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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

American Bar at the Beaumont, Mayfair

(fantasy becomes reality at The Beaumont )

I occasionally fantasise about being alive in London of the 1920s and 30s (Oi, missus! I may look ancient and decrepit but.....) Decked out by Savile Row's finest tailors; nightingales singing in Berkeley Square; bowling along a traffic-free Piccadilly, gay flappers and squiffy slappers in tow: I'm off to get royally rinsed in the American Bar at The Savoy and trip the light fantastic to Carroll Gibbons and his Orpheans in what is now that hotel's Beaufort Bar. Of course, the grim reality was much more likely to be a life of empty-bellied drudgery on the dole in Deptford, the occasional half of bitter, incurable clap and the only foreign holiday I'd ever take, a future day trip to a beach in France - no arguments - where I'd promptly have my dancing feet blown off by a Nazi mine. My reveries are likely to be further indulged - and frequently, I'm thinking - at Corbin and King's latest lounge, the devastatingly handsome, walnut-tone art deco American Bar at the Beaumont Hotel. The pile may look as if was around long before Vera dreamed of bluebirds over Dover but, back in the day, the 30s cream building it inhabits is where imaginary Me's chauffeur would park the Roller while sir rolled into Selfridges - whose garage this then was - to purchase a new Rolex oyster for his fine-boned wrist. As with other Corbin and King venues, (Wolseley, Delaunay, Colbert, Fischer's) here's a persuasive pastiche of past times where the white tux-totin' staff's drinks are similarly period and convincing: boulevardier, Brooklyn, Martinez, aviation and remember the Maine very much what Lord Barker-Main would sink back in the day. Nostalgic film set; impeccable service; modern-trad bar bites; champagne at under £50 and all the scofflaws I can scoff ? "Heaven, I'm in heaven," as my fantasy friend Fred sings it.
Beaumont Hotel, Brown Hart Gardens, W1K 6TF 7499 1001