Sunday, 30 October 2011
Palm Beach Casino, Mayfair
Like my local dry-cleaners, casinos are best avoided if you don’t want to risk losing your shirt. The only chips I should ever handle are fried. As as nightcap opportunities, however, casinos clean up: their bartenders still shaking long after others have shut up shop. At the new DJ lounge at the Palm Beach Casino, ‘one of Mayfair’s most glamourous gaming spots’, they’ll mix you a martini until 5 am. Take a punt on lemongrass, espresso agave, chilli tarragon and pomegranate, toffee apple or even a Shropshire blue cheese martini: served with fresh dates, not the smartest call if you’re hoping to get fresh with a date. My gamble - Lime Marmalade Gimlet, badass liquid breakfast at £11 - pays off and, if Smokey Old Fashioned and a crafty fag sounds like you, there’s a heated snout-out terrace-cum-Wendy House. £24 is cheap for Chablis by any West End standards and, if luck be a lady tonight, as Sky Masterson sings it, there’s Ace of Spades rosé at a bank-breaking £711 a bottle. The casino itself, divine art deco crystal palm chandeliers aside, could be a beige Home Counties hotel circa early Lorraine Chase. On which note, the lovely lady herself, wafted here, not from Luton Airport, but Camberwell. And no, she doesn’t order Campari and lemonade.
30 Berkeley St W1 7493 6585 www.thepalmbeach.co.uk