When you have finished a long day at work and you just want to find a cosy haunt with a slice of glamour, a twist of the 1920s and barmen who REALLY know their stuff, where you can kick back with friends and sip inventive and delicious cocktails…head to Smith & Whistle, my seventh door of Mayfair.
Smith & Whistle takes its name from the legendary comic stories of Detective Inspector Smith, and his nemesis, the infamous socialite scoundrel, Mr. William Whistle. Although on opposite sides of the law, an occasional truce would be called in order to trade information that might protect or profit the people of London, to whom both gentlemen were deeply loyal. (I love this story).
These clandestine meetings would invariably take place at the bar of the original Park Lane Hotel, where Smith favoured Cask Ales and Scotch (straight up, natch) and Whistle would order his trademark cocktail – a Martini with a twist. (This is definitely why I could never be a spy. I’d be there asking for a Snowman and command absolutely no respect whatsoever).
Both gentlemen liked their drinks strong and serious, and so, when you go to Smith & Whistle they will pour you a 35ml shot as their standard. I absolutely LOVE this backstory and history…and I couldn’t help but get into character, just a little…
Their Christmassy cocktail menu is full of magic and sparkle. Treat yourself to a Gingerbread Daiquiri, a Hot Toddy, Rum Old Fashioned or a ‘The Big Sleep’ (Jameson Whiskey, Antica Formula Carpano,Cocchi Americano, Crème de Peche, Fernet Branca and orange bitters…)
I ordered myself a ‘Snowman’. Mostly because of the name. And the beautiful glass it was served in. But also, because it was totally and utterly delicious…
There’s a wonderful ambience in Smith & Whistle – it’s classy and old skool, modern, fresh…and oh so stylish… It’s the building’s classic 1920’s hertiage that has inspired the bar’s interiors, with its bold geometric shapes, rich colours and stunning ornate finishes… the whole place really reflects the revolutionary style of the era – it’s gorgeous.
I already have plans to pop in here next week with a friend for a cosy Winter supper and free cocktail (see below!) – their menu is packed with traditional British scrumminess with a twist… think ‘Fried duck egg with toasted sourdough, wilted spinach, bacon and mushrooms’… or ‘Slow cooked pork belly, grilled baby leeks, spiced red cabbage’… (full Winter menu here)
It really is the most wonderful hideaway in the heart of Mayfair. And on Mondays, you can get two cocktails for £10! Put that in your diaries immediately. But even BETTER – you can pop in and get a **FREE SNOWMAN COCKTAIL throughout the month of December! Just say the magic words ‘Twelve Doors of Mayfair’ to the barman, and let the magic happen…
Tomorrow I’ll be stepping though the eighth door of Mayfair, where I’ll be hunting for Christmas presents in a sparkling promenade…
**Available for over 18s only (I.D. may be requested)
Only one cocktail permitted per guest
Smith & Whistle
Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BX
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