69 Colebrooke Row, London
Officially called “The bar with no name”, but known as 69 Colebrooke Row, this bar is an absolute gem, and a good example of how fame should not change a place. In fact, despite being one of the most trendy and talked-about bars in London and having being nominated twice for the very prestigious ‘world’s best bar’ award at the Tales of the Cocktail Conference in New Orleans, the 69 Colebrooke Row remains what a good bar should be: an intimate and classy place where sipping great (and I mean great) cocktails. The place is small and intimate, with good background music and a few tables. When you sit (remember to book a table, especially on weekends), you are offered a Prairie Oyster, a creative revisitation of the famous cocktail where the egg is substituted by a fresh tomato juice soft “ball”, that together with the vodka and spices that complete the drink will open up your night. The impression is to sip an egg (which is not an egg) from a ceramic oyster shaper glass. The drinks menu changes constantly: when I visited the bar, the two martinis on the list were the Blenheim Gimlet, with Black Pepper Cordial stirred with Beefeater, and the 69 Martini, which is a superbe classic martini prepared with vermouth done in the house. Yes, they do their own vermouth, which I tried straight, and which could beat many Italian, Spanish or French artesanal vermouths… Tony Conigliaro, the Italian-origin bartender and owner (bravo!) does things very seriously: the bar is producing its own books, organising cocktails masterclasses, and more. Have a look at the site for the latest developments. Classis Martini rate: 9.