My sympathies for the bar staff forced to work under such gruesome conditions. Martinis no longer made at the table, harsh lighting, and waiters in very threatening black masks reduced what had previously been a convivial and enjoyable experience into something that was simply to be endured. “The aroma of the oil brings sweetness to your nose first,” he explains, as they clink glasses. 3 gin, a few drops of Angostura bitters and a cut of rind from an Amalfi lemon peel finishes it off. It becomes evident that while guests might flock to Dukes for the Bond connection, what makes them return is Palazzi: he is all grace and charm, a more tangible link than the cocktail could be. We rank these hotels, restaurants, and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location. 8 bartenders on the bar they’d travel the world to visit, 35 St. James's Place Dukes Hotel, London SW1A 1NY England, Ambience destroyed by Poorly implemented Regulation - Expensive and charmless. Filter English. We were welcomed with wonderful Saxophone, keyboard and vocals! Unprofessional, rude waitresses who make you feel like you are an inconvenience. In fact, the arrangement of the three small adjoining rooms into private pods of armchairs keeps you from so much as glancing through most of the space, unless you commit to craning your neck for a sneaky look. Vesper Martinis at Dukes Curious about the cocktail conversation I eavesdropped on earlier, I bring it up with Palazzi, who leaves for the bar and comes back with a different bottle in hand. Dukes has been said to limit Martinis to two per person, and after one, I can see why. This is the place you experience a martini rather than just drink one. Get InsideHook in your inbox. The accuser was playfully peeved; I happily gulped down mine. From here, retire to the Drawing Room or the Cognac and Cigar Garden for the final finesse of a perfect Mayfair evening. And awesome. Is America’s Most Famous Bookshop on the Verge of a Mutiny? Palazzi, who came on in 2007 after long stints in Paris at The Ritz and George V, comes with a fashion-world following that adds a little glitter to the place as well. We are classic here, but we have to move on, too” he says. Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page. “I’ve been a bartender for 45 years. Reviewed September 22, 2020 . We think this is one you’re going to love. Disconcerting to say the least. Copyright © 2020 InsideHook. Elegant and comfortable surroundings, On point service and Out of this world cuisine---Chacuterie, Chicken Kiev, Wine & Martinis--Vodka then Espresso---Thank-You!! My sympathies for the bar staff forced to work under such gruesome conditions. Once a table had been secured, paper copies of track and trace form presented in a classless manner with a Bic pen. A mother-daughter duo float outside ahead of me, and we share a laugh about needing a cool London evening to straighten ourselves out after those drinks. And awesome. The DUKES Bar martinis are legendary and as quoted by the New York Times, ‘one of the world’s best.’ If the walls of this intimate space could tell a thousand stories… Every Martini or personalised cocktail served at the internationally acclaimed bar is an occasion, with our world class bartender team at the helm. Get quick answers from DUKES Bar staff and past visitors. He tells me stories about waiting on Anna Wintour (“If you made a mistake, forget it, you might as well emigrate,” he laughs) and of his ongoing work on the menswear circuit at Pitti Uomo. Sorry, I have no idea. ), I set out one evening to try it. Simply delicious. Expensive service fee. A booking I made 3 months ago that was confirmed via telephone on the day apparently didn’t exist when I...turned up. No great experience. turned up. Potachi Vodka, No. Instead, quick-moving Italian bartenders in white dinner jackets lead you to a velvet armchair where your Martini comes to life tableside atop a rosewood bar cart. Joined work colleagues for the famous Duke's Martinis there last week. Great place. We want to bring these experiences to you, wherever you might be in the world. You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter. If I were someone who frequently wandered St. James spending over 20 pounds a pop on a cocktail, I think I’d even like to be a regular. There’s an air of business about the place, from the navy and taupe carpet reminiscent of New York steakhouses or East Coast country clubs, to the clientele (not totally one note but plenty of clean-shaven finance types), to the singularity of its focus: the Martini. By now there may not be a more famous martini than the one poured by Alessandro Palazzi at Dukes … Sometimes, if the drinker likes their Vesper quite dry, Palazzi swirls the vermouth around a frosted glass before dumping it on the ground. Given the price point, (our tab was over 200GBP) Sadly, I would avoid this hideous and classless charade at all costs. A martini is more than a cocktail the same way a tuxedo is more than a suit. Considering the role vodka plays in Fleming's Vesper, it's worth noting that the author wrote the drink into his first Bond novel in 1952, the year after the earliest known reference to the Vodka Martini in Ted Saucier's 1951 Bottoms Up. It's free. Martinis no longer made at the table, harsh lighting, and waiters in very threatening black masks reduced what had previously been a convivial and enjoyable experience into something that was simply to be endured. DUKES Bar is legendary for serving the very best martinis – and for being the watering hole of choice for Sir Ian Fleming. I duck out for dinner nearby, just to come back a few hours later for an ambitious second. Truly shambolic......keep your money to go to a true luxury London hotel!!!!!!More. Avoid this place at all costs.... no one knows what they are doing. Disconcerting to say the least. Had martinis here most nights of my 4-night stay at the Dukes Hotel. As I ready myself to leave, Palazzi is air-kissing a tall Texan woman in silver pants as two grey-haired gentlemen slide on their sports jackets and one reaches for a cane. Perennially fashionable since the days of Henry VIII, junction of Piccadilly Circus at its northeast corner. Are you sure you want to delete this answer? Dukes, funnily, is a bar without barstools. The James Bond author spent many an hour sipping on this classic serve. Sorry but I can't answer to your question. 6 reviews. Wonderful service, ambiance and drinks! We ended up going there 4 times in a one week visit. Lovely service and fabulous drinks, plus it’s just tucked away from all the madness, offering an oasis of calm. On a Post-Election "Real Time," Bill Maher Raises Alarms and Talks Reconciliation. “You have to read a woman; you have to be a host and come up with a good mix,” he continues. It’s free. Alessandro took great personal care of us. Needless to say, the bar seemed a little daunting. There isn’t a table nearby with any other cocktail; clearly, you don’t come here if you don’t want a Martini. For what was once a good old boys club with one enduring claim to fame, Dukes seems to be doing just fine with change. Truly shambolic......keep your money to go to a true luxury London hotel!!!!!! Best martini in the world. Kina Lillet, the original vermouth, has been replaced by one by Berry Bros. & Rudd, one of London’s oldest wine shops. Arrived for New Years Day Jazz Brunch @ 3:30pm with 2 friends I traveled with~~ Girl's London Theater trip. It may be my favorite drink, but I’m no Martini snob, simply because I don’t have an opinion on — or the taste buds for — the finer points of vermouth, the shake-versus-the-stir and so on. I make a Martini with white truffle, with bottarga. I would call them directly. He makes me a Martini with yuzu-infused Sacred Gin. Are you sure you want to delete this question? Still, never one to say no to a perfectly good drink (it’s for work! Festive drinks before and after our delicious late afternoon repast. Given privacy in the drawing-room and attended to. “It started as a joke. While I was at the bar I served only champagne. There are more tweed jackets than you would see at a comparable New York bar like Bemelmans in the Carlyle, but the place feels surprisingly unstuffy, thanks to the gentle laughter from Palazzi and his bartenders as they pour drinks and entertain guests in equal measure. - Stuffy interior, tired staff without commitment. In a word, AVOID.More. You have to take time and come to this little gem of a place and enjoy a martini or a vesper. The first 25, boring. All reviews scones ian fleming dukes hotel vesper martini head barman cocktail bar st james reserve a table great cocktails afternoon tea vermouth olives twist . The drink, named for double agent and femme fatale Vesper Lynd, requires both gin and vodka, a dash of vermouth, a lemon peel and a good shake. Updating list... DentonHurst. + Fun with the Bond theme. The last 20, now I do things as I like. Thanks,Rano, Hi Please do you cater for a coeliac for afternoon tea? With the new Bond film coming later this year, there’s no better time to learn how to make the perfect Vesper Martini. Given the price point, (our tab was over 200GBP) Sadly, I would avoid this hideous and classless charade at all costs. The best! This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Both St James’s and Regent Street are home to a diverse array of brands, from bars and restaurants to art galleries and boutiques. Charming. I can’t say enough about the wait staff. Two women in the corner in an array of black Issey Miyake pleats and nearly matching thick horn-rimmed glasses watch a young bartender peel a slice of orange rind into their drinks. At least one valid email address is required. Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor. Sign up for InsideHook to get our best content delivered to your inbox every weekday. Upon arrival immediately shouted at to put a mask on before crossing the lobby. Strongly recommend! The whole thing is pretty simple, but the presentation makes it feel exceptionally indulgent. All perfectly tasty, and all void of any airs of haute gastronomy — just finger food to satisfy pre-dinner peckishness.