The Luggage Room, Mayfair

The Luggage Room is my kind of bar: secret, sophisticated and not located in East London.

I love this recent addition to the five star Marriott Hotel on Grosvenor Square. They have cleverly converted one of the old luggage rooms into an intimate and cosy (and hidden) cocktail bar. I will admit I got rather lost trying to navigate my way to this obscure little venue, though any member of the Marriott staff will happily escort you to the door. The bar captures the style of the 1920’s and without trying too hard manages to conjure up a calculated, cool vibe.

Bar manager Abdulai Kpekawa, formerly of Roux at the Pembury, and his team have created a menu of beautifully crafted cocktails. On view at the bar I could see they take real pride in the drinks they make and mix. At the table nextdoor I overheard a fussy woman complaining about the absence of strawberry martinis on the menu, I wanted to scream at her. Be brave and try something new… I found the recipes exciting and palate stimulating. There is little point coming to Luggage Room if you want an alcoholic frozen fruit juice, these concoctions are all about style and surprise.

We tried Luggage Cocktail, Caspers Trail, Pretty in Pink and Clover Club – all created specially for and by the team. The aptly named Luggage Cocktail is perfectly balanced, a lovely mix of gentle rose syrup and zesty lemon with a hint of the exotic from the basil. Pretty in Pink is the perfect Thoroughly Modern Milly drink, pink, punchy and potent! Made with Bacardi Superior Rum and Martini Dry, it is a strong cocktail with a girly twist. Clover Club is a less experimental option for less experienced cocktail drinkers! Tanqueray, lemon juice and raspberry syrup are mixed expertly to create a very drinkable ensemble. And finally the Caspers Trail… served short in a tumbler with a large chunk of ice this drink changes as the cube melts… made from Kamm & Sons, Grand Marnier and Framboise Eau De Vie it is a wonderfully stern drink, moody and manly, ideal for the male cocktail fan.

A concise menu of bar snacks are on offer too. We tried the Melton Mowbray pork pie with pickled wallys and English mustard and the Potted ‘two hoots’ Barkham blue cheese, spiced cider pear chutney and sour dough shards. Both were immaculately presented and delicious. Along with the complimentary salted vegetable crisps, we almost felt satisfied enough to skip dinner.

Innovative and exciting, this cocktail bar won’t remain a secret for long. And with drinks this good, I think the Marriott may be receiving an extra spontaneous visitor whenever I’m near by.

More information here.