SquareMeal Review of
Manetta's Bar at Flemings Mayfair
Post-WWII, boutique townhouse hotel Flemings’ cosy, conspiratorial cocktail lounge was a favourite haunt of foreign spies and British spooks based at MI5’s then HQ on nearby Curzon Street. A lavish refurbishment in 2017 – all Tabasco and tobacco-tone plush, ebony leathery luxe and dishy bronzed art deco – has only upped the appeal of this bijou gem. Staffed by dashing men, dapper in raspberry crushed-velvet waistcoats and dickie bows, the bar’s lethal slugs are as seductively put together as any of Ian Fleming's (a distant relation?) Bond girls. Unimpeachable, if pricey, signatures worth noting are Lost Generation, a Talisker Manhattan, and They Do It With Mirrors, a Herradura Blanco Tequila, crème de pêche, lavender, camomile and Zinfandel sour named after the Agatha Christie thriller. Bar snacks include sea bass ceviche and perfectly judged mushroom arancini. Christie set her 1965 novel, At Bertram’s Hotel, in a thinly disguised Flemings. Today’s great mystery is why such a thrilling den has not been sussed by even more discerning London drinks sleuths?