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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Rosewood, Holborn

As the heavens open and the storm rages, I'm alright Jack! An early adopter, I'm sitting it out  - happy as a sand-boy in a squishy sink-in sofa by a roaring fire - at Rosewood's rather gorge bar. The haute hotel chain’s maiden European venture harks back to the days of Britain as a global superpower. Set in a palatial pillared marble hall of the Pearl Assurance Co’s former showpiece HQ, Martin (Scott’s/ 34/ The Ivy Club) Brudnizki’s candied fruits-tone updated take on Edwardian pomp is a triumph that, at a stroke, creates a classic new luxurious London space. Better still, one with great cocktails on tap. Classy calls, prepped at an imposing L-shaped bar, include humidor (Chivas 18-y-o, white port and absinthe); hats off (mezcal, Aperol and agave-sweetened citrus fruit juices); Connemara peated single malt and cherry liqueur fix, Irish mermaid (£12); fish house punch, and pith helmet - a reference to Britain’s colonial adventures in India, the inspiration for various items of old Delhi tiffin on a menu that also includes attractively presented smoked salmon or chicken liver pot, merguez pizzette, and cheese and onion sourdough toasties (£7) - the latter so addictive, I'm beginning to regret binning my Breville. For now though, there is liveried staff to cater to my fat neck's new-found need. I may be down on the dumbest TV costume drama of all time, but when I say this deeply doable drawing room-cum-library-cum-home-from-home feels like a set from Downton Abbey, it's meant as a compliment. I sit totally alone, like The Dowager Countess of Grantham spoiling for a sparring partner who'll wither under my vinegary sarcasm. Nobody comes. Not  a single sausage. Heaven on Holborn! Don't tell another living soul! 

252 High Holborn WC1V 7EN 7781 8888 http://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/london

Adapted from my review for www.squaremeal.co.uk