When one thinks of The Savoy, images of splendour and grandness come to mind and its prime location on the Strand only reinforces this conception.
One of three bars in the hotel, The Beaufort is as enchanting as one would imagine as well and in keeping with the commonalities one would expect of The Savoy: elegant, accommodating, and stylish. In a bid to elevate itself above the others, perhaps, the bar itself sits impressively on a stage.
There is a certain allure and charm as one walks into the bar; one that is reserved for establishments such as The Savoy.
However, we were there not only to admire, but to sample the new Beaufort Bar Vodka designed as one would guess by the team behind the bar themselves. Vodka is after all their best-selling spirit – so, in partnership with The Boatyard Distillery in Ireland, they set out to launch their own vodka in a bid to revamp an oft overlooked spirit.
I must admit I was sceptical at first, as vodka is not normally my drink of choice and I was intrigued how distinctive it could truly be made.
We are told the Beaufort Bar Vodka blends effortlessly with other flavours but is able to stand well on its merit. To ease ourselves in we decided to first try the vodka-based cocktails.
A distinctive sign of a successful cocktail is a smooth-tasting drink without a hint that there is copious amounts of alcohol – on this criteria alone they were a success.
Part of the versatility of the vodka may come from the 43% of alcohol in it – a slightly higher than average amount than most spirits.
Despite knowing the amount of alcohol, we were casually drinking, we sipped our cocktails at leisure, and drank in our surroundings. The tables are comfortably positioned around the bar allowing for the rarity of having an actual conversation take place in a lively bar.
The Beaufort has navigated the tricky balance between exclusivity and comfort as it combines something special and decadent, with warmth and comfort. Having candles on each table and orange lanterns around the bar further add to this ambience.
As we caught up about our respective lives we were entertained by the beautiful piano music in the background and ordered some bar snacks. The piano music sets an atmosphere which would be perfect for a romantic date. The bar snacks were simple yet delicious; the tuna tataki had few garnishes but was light and tasty.
“Would we like to taste the vodka neat?” our waiter asked us politely, given that was why we were there, we said “yes”.
When they arrived, I was in awe of the presentation of such a simple drink, garnished with raspberries. When I tasted it I was pleasantly surprised – it was so smooth that any preconceptions I had about vodka soon disappeared.
“I can’t remember ever drinking vodka neat and liking it” said my guest, A, in awe as she sipped from the beautifully decorated glass. It was so beautiful I didn’t want to drink it initially.
The Beaufort vodka is what you would expect from The Savoy: high-quality and exceeds expectations.
Beaufort Bar, The Savoy Hotel, The Strand, London, WC2R 0EZ, England.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7420 2111
Covent Garden, Embankment, and Charing Cross Stations are all under a ten-minute walk to The Savoy. The bar is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00pm to 1:00am (last orders at 12:30am).
Type of Bar: Cocktail Bar
Price band: High
Reviewer’s Rating: 9.5/10
Maighna Nanu is a London based freelance journalist and one of our regular writers.
Photographs courtesy of the Beaufort Bar