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Dr John Hawkins

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Drinks at the Ritz

Posted on 2011/11/19 10:00:10 (November 2011).

[Saturday 12th November 2011]
Recently I've been enjoying visiting the bars at London's grand hotels - particularly now that I have the sort of attire which feels appropriate. Having been to Claridge's and then Duke's the next I was keen to try was the Ritz.

I'd originally tried to plan this with the chaps, but that had met with a mixture of slightly luke warm enthusiasm and scheduling difficulties. So Chie suggested today the two of us go instead, and that's what we did this evening.

It turns out that the Rivoli Bar at the Ritz is actually only ten years old, and as it happens I think today may actually have been their tenth anniversary. Previously this corner of the building had been shops, apparently. It wasn't really clear where the bar at the Ritz was previously, or indeed if there even was one. I know the hotel has undergone other changes - the ballroom is now a casino for example. So discovering that was a tiny bit disappointing, but still, nonetheless, getting to the bar means going through the foyer and the large central hall of the hotel which are all very grand and impressive. I noticed there are tables out in that rather more glamorous and impressive open space, and I wondered if those in the know have their drinks there rather than the newer and somewhat more pokey bar. I got the impression the majority of the customers in the bar were tourists, although reassuringly there were at least a couple of good old chap types. I enjoyed the first drink I had - a Ritz 100 - it was a sort of Champagne cocktail with Grand Marnier, vodka, and gold leaf (!). The second one was somewhat less memorable.

Anyway, all in all that was fun, and if nothing else I enjoy any excuse to wear my suit.

I'd looked around on the web earlier for somewhere to go for dinner, and with a combination of the web and the Zagat guide had settled on Delfino's, a pizza place in Mayfair. I had a "monti a prati" (mountains and plains) pizza, which was a nice idea - sort of a cross between a normal pizza and a calzone - but actually was a bit bland.

We walked home from there, stopping off en route at the Berkeley to tick another hotel bar off the list. We just had one quick drink there and didn't linger particularly long. They have two bars it seems - the Blue Bar and the "Caramel Room". We went in the latter as Chie preferred the quieter of the two. Not really much to get excited about though.

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