Many cocktail bars are a bit too glitzy for me. They often involve lots of chrome, incredibly low-level lighting and music that's too loud to allow me to talk to friends, or to be heard when placing an order. The Berry Bar doesn't cater for that market but does serve a fine selection of gin-based cocktails as well as other bar drinks.
The refurbished Berry Bar & Lounge at Hilton London Green Park takes its name from the juniper berry, and features gin-focused food and drink offerings, drawing upon its 18th century Georgian surroundings and the enduring popularity of gin from these times to the present day.
Berry Bar & Lounge
The Berry Bar has a great Mayfair location on a quiet side street. It has its own entrance from the street or through the hotel reception area. It's an 18th century Georgian building so the style has been kept more like a townhouse and it feels relaxed and comfortable while still stylish.
The music is kept at a 'background music' volume with classic funky tunes to keep the atmosphere upbeat. It feel like an adult space; somewhere to unwind with friends or colleagues at the end of a long day. Staff make you feel welcome and there's usually a mix of bar visitors and hotel guests.
London's Love of Gin
Earl Grey Martini and frozen teapot© Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.
London has a long history with gin from the 1700s when it was a daily drink for most of the population and gin palaces were on every street. London has produced gin since these times which helped with embracing the martini around a hundred years ago.
Finding a martini in London is no problem but finding a good martini can take more time. Thankfully the bar staff at the Berry bar are aware of this concern and are all well-trained and experienced mixologists.
I was keen to visit the Berry Bar when I heard about their Earl Grey Martini which is served in a frozen teapot with glass teacups. Combining my love of tea and cocktails meant I had to stop by and I wasn't disappointed. It truly tastes of both Earl Grey tea and martini yet it works. The idea is proving so popular they have created a 'Beefeater 24 Afternoon Tea' which, as well as the traditional sandwiches, scones and cakes, includes a Beefeater 24 Gin and Fever Tree tonic with a choice of bitters infused on the premises, for customers to flavor the drink at the table.
I stayed to try more cocktails and The London Lemonade was also great. Served with fresh thyme it smells wonderful as you take your first sip, and tastes subtlety of elderflower.
Bar snacks have an American-focus which suits the clientele - look out for Hot Wings, Nachos, and American-sourced beef - but the chef has also created food to work with the gin-based cocktails and my companion said the seared scallops were fantastic. I'm vegetarian so I got some alternative treats, (do ask, they're very accommodating), and I was surprised how well the Sweet Thai sauce with my spring rolls went with the gin and tonic infused with chocolate bitters.
Mojito at the Berry Bar at Hilton London Green Park© Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Berry Bar & Lounge
Hilton London Green Park
Half Moon Street
London W1J 7BN
Tel: 020 7629 7522
Official Website: www.hilton.co.uk/greenpark
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy