Il Bar at the Bulgari Hotel: A Shiny New Jewel in Knightsbridge
Every so often we love a bit of posh, and bars don’t come much posher than the recently opened Il Bar at the Bulgari Hotel. It’s a designer hotel and then some but rather than that out-and-out fashion thing that can be alienating to us mere mortals, the company has tapped into its roots as an Italian jewellery brand so you get the ‘wow’ factor in a nice relaxing setting.
Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t the sort of place where you should rock up in unsightly trackkie bottoms or run-of-the-mill trainers - even if you ‘do’ casual, make sure its smart. That way you’ll fit in nicely with the overall look and feel of the place
- it’s luxurious with a capital ‘L’.
The space alone makes you know you’re dealing with exceptional quality - how many bars in London offer such an expanse of square footage, particularly in big bucks Knightsbridge? Then there’s the décor - all opulent marble, granite and mahogany with statement pieces of Bulgari trademark silver. It’s a streamlined, updated version of the gentleman’s club given a stylish Italian twist.
And it works perfectly for women too. Sit at one of the tables or better still, perch on a stool at the dramatic hammered silver bar. From here you’ll be able to watch the team at work as they create their tip-top cocktails.
The menu is a delight, consisting of a dozen or so Bulgari cocktails representing modern Italy and a selection of classics with an artful twist. Ms S went for the Au The Vert (Tanqueray gin, lemon, oakmoss syrup and jasmine), a delicious, lightly fragranced, deftly balanced long drink inspired by one of the perfumes in the Bulgari collection.
Mr G had the Bulgari Martini (Tanqueray gin, sweet Italian vermouth, smoked rosemary and bergamot), a lovely and herbaceous alternative to the usual, with a rich warming hue, served in smart modern wine glass - all combining to deliver a very elegant, grown-up cocktail.
In true Italian fashion, cocktails are served with complimentary ‘aperitivio’ - small portions of nibbles, more substantial and far more interesting than your usual crisps and nuts. At Il Bar we were treated to foccacia, slices of bresaola, stuffed pimentos and olives - all absolutely delicious and perfect for bridging the gap between after work drinks and dinner. All in all a real treat.
What’s the damage? £12-£16 for cocktails (includes aperitivio).
Il Bar, Bulgari Hotel, 171 Knightsbridge, SW7 1DW