Artesian at the Langham 22

The Langham, 1c Portland Place , London, W1B 1JA

  • Artesian at the Langham London bar hotel
  • Artesian London bar cocktails
  • Artesian at the Langham London bar hotel
  • Artesian at the Langham London bar hotel

SquareMeal Review of Artesian at the Langham

Under Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale, Artesian was repeatedly voted The World’s Best Bar. Can successors Dino Koletsas and Gabor Fodor now reclaim the crown? They’ve certainly produced some quaffable, high-end drinks on their 20-strong ‘Perception’ list, which was a year in development. Sip, for instance, La Penca de la Vida (Don Julio Blanco Tequila, Montelobos mezcal, lesser-known agave spirit raicilla, aloe soda and cactus essence), and be transported straight on to a Mexican beach. Much effort goes into novel bespoke stemware and quirky serves; La Penca is sipped from under a living aloe plant bedded in the lids of Aztec urns hand-thrown in Israel. But whether you think a faultless Manhattan (made with Talisker malt whisky, Unicum herbal liqueur, vermouth, verjus, samphire and ‘rain’) is improved by its vessel – an internally strobe-lit, white faux fur, cumulus cloud-like cluster – will depend on your attitude to kitsch.

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8.3

Food & Drink: 8.5

Service: 8.8

Atmosphere: 8.5

Value: 6.3

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Toby N. platinum reviewer 30 September 2014

Artesian is a thoroughly pleasant, if very expensive, experience. We went on a Friday afternoon after having enjoyed lunch at nearby Berners Tavern and arriving at about 4.30pm we found it initially very quiet, with a strange mix of customers, including ladies that lunch, shoppers having a pit stop and someone who appeared to be delivering a PowerPoint presentation to the other people at his table. As the evening went on the bar filled up and the customers started to more closely fit a stereotype that you might find anywhere like this e.g. expensive suits and no ties or designer heels and handbags. The room is really rather wonderful and a feels a bit like being in a country house crossed with Alice in Wonderland; lots of purple, several items massively oversized (like the lights and the bar), so that you feel one of the cocktails (which come in a curious range of drinking vessels, few of which resemble a glass) should have been marked ‘drink me’ and then have shrunk you. Air conditioning is a few degrees too cool. Music (though quiet) was surprisingly old school house, from the likes of David Morales and Frankie Knuckles. Service is fine, everyone seems to be good at their job, polite and happy to put up with us as we got increasingly intoxicated. Drinks are excellent, with a wide selection of everything you could desire, but at prices to make Barclaycard wince. Clearly going to any bar in a top West End hotel is never a cheap option and you always know there is going to be a significant mark up on drinks; this is no different with champagne that you could buy for £45 a bottle retailing at £135, and that’s before you add the service charges. We managed, with very little other than complimentary crisps (which I’m convinced were Walkers – I had expected something a bit fancier) and nuts, plus some nibbles, to eat, a single bottle of water and 2 bottles of the top (cheap) end of the extensive champagne list, plus a couple of other drinks to hit the £300 mark. I had a great time and if I was richer that would be the sort of afternoon out I’d have every week rather than a very few times a year.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Sophie A. silver reviewer 13 July 2011

The Artesian bar is one of my favourite pit-stops when spending a long day shopping in the west end. Hidden around the corner of north Regents Street, its just out of the way enough of the rabble of Oxford Street shoppers and tourists, but close enough that you can stop in and enjoy a moment of luxury. Beautifully revamped, this is the place to have a tea or drink during the day for a lovely ‘ladies-what-lunch’ pick me up, or to start a special evening with some cocktails. Service is impeccable, drinks are expensive and if you are lucky you may spot an A-list celebrity (Sam Rockwell in my experience!)

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Emyr T. silver reviewer 06 May 2010

Situated in the beautifully revamped Langham hotel, the David Collins designed bar is sleek, sexy and dramatic. With its 50 types of rum, Artesian is ideally placed for a post shopping cocktail or a refined haven from the frenzy of nearby Soho.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

HP gold reviewer 01 August 2009

A drink at Artesian is a glimpse of how the other half live; you won't see much change from a twenty and will leave lamenting the fact you haven't (yet) won the lottery. However, it's worth the agony. Artesian is at the front left-hand side of the hotel and it's no wallflower; powerful hues of purple are set off by gold chandeliers and the bar itself is an extravaganza of mirrors and yet more gold. The cocktails are pure art and the list is extensive; the woman next to us had some concoction which was then ‘perfumed’ (i.e. spritzed) at the table with a fine mist of Remy Martin. The drinks were served with monogrammed linen napkins as well as complimentary nibbles, which were incredibly moreish. If you want to impress, this is definitely the place to bring someone. The toilets downstairs are worth a detour with the upholstered in and out doors.

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Artesian at the Langham is included in the following SquareMeal lists