The eclectic collaboration between designers Phillippe Starck and Ian Schrager streams through the 80 foot Long Bar at the Sanderson Hotel: an exclusive, opulent and flat out fabulous bar situated in the heart of the West End. Size clearly matters for this sleek, chic and beautifully contemporary bar. Boasting a simple, pale and fresh colour scheme complimented by the decorative vegetation seen in the outside courtyard, the Long Bar has a faultless ambience evidently enjoyed by the elite clientele that congregate here.
Having taken a seat at one of the stylish and fantastically eye stencilled seats, Charlotte and I were not hanging around when we feasted our eyes on the creatively crafted menu, bursting with an irresistible choice that the bar team create and rotate seasonally. Using the combination of my sweet tooth and Charlotte’s preference for spicing things up a bit, we were able to experience a vast range from their array of choices featured in the stylish and, topically, long menu.
First on our hit list was the Vesuvio as chosen by Charlotte, and the Cinnamon and Lemongrass Martini served by Filippo, the exceptional Assistant Bar Manager who spoke to us about the different cocktails, their specialties and inspiration. Having seen the magic happen behind the bar, we were soon to be presented with two elegant and flawless cocktails. The seductively spicy Vesuvio had the perfect balance between the fruit liquor and chilli, and the deep, rich and delectably sweet Cinnamon and Lemongrass Martini ticked all the boxes for a refreshing, clean and subtly textured cocktail.
In the corners of our eyes we spied Greg the bar manager, sporting some sensational dance moves while presenting us with a stunning range of bar snacks including juicy scallops, delicious spring rolls with an intense Thai dip and some of the best calamari I have tasted. The Long Bar's range of food is fantastic, coming from the kitchens of Suka; the taste, lip-smacking delicious – it is certainly not to be missed.
I then wanted to try something unique to the Long Bar and chose the Sanderson own Cocktail, a fresh collaboration of cucumber vodka and apple juice. Presented elegantly and with an aroma that led me to reminisce about holidays past, the taste is flawless and perfectly balanced. Charlotte, whose choice was also summer inspired, went for a Citron Martini. Refreshingly delightful, smooth and with the flavour focussed tightly on the sweetness of the Limoncello and elderflower, the Citron Martini had a stunning bitterness that complimented the flavours perfectly. With a few more irresistible spring rolls, prawns devoured in a satay sauce and, yes, a further portion of calamari later it was on to round three.
I always have to ‘test’ a strawberry cocktail. With such a powerful and distinct taste, the variety that is found with this one ingredient never fails to impress, so I have no choice but to go for their Oriental Daiquiri. Combining rum and the subtleness of ginger, it really was an experience and from the first sip I knew it would easily slide into my top 5, I also knew it wouldn’t last long. I was soon delving into The Mai Thai Royale as chosen by Charlotte, another spicy choice with a rum base, and simultaneously using hints of orange and lime to create a fantastic, all round, classic. Following on from this we had to sample the flutes, mine a Bakewell Champagne combining Amaretto and Laurent Perrier champagne to compliment. A gorgeous cocktail, feminine, fruity and deliciously refreshing. Charlotte wanted a sweet and memorable Swedish Kiss, featuring Limoncello, passion fruit and topped with Laurent Perrier Champagne. Although she was not sure on the decorative seeds sitting gently on the service, this was another unique cocktail from the fantastic team behind the bar.
It was at this point we met Tiaran, the fabulous host who added to the unique buzz that circulates through this one of a kind hotel bar. Perfectly attentive, chatty and passionate, we discussed with him personalised cocktails made to our taste, challenging the barmen to combine our preferences and give them a memorable title. Charlotte wanted something spicy, tequila based and flavoursome and my preference was a rich textured cocktail using pears, gin and an ingredient to give the sweetness a subtle kick.
The Mexican Breakfast: A concoction of ginger, coriander, mango syrup and tequila, garnished with fresh coriander.
The Pear Daisy: A thoughtful collaboration of gin, pear, Kalamansi juice and Poire Williams liqueur, garnished with sliced William Pear.
Let’s get these on the menu, they were truly fantastic. Combining our favourite flavours and spirits was Kestas, the evidently talented barman who thoughtfully designed these cocktails, and of course our thanks to Tiaran who named them so appropriately. The Mexican Breakfast had the perfect blend between sweet and sour, and the Pear Daisy boasted the thickened but smooth texture I was hoping for.
To polish off a night of elegance, sophistication and full of an atmosphere that you cannot seem to stagger away from, Charlotte requested an espresso martini. The smooth texture and deep flavour was a perfect end to the evening. A stunning cocktail, presented beautifully with a flawless white topping and three coffee beans sat comfortably on top. I asked Kestas to impress me once again with a creamy cocktail, something not too sweet, but cold and refreshing. I was soon to be given a cocktail to the exact description, named P.S I love you. I had to think to myself whether he still would after a couple more of these, it’s easy to forget your drinking something strong when the taste is to perfection.
A fantastic team, faultless service, delectable cocktails, stunning surroundings, phenomenal food menu, great music and a dancing bar manager: The Long Bar has it all and I cannot wait to return.
The Long Bar
50 Berners Street
London, W1T 3NG
Editors Note: To the wonderful staff of The Long Bar, Sanderson Hotel – P.P.S. We Love you too.