Now named after the hotel's former owner (a society figure who inspired the BBC series The Duchess of Duke Street), the bar and lounge at this St James’s fixture was first conceived when the ancestors of its current American guests were selecting their country’s first president. Formerly The Lobby Bar, the pokey space recently received a facelift, although its extreme lighting, lurid London mural and ubiquitous floral displays in lame vases feel more like a budget provincial motel than a chic Jermyn Street bolthole. Quality cocktails deserve sexier surroundings – particularly when the bartenders can dispense competent, attractively presented mixes such as appletini, Vesper, raspberry bellini and pomegranate martini for a very reasonable outlay. Likewise, glasses of Lanson Black Label fizz at £9.50, decent wines and attractively priced club sandwiches are not to be sniffed at.
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