Tue 05 2018  |  Adaya

Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel has reopened today with a new menu after an extensive redesign.

The redesign has been inspired by photographer Terence Donovan and it’s more glam than ever – definitely worthy of joining our list of the other best hotel bars in London.

The Spot:

The bar has been redesigned with glamour in mind so think a super British palette of racing green, gold, pale blue and white. The inspiration behind the decor and menu has been ’60’s photographer Terence Donovan, so the contrast between matte and shimmering surfaces, light and shade bring to mind the camera’s lens, while the glass bar sits on top of a shimmering bronze surface, reminiscent of a photographer’s tray. We can kind of see the resemblance…

Some of Sir Terence’s most iconic photographs are on display in The Naughty Corner, a semi-private area with room for 12 people (not the place they send you if you forget to pay for your drink).

The Food:

Bar food here includes some classic bar snacks such as sausage rolls and scotch eggs, alongside seafood-focused light bites – think oysters, smoked salmon and prawn cocktails. Sandwiches are available, including – of course – Donovan’s version of the club sandwich and there are a few larger plates available such as gnocchi, fish and chips and omelettes. It’s all very much classic hotel bar food.

The Drinks:

Salvatore Calabrese remains in charge of the drinks here, of course. Some highlights inspired by the history of the bar include the Lady Forte cocktail, which combines Don Julio Blanco Tequila distilled with timur pepper, blood orange and grapefruit juice, agave and Moët & Chandon Champagne. We also love the sound of The Naughty Corner, made with Bacardi white rum, white cacao liquor, Galliano, pineapple juice and fresh passion fruit, rimmed with cocoa butter and saffron.

Salvatore’s modern classics return too, including the Breakfast Martini, made with Tanqueray No. 10, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice and orange marmalade.

Those looking for something special should look towards Salvatore’s selection of vintage cocktails, which make use of his personal collection of rare and vintage spirits. The Vesper uses Gordon’s Gin (c1950), Smirnoff vodka (c1950) and Kina Lilet 1949 while Salvatore’s Legacy is made with Clos de Griffier Vieux cognac (1788), Kummel Liqueur (1770), Dubb Orange Liqueur (c1860) and Angostura Bitters (c1930).

The Damage:

This is a high-end hotel bar so cocktails are around £20.

In a Nutshell:

This is one of London’s greatest hotel bars, steeped in history. We’re very happy we can once again go along to steep ourselves in their excellent cocktails.

By JustOpenedLondon