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Friday, 8 October 2010

Flemings, Mayfair

Whether for afternoon tea with cupcakes in its cosy-cute library, or a tête-à-tête over Taittinger - from a selection of fizz from £10 a flute - in its semi-secret intimate basement bar, splashy boutique hotel Flemings is a Mayfair address to know. With its seductively-lit, mirrored overwrought interior in lurid cerise and jade, we're in 1950's kitschy pot-boiler territory - the sort of film set you half expect Bette Davis to waft onto in a cloud of Sobranie smoke, wearing a beaded shantung silk number and an eye-patch and dripping diamonds and vitriol. Unflappable, twinkly-eyed service is part of the appeal; camp staff entertain us over knockout martinis and pink fizz fit for bubblehead blondes. Go ‘long and luscious’ with Eau de Poire (a pear Collins) or demand a ‘glamourous treat’, a Precious Jewel, perhaps (Tanqueray 10, fig liqueur, lavender bitters and lemon) from a drinks list that includes various martinis at £12 and pinot grigio at £22.50. Canapes of mini fishcakes, pea and mint risotto balls, bresaola wraps andveggie options encourage lingering in a clandestine, subterranean speakeasy that's far removed from the West End hustle (Up until the mid-1970s, Half Moon Street was home to Mayfair's rent boys).  Just don't tell the suits! (Abridged from my Square Meal review) 

8 -12 Half Moon St 7499 000