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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Rhodes Patrón Bar at the Cumberland, Marble Arch

With its conceptual art and a distinct night-clubby feel to its stark colour-washed main lobby, The Guoman group’s Cumberland Hotel feels more like it belongs in Miami than Marble Arch. Con-joined with Rhodes Brasserie is this new tequila bar, Patrón’s first in Europe. As you’d expect, the entire agave clan is there including ultra-premium Gran Burdeos at a stratospheric price that will elicit the same sort of yelp as if your arse had accidentally impaled itself on a grande cactus. 'I'd like to try some of that, please', I say, not unreasonably, given I'm at a press launch - the Burdeos, not the cactus shagging you understand. 'We're not opening the good stuff tonight.' comes the response. 'What am I? Chopped liver?' I wonder aloud, noting that this never happened a casa Jose Cuervo. The more accessible (read much cheaper) Silver Patrón is produced - nice enough, but a bit like making do with Margarita Pracatan when you know damn fine Shakira is backstage. Silver forms the base of £10.50 calls such as maple margarita, Mexican border (with almonds, cactus juice mint and kiwi fruit) and apple mojito, while the brand’s XO Café adds kick to an espresso martini. Non-tequila-based cocktails are also available but that’s to miss the point of a sleek, airy, contemporary space that, when less busy, has the feel of an airport; the one where everyone has flown off and left you behind because you were too busy fannying around trying the offers in Duty Free when they put out the last call for all passengers to Cancun.

Cumberland Hotel, Great Cumberland Place, W1H 7Dl 0845 305 8314 http://www.rhodesw1.com/

(Adapted from my review at www.squaremeal.co.uk )