Rupert Hohwieler 20/01/23
Ah, Vesper Bar, we’ve been expecting you…
After all, considering the Dorchester’s ground floor bar has been cordoned off for the past few months, there must have been something special brewing. And, as it turns out, there certainly was. The five-star hotel is now the proud home of a swish new bar named after the cocktail that James Bond invented & ordered in Casino Royale, christening it in honour of his love-interest, Vesper Lynd.
Just flip to chapter seven in your copy of the book for the recipe: “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?”.
And it’s worth pointing out that The Dorchester isn’t just grabbing onto Bond’s impeccably tailored coattails. Author & creator Ian Fleming stayed and dined here frequently, and it’s where most of movie press conferences are held (Sean Connery and Roger Moore were also both announced as new 007s here). Hell, Bond even dines here in the newer novels. Basically, Bond runs in The Dorchester’s blood.
As for what they’ve unveiled? Well, it’s exactly as majestically luxuriant as you might expect. The the design keys were handed over to Swedish interior architecture rockstar Martin Brudnizki (The Ivy and Annabel’s are just a few of his doings), and he’s delivered an aesthetic that harks back on the glitzy heyday of the 1930s, complete with a Palladium leaf ceiling, original pieces from celebrated photographer Cecil Beaton and a terrace looking over Hyde Park.
The drinks menu has been taken care of The Dorchester’s Head Bartender Lucia Montanelli (well, except for the one drink). He’s put together an inventive list of cocktails spanning from the rum-loaded ‘Bessie Mae’, which involves edible bubbles inspired by Liz Taylor’s regular bubble baths at the hotel, and the ‘Licence to Chill’, which is a plum-infused old fashioned with a bullet shape drilled into the ice cube. And then, of course, there is a classic vodka martini …though the bartender recommends you get it stirred, not shaken.
Of course there’s some very high end bar food too (lobster tempura, lamb Wellington, etc.), and there are regular DJs to keep the mood upbeat. Overall, it’s a high end place, with a high end vibe, and a tuxedo definitely wouldn’t feel out of place. The drinks are pricey, yes, but the service is impeccable, and if you go in with the right expectations…
…you’ll leave wanting Moore.
NOTE: Vesper Bar at The Dorchester is open now, seven days a week. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right here.
Vesper Bar | 53 Park Ln, The Dorchester, W1K 1QA
Enjoy an exceptionally well-made drink? These excellent London cocktail bars are a good place to start…
The Dorchester, 53 Park Ln, Mayfair, Central London, W1K 1QA
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