The Pinnacle Guide

VELVET BY SALVATORE CALBRESE

London, UK

One of London’s stand-out luxury hotel bars, Velvet delivers progressive and stunning cocktails made to an incredibly high-standard with exemplary service.

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

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INGREDIENT CREATION

The team use an enormous range of innovative techniques and equipment to create their cocktails including a rotavap for precise distillation, a centrifuge for separating liquids, an ultrasound for unique preparation techniques, a Thermomix for precision blending, induction hobs for controlled cooking, a fermentation tank for innovative flavour development, a vacuum machine for sous-vide preparations, a dehydrator for crafting unique textures, and a carbonation rig for creating custom carbonated beverages.

DETAILS OF NOTE

Velvet is a bar with extremely unique vessels and glassware. At the time of writing the current menu uses a cup made entirely from 100% beeswax in their laboratory by melting blocks down and skilfully pouring the wax into silicone moulds. Another drink is served in a 3D printed vessel, derived from 100% renewable sources like corn. Yet another is presented on a wooden scale accompanied by a ceramic cup shaped like a human face.

The Pinnacle Guide

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Nestled on the ground floor of Corinthia London, Velvet by Salvatore Calabrese is a haven of old-world charm. Designed by the esteemed David Collins Studio, the interiors exude luxury with rich shades of red and royal blue, plush velvet upholstery, and lavish lighting. Convex mirrors, commissioned artwork by Robson Stannard, and a central marble fireplace add to the bar’s glamorous ambiance, reminiscent of the early 20th century.

Upon entering Velvet, guests are greeted with the allure of the hidden bar, concealed behind thick velvet curtains. Of note, once inside, the piano is built into the bar top which gives an additional wow-factor to this very comfortable and luxurious space. Beyond aesthetics, the working bar station – designed by Calabrese himself – has been designed entirely with the staff in mind, featuring shallow ice chests, garnish drawers and sinks designed for a healthy posture during service.

The staff here take pride in offering a warm welcome, and guests will be served a special seasonal starter drink, available in both alcoholic and alcohol-free options, and complimentary bar snacks.

The cocktail menu at Velvet is a mix of timeless classics and modern creations, made in collaboration with Calabrese himself and the bar team. With a focus on aged spirits such as cognac, rum and whiskey, the bar specialises in modern drinks that are served with some theatrical element, be it unique glassware, garnishes or in the preparation itself. Velvet also boasts a notable champagne collection, featuring rare vintages and magnum options. 

Velvet’s team work hard on their in-house ingredients, many of which are prepared daily for freshness, and crafted with precision using state-of-the-art equipment in their back-of-house lab.Innovative techniques such as freezing, clarification, centrifugation, and gelification are employed to create cocktails with diverse textures and nuanced flavours. The meticulous attention to detail, from measuring sugar and acidity levels to daily tastings and consistency checks, ensures that each drink meets the bar’s high standards.
This attention to detail extends to the ice used in their drinks, which is crystal clear, branded with the logo V for Velvet or SC for Salvatore Calabrese.

Adding to the atmosphere of Velvet is its live music performances, held Tuesday through Saturday from 9pm to midnight. From jazz trios to funk and soul bands, the resident musicians create a vibrant energy from the small stage by the bar that complements the sophisticated ambiance and keeps guests coming back for more.

Outside of service, Velvet supports the charity ‘Spread a Smile’, who entertain sick children in hospitals and virtually in their homes in the UK. This has included hosting events, fundraising campaigns, direct donations – and members of the team have even run a half marathon in aid of this cause.

“It’s a fantastic bar, plush and romantic with exceptional cocktails... Probably the best Manhattan I have ever had. I thought I was going to cry, it was so good! I would recommend the cocktails to anyone.”

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