The Ivy, Chelsea Garden
The Ivy has been an exclusive restaurant to go to for celebrities and fashionistas alike for years. Somewhat pretentious some might say but a nice place to say you have been to. The Ivy Garden is a much more relaxed environment and less intimidating although still in keeping with the companies glam and sophisticated feel.
Me and my husband first found out about here through Instagram, social media being the best form of advertising now. We went here for my birthday and were not disappointed. The bar area is nice and always very busy with a good atmosphere. The decor is gorgeous bringing the outside indoors. Lots of greenery, plants and flowers and I felt a somewhat Italian feel.
We started off with a glass of the Ivy Champagne which at £10.25 was fairly reasonable and tasted lovely. Then we went onto have a glass of Whispering Angel which is my favourite summer drink at the moment. The waiter brings it to your table in an extremely large, grand looking bottle and pours at the table. The shocked look on peoples faces when they bring the bottle to your table is quite humorous as I’m sure they think the whole bottle is just for the two of us.
To finish we tried the cocktails. At this point already a little tipsy we probably would have been happy with whatever we chose from the list but we went for the Cherry Fizz which was a champagne cocktail with cherry vodka and liquor, orgeat, cranberry and Ruinart rose. This did not disappoint. A great flavour and a nice way to finish at this particular bar.
There is a fairly large cocktail list so whether you are on a first date, out for drinks with friends, it’s a special occasion or simply treating your husband to a birthday date like mine was then I would definitely recommend.
The Archer Street Cocktail Bar
The Archer Street Cocktail Bar is right in the heart of Soho and all be it a bit pricey I find it a nice place to start the night before you get so tipsy you don’t really mind what you’re drinking or where you’re drinking it. The vibe inside is very glam upstairs and has a country house kind of a feel to it, whilst downstairs is a little more quirky with it having a beach hut kind of look and making you feel like you could be on holiday.
The cocktails are pricey but lovely. They offer a very vast collection and have a great menu. Another great place for a date if you want to impress and want something a little different and quirky. There is no particular dress code but everyone is fairly trendy and being a smaller venue there is always a very buzzy atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights.
A personal favourite cocktail of mine is the Sheerrrry, Sherry Baby which consists of Zacapa 23 with coconut water, stirred with a dash of Oloroso Sherry and Angostura bitters. Served in a martini glass with an orange twist. This is delicious and perfect for the summer months. At £14.00 a cocktail plus 10% service charge at the bar we generally only stay here for two or three as we don’t want to have to take out a mortgage to pay our bar bill.
Crazy Bear Fitzrovia
Another favourite of mine. I live out in Buckinghamshire so first heard about The Crazy Bear group when it opened in my neighbouring village of Old Beaconsfield and has been popular with the area ever since.
The Fitzrovia branch is also lovely. These have to be the best cocktails that I have had. My favourite is the GINGER BEAR which I recommend everyone to try, plus I quite liked the name. This is made up of Koko Kuno coconut rum, Mozart white chocolate, cream and ginger and lemongrass cordial. I’m obsessed with anything drum related, as is my husband so this was an instant must for us. This cocktail is priced at £12.95 which I was more than happy to pay here as the decor is so grand, glitzy and makes you feel like you’re having a drink somewhere special. If you’re a cocktail lover then you need to get yourself here as the list of cocktails is extensive and has all different varieties. You could spend a whole day/evening here easily. It’s a great place for selfies too if that’s your thing, which I’m sure it is with most people whether they admit it or not. Every moment is an Instagram moment these days.
The decor has an old fashioned 1920’s feel to it and has been executed in a very cool way. There is lots of bling, lots of gorgeous furniture and dim lighting to set a relaxed mood. The toilets are all completely mirrored which can be very confusing on finding your way out but look really effective. There are little in-coves if there is a large group of you in which you can sit and get table service and also tables for two in which they come to serve you your drinks and take your orders if you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to go to the bar.
The Roof Deck, Selfridges
The bar/restaurant on the roof of Selfridges is a great and reasonably priced place to go eat and have cocktails. It is a very relaxed feel and you can either dress up or down to go here. The views over London are lovely and what’s better than having a few cocktails, a bit of lunch and then doing a bit of intoxicated shopping around Selfridges and buying yourself something that you know you really shouldn’t.
They change the theme of the bar/restaurant every season and it doesn’t ever disappoint. It is currently called The Roof Deck Restaurant and Bar. It has been made into a Californian-style dining space. They are offering flavoursome grills to what they describe as the best guacamole in town. They are serving a delicious seasonal cocktail, which I will get onto in a bit. The restaurant also doubles up as an exhibition space, with artwork from six photographers, Andrew Kuykendall, Adam Rindy, Roberto Badin, Kayla Varley, Henrik Adamsen and Stephanie Sian Smith, from the AMP Agency who have decorated walls with Californian landscapes featuring the ocean, mountains and palm trees. All of which is for sale. It has such Sumer feel to it so on a nice day it is lovely to wander up to the roof and pretend you’re on holiday with a cocktail in hand and sun beaming down on you.
There are lots of cocktails on offer and a favourite of mine is the Frosee which consists of Rose wine, Balcazar, fresh berries and lemon juice. Extremely refreshing and goes down very easily, almost too easily. The cocktail list is not as extensive as other bars and restaurants but still, has a good variety to choose from.
This is ideal for a lazy Saturday or Sunday catching up with friends. My perfect way to spend a weekend. We’re all so busy in the week that I think the summer weekends are for eating, drinking and being merry with friends, family, your husband or a date.