The Strand Palace Hotel’s cocktail spot, Mask Bar, was mercifully tarted up during the building’s latest refurbishment. Its new look – all jewel-bright and jam-tone plush with swirly pattern carpet – might not set any trends, but then again, fearsomely chic interiors and cutting-edge mixology aren’t to everyone’s taste. This is a comfy, middle-of-the-road venue where Italian Merlot or Pinot Grigio goes for £23 a bottle, Lanson Black Label Champagne costs £55, and £13 buys a trio of sliders (from a menu that also has cheeseboards and meze to share). Pay £11 and you’ll receive a large G&T or any of Mask’s ‘classic cocktails’ – read Cosmopolitan, Piña Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri and Long Island Iced Tea. Given the hotel’s art deco heritage, however, where’s the shame in championing period-correct drinks such as Bee’s Knees, Mary Pickford, Hanky Panky or others featured in its neighbour’s indispensable compendium, The Savoy Cocktail Book?