Set in a high-gloss black and nut-brown hangar-like space within the luxe Bulgari Hotel, Il Bar is an oblong sliver of silver surmounted by stubby, shrubby floral arrangements. The effect is simultaneously fearsomely chic and curiously soulless – a car showroom as envisaged by Armani circa 1995, perhaps? Despite its Muzak and general lack of buzz, it dispenses world-class cocktails such as carrot and lavender bellini or au thé vert (Tanqueray gin, lemon, homemade oak-moss syrup and jasmine tea) to enliven proceedings. Copious complimentary platters of quality ham, olives and stuffed peppers (regularly replenished) make the cocktails look pretty good value at £12 upwards. A separate, climate-controlled VIP lounge with humidor is an added draw for cigar smokers.
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