The Pinnacle Guide

BLUE BAR AT THE BERKELEY

London, UK

Named for its signature Lutyen’s blue colour palette, this luxurious hotel bar is more than its iconic design, showcasing modern hospitality and forward thinking cocktails.

Reservations recommended
Walk-ins welcome
Accessible venue

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

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ENVIRONMENTAL ENDEAVOURS

Blue Bar works with, and supports, brands that are committed to improving the environment or that have a social impact and this is shown in their menus. The drink ‘Bee & Love’ uses only brands that are active in bee survival endeavours, and another drink uses a glass that is made by a community in Myanmar that the bar supports by purchasing their products directly.

DETAILS OF NOTE

In 2023 Blue Bar decided to make a signature spirit. Rather than a more typical gin or whisky, they opted for an eau de vie named “Blue Bar Orchard Eau De Vie”, created in collaboration with Capreolus distillery. It’s a blend of seven different fruits, all picked in the Cotswolds near the distillery, and relies solely on the fruits’ sweetness for fermentation before it is triple distilled.

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Blue Bar, it should come as little surprise, is blue. This is not something the designers were half-hearted with, claiming to combine 50 different shades of blue to create a bespoke colour just for this bar. The walls are blue, the chairs are blue, even the curtains are blue. How it has been pulled together as luxurious, considered and chic is all down to the details; splashes of contrasting red in the rugs and lampshades, white marble table tops, a white ceiling and the clever use of polished surfaces and mirrors. In the adjoining glass pavilion, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, the blue is further toned down – although guests will still firmly know they are in the Blue Bar. Aesthetics aside, the bar has also been modified with staff wellbeing in mind, with a bar station improved to prevent injuries, and a lift from the basement to the back of the bar to reduce heavy lifting. 

Guests will notice that Blue Bar has an atmosphere most bars can only dream of; one that is unique and iconic. Perhaps due to its location inside The Berkeley in Belgravia, this venue feels other-worldly and luxe, as if it can turn an ordinary day into a more magical occasion. The instantly recognisable scent comes from their bespoke candles – made by Belgravia local Rachel Vosper.  Aside from the evident use of rich, luxurious decor, Blue Bar leans heavily on its music credentials to provide an elevated vibe – a core part of its DNA. It was an early haunt of entertainment royalty, counting Madonna – a close friend of the bar’s designer David Collins – as a regular guest, and the bar has seen two sell-out CD collections of its signature tracks from world music and jazz to deep house. Now – DJs play vinyl-only sets Thursday – Saturday evenings and lively chatter can swell to dancing as the evening picks up. Earlier visitors might choose to sit in the recently renovated pavilion, bathed in natural light and watch this affluent suburb of London tick by.

All this would be nothing, however, without great drinks and the Blue Bar has had an excellent reputation in the cocktail world since it opened in 2000. The impressive back bar in the main room showcases the spirits collection while smaller drinks cabinets in the room hold even more bottles. As a hotel bar, the menu typically caters to a wide range of tastes and the team are well versed in classics so guests can always opt to order an old favourite. While drinks are presented in a more pared-back style, the team are proud of the bespoke glassware and thoughtful, minimal garnishes. 

But there’s a lot more going into menu creations than guests might first think. Deep thought goes into the creation of their menus, involving team brainstorms and trend research, to come up with forward thinking ideas that still honour the legacy of the Blue Bar. The bar team has a dedicated lab area in the hotel’s basement and access to tools like sous vide, sonic prep, rotavap, centrifuge, thermomix, freezer and dehydrator. So what may seem simple and classic, just like the bar itself, is in fact a more modern creation where every element has been considered. 



"The Blue Bar is one of the ultimate high-end hotel bar experiences in London that would be hard to beat all round."

The Pinnacle Guide Anonymous Reviewer

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