K Bar at The Kensington, review: Sophisticated seduction on standard.co.uk

DAVID ELLIS Friday 26 February 2016

What they say: Chandeliers glitter over a space inspired by the rarified air of a member’s club, where a list of top wines, spirits and cocktails has been built for nights of casual opulence.

What we say: K bar feels majestic – and there is no other word for it – because drinking here is a little like being in the captain’s quarters of the Titanic, albeit without the sinking feeling. The oak, the velvet, the brass, the marble tops: there is glamour here, luxury: whiffs of Penhaligon’s perfume and the rest. If the decor feels too weighted towards an all boys club (and it does) the staff and the cocktails do well to lean against this. And, while it’s cosy, they’ve arranged the room well, so it’s far from stuffy. In fact, the overall effect is of sophisticated seduction.

Good for: South Kensington has a dearth of decent bars, so if you’re in the area for any reason and not dressed too shabbily, come in. That said, it’s best suited to a date – the kind of place to be talked into bed in.

Order: Ask Ben Manchester, the bar manager. This charming man (cue music), loves his drinks and is still tweaking his bar to get things right. If you’re here because you want a damned good cocktail, ask him.

Still, chances are you’re coming with someone else, and ignoring them to make a new boozy best friend isn’t a good look. So, from the menu, for a tall, refreshing, pinkish sort of drink, try the Rye Sling Star (rye whiskey, cherry heering, applejack, green chartreuse, cherry bitters, apple juice, lemon)…..

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