Bar Spy: The Luggage Room

By Jon Massey on January 23, 2013 3:30 PM |

The Luggage Room

Despite craft the creation of our drinks the feel of this bar, at present, is one of style over substance.

The Luggage Room stumbles at the first hurdle by announcing its unobtrusive speakeasy entrance with two flaming columns.

Thus the mystique, when a blonde attendant snaps back a hatch in the door to inquire whether we have "an appointment", is muted.

It's a whimper from a bygone age.

But the sumptuously appointed room downstairs, all Louis Vuitton leather walls, hamam marble flooring and ostentatious tat from the Bentley Boys days, acts as an amplifier.

This isn't a bar for the bland sanitary Marriott types it screams.

This is a precious relic from a time when men drove real automobiles, heavily sedated with liquor. But it feels like a tribute act.

Which is a shame because the drinks our rather-overly attentive waitresses deliver are well realised.

A Penultimate Word has too much coriander for my taste but is seductively punchy, while an Airmail is keen as sharpened steel rather than blunted by honey as feared.

By far the thing to go for though is a glossy Aviation. This violet wonder arrives pristine and slips down with dangerous ease.

As the evening draws on, the suits evaporate and things start to feel awkward.

The air temperature is chilly and trips to the toilet in the crisp hotel shatter any scrap of illusion left.

But for all that, the flavours almost tempt us to stay for another. Almost.

While the atmosphere and design aren't there yet, there's at least promise in the glass.

Luggage Room, Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London W1K 6JP, 020 7514 1507,