Hattie Lloyd 19/01/24


Mayfair just got a sleek new cocktail joint called Scales.

And as you’d expect, it’s hitting all the right notes.

For one, it’s sitting pretty in a neighbourhood which – while not short for great barsis slightly lacking in the ‘sultry date spot’ department. Unlike its refined neighbours in hotels and tacked onto Michelin star restaurants, Scales is dark, moody, and feels just a little illicit – helped by the fact it’s hidden behind a discreet door in a bottle shop.

And for two? The drinks are absolutely amazing.

scales cocktails

That bottle shop is Drink With Sasha, a smart little boutique whose bespoke wooden cabinets are packed with rare, unusual and premium spirits (the staff really know their stuff here, and if you feel inspired after a cocktail or two downstairs it’d be worth picking something up on your way out). But to cut to the chase, you’ll want to shoot a little eyebrows eyebrows to one of the team, who’ll radio to the barkeep downstairs – and like some super-slick, secret intelligence operation, you’ll be hustled downstairs through a black door.

You’ll emerge into a gorgeously low-lit space with fluted ebony walls and a polished black bar. Heavy curtains line the space, but they’re not just a design feature – one draws back to reveal an extra bar area that can accommodate more guests as the place gets busier. It’s basically hidden bar Inception.

scales bar

It’s also where Scales’ drinks lab is tucked away, where the team experiment with equipment like centrifuges to extract flavours and craft their strikingly clear cocktails. The best seat in the house for drinks fans is up at the bar, where you’ll likely be sat opposite the head mixologists, Din Jusufi and Engji Shala. Unsurprisingly, they’re true cocktail enthusiasts, and they’ll happily tell you about the intricate processes that have gone into the drink in front of you.

scales bar

As for that drink – you might go for a refreshing Shiso Apple, blending Desi Daru vodka with shiso leaf, green apple, and bergamot, or something seasonal like the Gingerbread, a wintry marriage of Tidal rum, gingerbread, coconut milk, walnut, and citrus. Impressively, they’re not crazily priced, given their quality and the area you’re in – they all pretty much sit under the £15 mark. And even more impressively, the team pours the same meticulous attention into their non-alcoholic creations, like the Forest – a sparkling botanical union of Everleaf Forest, raspberry, and grapefruit soda…

After all, it’s good to have balance.


NOTE: Scales is open Tuesday – Saturday and is mainly walk-in only, but you can book for groups of 5+ HERE.

Scales Bar | 25 Duke St, London W1U 1DJ

Making a night of it? Here’s our top picks for restaurants in Mayfair


25 Duke Street, Mayfair, W1U 1DJ

8.5 | Great