It looks as if it’s been around as long as London’s oldest restaurant itself, but this wood-panelled, mock-Balmoral baronial fantasy was but a lowly storeroom until the early years of the 21st century. Although its legendary instigator, Brian Silva, is now shaking his stuff at Balthazar, Rules’ upstairs bar is in safe hands and remains on every discerning bon viveur’s list of fallback options. Order 20th-century classics and modern prescriptions such as Kate Middleton’s Royal 29 (Sipsmith, Pinky vodka, Lillet, crystallised violets and rose petals) or stick to The Rules (Tanqueray 10 gin, Dubonnet and vintage crémant de Bourgogne). Otherwise bag a buckshot bullshot (as served on shoot day at Rules owners’ High Pennines estate) or rediscover fine fixes, sours, cups and crustas that would have been familiar to the toffs of Downton Abbey.
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