Occupying up to one quarter of vast baroque ballroom-cum-postmodern brasserie (dig the epic chandeliers), the bar at Jason Atherton’s recently launched Berners Tavern is a dramatic space tailor-made for socialising. A monumental display cabinet dominates proceedings, while the cocktail list references the sophisticated tipples on offer at Atherton’s Soho speakeasy, The Blind Pig – check out top tips such as Tanqueray gin, elderflower and cucumber smash, ‘dill or no deal’ or absolutely smashing (a cider brandy and peach liqueur cup). By contrast, corn on the cobbler (whiskey, orange Curaçao, Oloroso sherry and sweetcorn syrup) served in a metal julep cup is disappointing – iced Lemsip springs to mind. Snacks include sliders from £4.50. A second bar in the hotel’s grand lobby promises great people-watching over classy contemporary cocktails. Despite some rather sluggish service, this place cries out for a return visit.
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