Friday, 26 October 2012
Purple Bar at the Sanderson, Fitzrovia
I've never been a fan of purple - the go-to hue for the mentally disturbed and midget US pop stars inter alia. Nor did I go a bundle on The Purple Bar any time I visited it. 'Up its own arse' - the phrase that springs to mind when it was THE place to go. Its PR invites me back. All designer goth Twilight zone, it is the sort of dark, discrete, high-end, hole-up where RPatz, dumped by Kirsten, might woo her understudy. Previously accessible only to resident hotel guests, any Joe Schmo with the cost of its upmarket cocktails is welcome, so long as he's phoned ahead to make a reservation. That cost - £21.27 for a Sipsmith martini - is higher than a Ryanair flight to Warsaw but on balance, I'd still rather have the drink, steep as it may be. A menu will be produced on request, but head barman Michelangelo prefers to offer a bespoke service. After an extensive at-table consultation, his suggestions - a vodka and rhubarb sour and an aged version of a classic Boulevardier (bourbon, Campari and vermouth) - are given the thumbs up; but a sherry-based alternative to a Martinez is less successful. Back on-menu, I like a selection of martinis that includes Franklin Roosevelt (a mildly dirty, dirty martini) and Eddie Brown (made with a dash of apricot brandy). Ultimat Kir (Dom P, Desbons cassis and gold flake) and B&B King - vintage 1940 Martell and similarly aged Bénédictine at £490 - are perhaps best left to stars of Mr Pattinson’s wattage at a hotel that still attracts a fair few visiting A-Listers. That only six punters are in when I pitch up, mid-evening, says something about its current hot draw status in the eyes of resident Londoners.
The Sanderson, 50 Berners Street W1T 3NG www.sandersonlondon.com
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