SquareMeal Review of
The Leopard Bar at The Rubens at the Palace
Recently refurbished, the two main lounge bars of this grand hotel offer the chance for dressed-up, higher-end drinking. The Leopard has been doubled in size and serves creditable versions of classic cocktails, along with 200 fine whiskies and 30-odd Champagnes. Musicians provide a polished jazz-swing soundtrack while you sip, Wagyu steak sandwich in hand – and, yes, leopard-skin prints feature on cushions and flooring. Also on the ground floor, The New York Bar is incongruously named: its scarlet plush and 19th-century gilded military adornments owing more to The Grand Old Duke of York than to Duke Ellington’s Manhattan. Nevertheless, the cocktails are high on interest. Discover Ruby’s Little Secret, a finely balanced Rémy 1738 Cognac, Pinot Noir, artichoke and cherry-liqueurs Manhattan, served with chocolate pralines. Try too the smoky Laphroaig Whisky Sour, the Oreo cocktail, and various summery iced-tea ideas. Accompany these with notable old-school snacks including coronation chicken ‘sausage’ rolls.