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Friday, 10 August 2012

Il Bar at The Bulgari, Knightsbridge


Molto swanky new Italian hotel The Bulgari imagines Knightsbridge ‘the heart of London.’ If you’re Nancy Dell’Olio or the sort of Vuittoned-up vulgarian/ lucky sod (delete as appropriate) whose idea of B&B involves a £9,000 + per night suite of ‘peerless magnificence’, champagne, caviar and bathing your ‘arris in asses milk, it probably is. Yet, for just £13.50 for Three Herbs Julep or smoked rosemary and bergamot martini (sweet service and a navvy-sized platter of breads, garlic olives, stuffed peppers and charcuterie included), Plebs can briefly party in the emperor's new clothes, living la dolce vita at Il Bar. An imposing silver lid-off flying saucer-shaped vision, its ‘tenders know their cocktail onions. I order an À La Louisiane # 2. My request for a take on an overlooked New Orleans classic would see less savvy souls log on to howthehelltomakeit.com - answer: bourbon, Bénédictine, absinthe, bitters and sweet vermouth. Here, it's competently parried in a beat with ‘do you prefer Martini Rosso or Carpano Antica, sir?’ I’d score Il Bar higher but for the clenched-ass 90s chic barn it inhabits. Deadly dull. I half expect its dreary drapes to open as a Mafia capo’s gardenia-covered coffin trundles past to an Italian cover of My Way. Yep, if Prada did funeral parlours…... In the alley outside, a kiosk’s awning announces ‘lottery tickets / bus passes.’ After one drink, this EuroMillions  serial loser flashes his and boards a red number 74 home. I fancy Nancy could walk back to hers, although the world's most impossibly glamorous woman probably insists on being carried by liveried servants. 
Bulgari Hotel 171 Knightsbridge SW7 7151 1010 www.bulgarihotels.com