Why is DUKES Bar such an iconic part of London?

Alessandro Palazzi, the bartender at DUKES Bar, LondonWhen you visit us at DUKES London, we aim to make sure you have a truly memorable experience. This differs for everyone and can be anything from the truly welcoming service from each and every member of staff right through to the food in our highly-coveted GBR restaurant.

But what so often connects every visitor’s experience is DUKES Bar, our world-famous bar that has been serving up tipples of all varieties for decades.

And importantly, given our position in the heart of Mayfair, DUKES Bar has become a firm favourite for many in the vicinity who aren’t staying with us overnight or dining with us at GBR, but who simply want a perfectly concocted drink in a wonderfully traditional, British setting. Continue reading “Why is DUKES Bar such an iconic part of London?”

How to treat your dad to something a little different in London this year

The London skyline from aboveThe time of the year when it’s time to treat your father to something a little special, Father’s Day 2018 is taking place on Sunday 17th June and we’re getting ready to help you mark the occasion.

Continue reading “How to treat your dad to something a little different in London this year”

An inside look at DUKES: our food and drink

Afternoon tea at DUKES Hotel, LondonAs we mentioned in a previous post, one of the pieces of criteria behind DUKES being a five star hotel is the ability to provide our guests with dining options whatever day you stay with us and whatever time it may be.

London is a city that never sleeps, and so if you’re checking out early and need something savoury and substantial to set you up for the day, or have spent all evening at the theatre and need a little something to satisfy your sweet tooth before you get into bed, you can rest assured we can provide it all at DUKES.

For this reason, it’s no real surprise that food and drink is really important to us. We want everyone who spends time with us to feel as though there’s something to eat and drink that’s perfectly suited to their individual needs.

And it’s because of this why we have so many different options available.

DUKES Bar

Our bar is a favourite with our guests and locals actually some guests come to DUKES just to experience our martinis. In the words of others it’s legendary, enviable and as the New York Times once said it’s the bar “which some say concocts one of the world’s best Martinis”.

Open from 2pm to 11pm Monday to Saturday (4pm to 10.30pm on Sundays), spending time in DUKES Bar is somewhat of an event. You aren’t simply dropping by for a quick beer or glass of wine – we want you to savour the whole experience; to enjoy time testing our bartenders’ knowledge to create a drink that’s perfectly suited to you.

Having a drink in DUKES Bar is in many ways about harking back to a time before mobile phones, the internet or television. It’s about choosing a seat, having a drink made for you, and wiling away the time with your loved one, a group of friends or simply by yourself.

GBR

Headed up by renowned chef Nigel Mendham, GBR is a truly ‘Great British Restaurant’. It’s all about providing a dining experience built around homegrown produce from here on our wonderful British Isles, or menus that follow – or are inspired by – some of the country’s most traditional dishes.

An all-day dining experience (you can grab breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner here), the team at GBR don’t try to overcomplicate the dishes on offer. They know what works, what our guests want and bring the two together perfectly.

And with the bar overlooking the restaurant, if you’d prefer a few light snacks with a drink here instead of a meal, we’d be only too happy to oblige.

Afternoon tea

A truly British occasion, afternoon tea is something we can all enjoy. After all, who doesn’t enjoy taking some time out of their day to eat sandwiches, cakes and pastries and drink tea?

However, knowing that everyone has different tastes, we’ve produced a variety of options when it comes to afternoon tea.

For instance, we have our DUKES afternoon tea, which includes an array of sandwiches, warm scones and a variety of pastries served with a choice of tea. However, for something a little more ‘relaxing’ you can enjoy our ‘gin and tonic afternoon tea’ or our ‘champagne afternoon tea’ – all the same delights to eat, but with an alcoholic alternative to tea!

Served in our elegant drawing room and conservatory, there aren’t many better ways to spend an afternoon in London.

Picnic in the park

We really do love it when our guests stay with us for a meal or a drink, but we also know London has a whole host of sights and attractions to take in, including a vast array of beautiful parks.

Not wishing for you to miss out on the culinary delights our chefs create, we provide a particularly popular option for our guests to take a picnic to one of the nearby Royal Parks.

A real decadent treat, your personal butler will meet you at the park, lay out your rug and picnic basket and then serve your drinks before leaving you to enjoy the great outdoors of our city with a selection of tempting treats.

Cognac and cigar garden

Open throughout the week from 6pm to 11pm, our outdoor cognac and cigar area is particularly popular for those looking for a break away from the hustle and bustle of London life.

Providing our guests with the ability to sample some of the world’s finest cigars alongside some truly favourable cognac, if you’re a fan of a cigar, we’re confident saying you’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere better to enjoy one in London.

Being real foodies at DUKES – and with a particular passion for high quality drinks, too – we aim to show this to each and every one of our guests. Only wanting you to have the best dining experiences possible, we do our utmost to cater for every need, no matter how diverse it may be. Just ask!

4 historical occasions that shaped London

A London Tube trainNow we all know that London is one of the greatest places on Earth, with some of the most incredible attractions and hotels, including us here at DUKES Hotel and DUKES Bar (we are known as the ‘James Bond Martini Bar!’), of course.

But London isn’t famous only for the here and now – the long legacy of historical events plays a huge role in why the city is loved so much and is such a huge attraction for visitors. Continue reading “4 historical occasions that shaped London”

3 reasons to visit London this summer

A view of Wimbledon tennis courtsThis was was written for summer 2014 – we’ll be updating it for summer 2018 soon!

With summer officially due to begin on the 21st June, it is just around the corner – whether the sunshine plays by the rules is another question all together.

If you want to enjoy the summer months, then London is the place to be – there is so much going on every day! Continue reading “3 reasons to visit London this summer”

How to get around London quickly, easily and effectively

A moving London Tube trainWe all know London, England’s beautiful capital city, is a large place.  We also know there are always a lot of people travelling right across the city, whether they’re visiting, living or passing through.

And if you have ever visited, you’ll know that getting from one location to another can be ‘interesting’ at times – especially at rush hour or if you’re not entirely sure of the best way to get around. Continue reading “How to get around London quickly, easily and effectively”

It’s Chinese New Year: join in the year of the snake celebrations!

Chinese New Year celebrations in LondonKung Hei Fat Choi stands for Happy New Year in Chinese, and every year hundreds of thousands of people descend into London’s West End to wish each other a Happy Chinese New Year.

London’s celebrations are renowned for being the largest outside of Asia, offering people a taste of Chinese culture including a gravity defying lion dance, fireworks, Chinese nourishment, and an array of professional performances. The UK will commemorate the Year of the Snake, which focusses on action, change, innovation and achievement.

After a New Year’s parade around the West End, the celebration will officially start with a traditional Eye dotting ceremony, which will take place midday in Trafalgar Square. Dignitaries will include the Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiao Ming and the Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture Munira Mirza. A spectacular firecracker display will signify the start of the Chinese celebrations with music, dance and acrobatics.

Chinatown will be the centre of the New Year party, and the area will be overflowing with crowds, but there will be lots of activity including food and craft stalls that will line the streets, along with a lion dance that will meander through the public, stopping at restaurants and stores with the will to wish them good luck for the year.

For the Chinese communities in London and across the world, the Chinese New Year is a huge and very important festival for their culture. The festival is based on the lunar and solar calendars and each year the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

On 10th February at 10am the parade will begin in Trafalgar Square and the colourful floats and beating of the drums can be followed through Chinatown ending in Rupert Street at 11am. At 12pm on the main stage in Trafalgar Square the Ambassador and the Deputy Mayor will commence the Dotting of the Eye ceremony. Between 1pm and 5:30pm live performances from Hong Kong singer-songwriter Emmy The Great and a breath-taking performance by the famous Chen Brothers will entertain the crowds. Paul Potts and performers from the Guangdong and Sichuan Provinces will also be a part of the line-up for live entertainment. Finally at 5:55pm a dazzling firework display will signify the end of the day’s celebrations.

Whatever time you come, whatever you buy, you can be assured that you will be entertained by the festivities, but after a packed schedule why not properly wind down with one of DUKES’ world-famous martinis over in our stunning Bar?

Below you can see the highlights of last year’s event:

Image courtesy of Paul