Visiting a cocktailbar is one thing. Visiting cocktailbars in London is also one other thing, but visiting hotelbars in London is a whole different ballgame. At least a good few of them. One of these bars is Artesian, the bar that is located in the prestigious hotel The Langham, the oldest 5* hotel in London conveniently located just a few minutes away from Oxford Circus. For entering the bar you can use the side-entrance, but I’d suggest you should go through the main-entrance of the hotel, getting you in the right mood instantaneously.
The entrance of the hotel radiates style and luxury and you may notice the pleasant scent that you smell upon entry, which is the signature smell of all Langham Hotels worldwide. The pillared marble entrance and the view of the Palm Court restaurant all add to the Grand Entree and as you follow your way to the left you may find Artesian Bar.
The bar itself is a design by David Collins and he did just one excellent job. Enormous Victorian chandeliers hang down from the ceiling and comfortable chairs and sofas make sure you can enjoy the great atmosphere as relaxed as possible. Purple leather and snakeskin-chairs all add to the luxurious space, which is lushly decorated with flowers. But a greatly designed bar would be nothing without great bartenders to prepare you drinks. As you’ve probably guessed, my first advise is to aim for the bar: there’s only 4 seats there, but still there’s a good chance that you find yourself lucky enough to get one of them. At fair part of the clientele is there on business or are well-known people from the entertainment industry, who prefer the comfortable sofas over a seat at the bar. There are a few indicators that the guys on the other end of the bar really know what it’s all about, including the award for World’s Best Cocktailmenu at The Tales of the Cocktail, the Oscar’s for the cocktail-scene.
All cocktails are prepared with great care, displaying a different technique for each cocktail. And don’t expect ordinary glassware here: each drink is served in a different vessel, each beautifully decorated. They are famous for their enormous collection of rums and I can highly recommend you to go for a rum-based drink. They created a drink called the BBC, to celebrate their strong relationship with their famous neighbours. Another specialty is their collection of Jenevers, the Dutch specialty with which they’ve created some very special drinks, like the Club Netherlands. Make sure to pay attention to the ice, which they treat with great attention, sometimes carving it by hand. The bartenders, Alex Kratena , Simone Caporale and Roman Foltán are very well capable of guiding you through the menu and show you their excellent skills in hospitality. Or rather experience their hospitality, because each member of the staff will give you the feeling that you are most welcome and they will treat all guests the same.
Cocktails here are a bit pricier than in high-end cocktailbars, but the setting in which all is served more than makes up for this. This truly is an experience for all senses and well worth every penny and of the hotelbars that you must visit in London.
Artesian Bar – The Langham, 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, 020 – 7636 1000