We were delighted to see that four of our bars have been featured in the recent ‘Top 50 Cocktail Bars’ list for 2019: American Bar at the Savoy, Coupette, Heads + Tails, and Beaufort Bar at the Savoy.
Placing fifth, American Bar at the Savoy can add this award to its extensive list of accolades. The nearly 130 year old establishment continues to ‘raise the bar’ for bartenders all over the world; having received the title of ‘World’s Best Bar’ in the ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’ List 2017, and ‘World’s Best Bar’ at ‘Tales of the Cocktail’ 2018, it comes as no surprise to see American Bar at the Savoy taking home another award. And with the launch of their new cocktail menu in April 2019, a collaborative effort from Head Bartender Maxim Schulte and Director Of Bars, Declan McGurk, visitors to American Bar can experience an industry first: a cocktail menu accompanied by a live album from resident piano player Jon Nickoll. Talk about tasting notes!
At number twelve is Chris Moore’s Coupette. After opening in 2017, Coupette made a dramatic entrance into the London bar scene by earning the ‘Best New Opening’ award in the ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’ List 2018 (as well as jumping straight to number 18), and winning ‘Specialist Bar of the Year’ and ‘Cocktail of the Year’ at CLASS Bar Awards 2019. Their new cocktail menu ‘Summer’ spans decades, with Board Room transporting patient sippers to the thick smoky atmosphere of a 1980s boardroom meeting, and Strawberries & Cream drawing drinkers into the sunny haze of next week’s Wimbledon final. Like a tennis ball served by Serena Williams, we’re sure that Coupette is fast approaching new heights.
Hot on their heels is West Hampstead’s Heads + Tails, entering in fourteenth place. A relatively new addition to West End Lane, the bar is the brainchild of industry experts and long-term collaborators Will Partridge and Chris Dennis. Their concept was to take one space and create two. Enter Heads, the ground floor bar with a penchant for greenery, lightbulbs and polished surfaces. And then, separated only by a staircase, comes Tails, the seedier sister bar with a secret — a secret garden. Like two sides of the eponymous coin, Heads + Tails is modelled on contrasts and juxtapositions: marble versus wood; huge windows versus shadowy walls; low alcohol serves and aperitivo-style drinks in the upstairs bar versus dark, moody, short drinks made with bourbon, rum and scotch. This spot has already become a local favourite, but with a nation of bartenders backing it, the penny has finally dropped.
The Savoy makes a return to the list with Beaufort Bar at the Savoy claiming the thirty-fifth spot. After winning the coveted title of ‘Best International Hotel Bar’ at ‘Tales of the Cocktail’ 2015 and placing twenty-seventh in the ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’ List 2015, Beaufort Bar has continued to protect its legacy as a locus of elegance, luxuriance and opulence through their new cocktail menu. Entitled ‘Music, Magic & Drama’, the menu pays homage to the founders of The Savoy Theatre: dramatist WS Gilbert, composer Arthur Sullivan, and hotelier Richard D’Oyly Carte. As for music, live performances are held every day from the adjoining Thames Foyer; as for magic, it is imbued in each and every order through the complex and mystifying processes which take place in the construction of the drinks. And for drama? The Beaufort Bar sits in the location of The Savoy’s old cabaret scene. The drama is timeless.
The ‘Top 50 Cocktail Bars’ list is created through the collation of votes from everyone and anyone involved in the UK drinks scene; bartenders, managers, and drink experts from all over the UK all have the chance to give their input in order to create a truly representative and inclusive list of both industry cornerstones and local high street favourites.