The thing I love most about living in London is the reality of after work drinks. Catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a while, those fantastic colleagues you work alongside but don’t get to spend much time with or even your siblings. The latter relates to me a lot, especially as my sister and I live together but we both have such busy lives that quality time together is rare.
We managed to secure down a weekday evening together and decided to go out and have some fun. Champagne, cocktails, tapas, the works! After hearing the Mandarin Bar at my favourite Mandarin Oriental hotel had reopened after its grand refurbishment, it was the only place I wanted to spend the cold, snowy evening.
I was completely smitten with the new decor, whilst it has these gorgeous warm gold tones, they are complimented with dim lighting and dark blue leather seating. The Mandarin Bar has come back with such an elegant and sexy vibe, it makes the perfect spot for all you luxury hotel bar lovers. I think it is a firm favourite to add to my list now.
I started with a glass of Möet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2009 whilst I waited for my sister. Mandarin Oriental London is one of the only places I know that regularly serves this beautiful champagne, I can’t get enough of it. I’m not normally a Möet drinker, but the Gran Vintage 2009 is to die for.
Until my sister arrived minutes later and joined me on the Moët. It was the first time she had tried it and she was completely smitten with it, she even mentioned we should order a few bottles for our house. Something she doesn’t say often may I add…
Accompanying our nibbles we given some olives, rice crackers and crisps to snack on whilst we browsed the tapas menu.
Cheers to an evening of warmth, siblings and being in the presence of the best service, drinks and food. The Mandarin Bar sure know how to make things special, not bad for a Wednesday evening!
We ordered a couple of tapas dishes to get us started. They were quite similar to the ones I had when I visited the Rosebery Lounge for an evening of live entertainment, but they were so good I didn’t mind having them all over again.
Kicking things off with the Steamed Club which was a steamed chicken bun, kimchi mayonnaise and a quail egg on top and my favourite Pea Croquettes with pea purée and Wakame mayonnaise. Absolutely delicious!
My sister ordered the Wild Cherry Blossom with Citadelle wild blossom gin, cherry herring, bitter syrup, lemon and British borage honey syrup as her post-champagne concoction of choice.
I went for The Elm which was barrel-aged Bols Genever, pineapple and pomegranate juice, falerum syrup, lime and elm tincture. We were both clearly both got the the long, red cocktail memo but both were equally as enjoyable.
We decided to try a few other tapas dishes such as the Woo Bar Tortilla which was made with prawn, piquillo aioli, Thai basil on crispy tortilla and a real savoury favourite of Hendonist Sandwich made with Brie cheese, truffle butter in a toasted tomato bread (It normally comes with Iberico ham too, but we got it without it).
We washed down the food with a lovely non-alcoholic Ginger and Lemongrass cocktail which was made with spiced syrup, lime juice, chrysanthemum and star anis. A lovely refreshing cocktail for someone that doesn’t want anything alcoholic, plus it’s served in a teapot. Win-win!
After feel so full on so many delicious tapas dishes, we decided to finish the way we began with some champagne cocktails. I ordered the Chrysanthemum made with Chrysanthemum gin, St Germain, peach syrup and Möet and Chandon Grand Vintage 2009 champagne. The peach syrup gave it a little bit more sweetness, just how I like my drinks.
My sister ordered the Rose made with Kwai Feh lychee, van wees rose, Hong Kong baijiu (a lovely Chinese spirit made from 5 different grains), king’s ginger, grenadine and finishing it up with Möet and Chandon Grand Vintage 2009 champagne.
We had an absolutely fantastic evening in the Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. If you haven’t been since it has opened, you must. Not only is it stunning, the service is amazing as is the array of cocktails and tapas. I am already ready to make a return!
Until next time…