London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Luggage Room

The Luggage Room cocktail bar is situated next to the 5* Marriott hotel in Mayfair. The entrance is a closed door, with no obvious sign, so we arrived slightly late for our reservation, having walked past twice without realising where to go. Admittedly however, this subtle entrance gives the bar an air of exclusivity, almost as if we’d been invited to someone’s house.

After knocking on the front door we were welcomed into a hallway, our coats were taken and we were given an appropriately themed luggage tag. We wondered whether our smart/casual work dress would be appropriate considering the surroundings, but when we walked into the main bar, it was bustling with people having a post-work drink, albeit from slightly smarter jobs than we appear to have.

Unsurprisingly, the bar was previously a luggage room from the neighbouring hotel and here, we were guided through the 1920s style room by our waitress wearing a black cocktail dress. We felt as if we had stepped back in time, leaving the 21st century on the other side of the doorway.

The waitress gave us a small glass of rum punch and some small bowls of crisps while we perused the menu and took in our surroundings. The menu has two pages of cocktails, including some classics (Manhattan, Mint Julep), champagne cocktails and other house specialities.  If cocktails are not your thing then there is also a selection of wines, beers and other spirits, including a fairly extensive list of whiskies which caught our eye.

Unsure what to try first, we asked our waitress for advice.  Apparently each member of staff is given two weeks training and tries every cocktail on the menu (we momentarily considered a career change), which equips them with a good knowledge of the menu and an opinion on the cocktails. For round one we chose a Clover Club; a bright pink martini made with Tanqueray gin, lemon juice and raspberry syrup, and a Bernato Fizz; a longer cocktail with Tanqueray, Kamm & Sons (a ginseng spirit), rose syrup and blackberries topped with champagne.  Both cocktails were a success, and thankfully the martini was sweeter and gentler than a ‘slap you round the face’ classic martini, so round two was on the cards!

For the next we fancied something a little less sweet with our eyes also being drawn to the exciting looking array of bar snacks.  We chose a Penicillin (Johnnie Walker, lemon juice, honey syrup, ginger and Talisker) and a larger rum punch (as the one we had been given at the start was delicious), accompanied by a salmon scotch egg with caviar sour cream and a potted ‘Two Hoots’ Barkham blue cheese with a spiced cider pear chutney, and sour dough chards. The bar snacks, designed to carry us through to dinner, were generous in size and so tasty they momentarily took our attention away from the drinks.  In particular, the pot of blue cheese was rich and creamy and the pear chutney cut through nicely allowing us to finish the whole pot without it feeling too rich (definitely not a dish for those watching their weight or cholesterol).  The Penicillin was aptly named as it had similar qualities to a hot toddy, but served cold.

More upmarket than a usual post work bar, The Luggage Room is perhaps not recommended if you are on a budget, but then you shouldn't really go to Mayfair. We would recommend this bar for a special occasion or if you just want to treat yourself to nice cocktails and enjoy good, old-fashioned attentive service.

Grosvenor Square, W1K 6JP

Cocktails from £12.50
Average price for bar snacks:  £12
Food/drink: 5/5
Value: 3/5
Service: 4/5


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