zing of ginger! Plus, vodka=win.
We had a few platters of food- little fennel and pork sausage baps and gorgeous bite sized squares of salted caramel ice cream sandwiched between thin wafery slices of…heaven? *droooool*We were then split into two groups for a chance to watch and try out our cocktail making skills. The only skill I have is drinking them, so I was very excited for Mixology 101!
David, the gentleman behind the bar, went through a few tricks of the trade- getting a full body workout shaking the mixer and building up stamina by stirring ice cubes in a glass. By the end of it, those cocktails were earned. My favorite tipple is vodka so he whipped up a little champagne, apricot liqueur and vodka in a martini glass and served it with a slice of peach. It was bellini magic.
The bar is open until midnight Monday to Wednesday, 1am Thursday to Saturday and closes at a respectable 4pm on a Sunday. There are 15 rooms at the hotel, all stocked with Penhaligon goodies, flat screens, wifi and considering the hotel’s location- sandwiched between Leicester Square and Chinatown and neighbours with the hulk that is the W Hotel- it’s oh so quiet. You can’t hear the madness outside. I would pick a boutique place like this over a soulless McHotel anyday.
The ground floor is where you can find the hotel restaurant, and if our tasty canapes were anything to go by, in very capable hands with michelin starred Chef Patron Tom Harris. The bar is available to hire privately and the location perfect for a London getaway. You could eat and drink your way through the menu, crawl into bed and walk straight into Chinatown and the West End to explore Theatreland the next day.
Hop to it!