You can only drink two martinis at the hotel bar at Dukes Hotel in Mayfair. The bartenders won’t serve you any more—that’s how potent they are. This is the place to come in London if you secretly wish you were a member of a gentlemen’s club, and if you want a martini made with all the fanfare—the drinks trolley brought to your table, the bottle, straight from the freezer, shaken as you sit and watch. There are cheaper places to drink, that’s for sure, but do they have green leather armchairs and white-jacketed bartenders and portraits of distinguished 19th-century gentlemen looking at you approvingly from the walls? There’s also a cognac and cigar garden.
Drink Like Bond
“A dry martini,” Bond said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.” ( Ian Fleming, Casino Royale.) You’ve dressed well for a night out, as you should. Your pilgrimage to Ian Fleming’s favorite drinking spot and inspiration for Mr. Bond’s “spiritual” life leads you to Dukes Bar in Mayfair. The bar is clubby and intimate, perfect for a rainy London evening. You choose an oversized chair in the corner and settle in. The handsome, Italian bartender in a white jacket rolls the mixing trolley to your seat and kindly asks about your preferences… but how to choose from the glorious array of chilled spirits and bespoke blends? A martini, of course…you’re a Bond fan after all. A swirl of vermouth, a healthy pour of gin and vodka, a sweep of lemon around the glass and you have the world’s best (and most powerful) martini. You sit back and congratulate yourself on the successful first step of your all-things-Bond journey. Note: If you plan on having more than two, plan on spending the night upstairs at Duke’s Hotel. Bring your credit card.