Blue Bar at the Berkeley Hotel, Knightsbridge

The sexy-classy hybrid.

The Vibe

It’s not just any blue that adorns the walls and chairs of the Blue Bar, it’s Lutyens Blue, named after the Edwardian architect Sir Edwin Lutyens who had a hand in creating one of the finest hotel bars around. Superfluous descriptions do it justice: it is deeply glamorous (used by Gweneth Paltrow as a second sitting room when she lived round the corner), beautifully decorated (with interiors by David Collins, a hotel bar pro), expensive, shiny, exclusive and slick. Most notably, it manages to combine traditional with modern; there are armchairs, panelling, leather and chandeliers, but also strong colours, glass features and a brave take on classic cocktails. With a capacity of 50, it feels fairly atmospheric with 10 people, and a buzzzing citadel of its own when full.

The Order

Like any hotel bar worth its salt, every drink comes with a delectable tray of free fancies- think sweet cashews and other nibbles. Although they also serve small plates to accompany the drinks, I’d advise you focus on this drink/ snack set up. Your first impulse here is to order an Old Fashioned, which may be a little unadventurous. However, they have their own take on it, with walnut liqueur, and it’s a subtle enough change to not offend traditionalists. Most notable is their famed Sex and the City cocktail. Most bars that boast drinks of this name serve up over-sugary Cosmopolitans with a fab-you-lous swizzle stick and an oversized martini glass. Not so here. Aside from the dry smoke, the drink itself is a classy chilli-infused vodka-based drink, exciting, refreshing and gratifyingly potent. Break up your drinks with a cheeky rosemary-infused tequila shot and keep going till you’re heckling for room prices (true story).

The Game

Buddy up with the barman at Blue Bar and you’ll create a witty repartee that lasts you the evening and warms the two of you up. Whilst the bar seats look appealing, you’d be wrong to sit anywhere other than the corner seats. Table service means you can get comfortable and stay for hours. Ask for recommendations and take them, choose different drinks so that you can try each other’s and, if you’re a true gent, offer your drink if she prefers it. Works a charm. After a few rounds of cocktails, switch to red wine to avoid feeling too sugared up and to wind down what could go on forever. Once you’re on the red, drop a clichéd line (beautiful face/voice/soul), go in for a kiss and an elegant grope. Finish with a cheeky line to the barman about whisking this dreamboat away and leave the hotel. Or stay, it’s a tough one.

The Faults

It’s obviously expensive, it’s slightly over the top. If you’re not dressed up or used to Knightsbridge swank, you may feel out of place.

Sex Factor

5+. Whether upstairs or back at theirs, it’s on.

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