Some readers may remember my quest to find somewhere local that serves a good Black Velvet, when I started blogging about cocktails last year. Well, I’ve found somewhere and to add more cause for celebration, it’s served in a local hotel bar!
The venue is The Aubrey Bar, which sits within The Kensington Hotel and is located off Old Brompton Road; a walk away from Fulham Road. It’s a building one takes for granted when on the way to South Kensington or Knightsbridge. In fact, when one thinks of hotel bars, the nearest local consideration would be The Mandarin Oriental or further afield to any of the establishments on Park Lane or surrounding areas. The Dorchester’s China Tang is by far my favourite London hotel bar with the Hilton’s Trader Vic’s and Windows of The World, a close second and third.
I’d never thought I’d be able to find somewhere local. But what do I know? The Aubrey’s main bartender Alessandro Pizzoli has just won The Galvin Cup for his Martini making skills, which means he beat bartenders from The Dorchester, The Waldorf, The Ritz and The Savoy. You can find out more, here.
The Aubrey has a classic feel to it. It doesn’t try to impress with gimmicks and interior design’s latest trend. Instead, it succeeds in providing a sense of indulgence with its décor and dimmed lighting.
And how were the cocktails? Fantastic.
The Black Velvet (Guinness & Champagne) was perfectly poured. Normally, I’m used to drinking Black Velvets from steel tankards to accompany half a dozen oysters, so it was quite refreshing to be able to sip one of my favourite cocktails and not worry about volume. Served in a champagne glass means that the entire drink was fresh and light.
The Queen’s Gate Garden consisted of Hendricks gin, treeforté lemongrass, mint, St. Germain elderflower and tonic water.
This was such a refreshing cocktail and whilst sipping it, I had wished it wasn’t pouring with rain outside but that I was basking in thirty degrees heat.
The interesting thing about this cocktail is that the longer it sits still, the more the ingredients infuse. And as time went on, the flavours developed and became more complex and interesting.
The Kensington Hotel is organising a Martini tweet up on Tuesday 14th June, from 6pm – 8pm. All you have to do is tweet Garreth Walsh to put your name down. Do it quickly. Spaces are limited.