Hattie Lloyd 23/11/22

Le Magritte

Ceci n’est pas un hotel bar.

Well, technically speaking it is – you’ll find it sitting invitingly on your left as you walk into the 5* Beaumont Hotel, tucked down a side street right next to Selfridges. But in spirit, it’s much more than that.

Le Magritte takes its name from the French surrealist artist, whose painting Le Maitre d’Ecole hangs in the centre of the well-stocked bar. It shares glossy, walnut-panelled wall space with black and white photos of old-school legends like the Rat Pack and Shirley MacLaine. There are sumptuous arm chairs, leather stools huddled around the illuminated bar, while the glow of cabaret lamps is reflected in mirrored tabletops. The place feels a bit like Zédel’s Bar Américain in miniature, with a lively, atmospheric soundtrack of jazz and swing standards.

It’s the sort of place you could easily bed in for an evening, which, with cocktails this heady, could be perilous. Thankfully, there’s a brilliantly executed menu of high-end bar snacks to provide ballast, which could amount to a whole meal if you order enough. There’s the sensational truffled pizza topped with fried artichoke and melt-in-the-mouth coppa; instantly warming chickpea panisses with a perky jalapeño ketchup; french toast with bacon jam sitting under a snowdrift of grated cheese and truffle; some impressively shaped devilled eggs; and – if you really want to push the boat out – oysters and caviar by the gram, which arrive with all the ‘traditional accompaniments’… a.k.a. brown butter waffles.

le magritte bar

Justin De Souza

As for the drinks… Le Magritte’s signature cocktail list changes regularly, and for the winter features drinks laced with spice and warming spirits. The Speak Whisky To Me does, indeed, speak whisky, stirring it with amaro lucano, red wine cordial and angostura bitters; while the Just Got Rum combines XO rum with ginger, orange bitters and a delicate jasmine & rose syrup. Larry Sent Me is a stunningly fluffy take on the pisco sour, adding in pineapple juice, chinotto and pandan syrup. It’s sweet, smooth, and a sprightly alternative to winter cocktails that usually go heavy on the darker spirits – but if you’re stuck for choice, just ask the attentive and knowledgeable staff.

In the warmer months, of course, Le Magritte’s terrace really comes into its own, though there are heaters to keep you toasty in winter, too. From here you can just about make out the lights of Oxford Street twinkling at the end of the street, reminding you that this cosy, sophisticated cocoon is a stone’s throw from one of the busiest patches of London.

Which is rather surreal.


NOTE: Le Magritte bar & terrace is open daily until midnight (11pm Sundays). There are no bookings; just turn up. You can find out more HERE.

Le Magritte | The Beaumont, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, W1K 6TF

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Le Magritte

The Beaumont, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, W1K 6TF

8.8 | Great