In our latest bar review, we return to an old favourite haunt, long overdue a review of its own…
The Strand Palace Hotel has been a must-visit place for me ever since I stayed there three years ago. It’s not just for the menswear boutique it’s attached to, or the fishtanks in the reception area. Its in-house cocktail bar is another reason altogether. Way back when, it was called The Mask Bar, and the absolute must-have was perhaps the best Strawberry Daiquiris (see pictured).
This article deliberately begins with nostalgia, as neither the bar’s name, nor the daiquiris exist now. Instead, the hotel now has The Gin Palace, changing names around 18 months ago, according to one of the bar staff. Thankfully, though, it is not all change. It has retained its very elegant peacock-coloured décor.
Gin is very in at the moment, and with its name change, a whole new section of the cocktail menu is devoted to it. But if a gin cocktail doesn’t take your fancy, a traditional favourite like a Mojito (see pictured) is also available for £13 each.
Also available are a small selection of Champagne cocktails for an extra £3. At £16 in a four-star hotel, you are not likely to enjoy any fairer pricing and receive decent-quality goods. One of the more eye-catching option is called the Japanese Fizz (see pictured). With its bright green colour and slight effervescence, this cocktail could easily be mistaken for something from a Harry Potter book.
No turning into frogs (or worse) here. The colour of this drink comes from its base liqueur – Midori, that gorgeous Japanese melon liqueur. It has added tartness from the addition of both Cointreau and Lemon, and then topped up with Lanson Black Champagne. It makes for both a steady long drink to have at parties and a conversation starter. That colour is infectious – it’s likely your friends will want to try one after seeing you with it! And they, like the new bar, come as highly recommended as ever.