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The May Fair Bar (Bar, Restaurant, Hotel)

Picture of The May Fair Bar in Mayfair, London

The May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8LT
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Tel: 020 7915 3894 | Email to The May Fair Bar | | Transport: Green Park | Write review

The May Fair Bar Review

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Best for: a Mayfair hotel bar that is a bar in its own right.

Great: Martini flights; sharing platters.

These days the world is awash with high-end hotels that work hard to impress you in every possible way, with everything from the best food to the most luxurious rooms. Yet it's always the bars that seem to be forgotten, but thankfully not lost.

Now there's this preconception about hotel bars, that they are ridiculously expensive. This is semi-true. Back in the 90s many hotels popped-up that indulged in bars where a bottle of beer was priced at £6 and a small glass of wine for £8. Horrifying I know. But then again these weren't actually bars, just one tacked on to a hotel.

In the current age, cocktail bars in hotels are bars in their own right, becoming a post-work, pre-night out place to knock back a martini or two. I could say The May Fair bar is no different, but it is. It seems to have set itself apart from many. How can I be sure? Well, my 'regular' is a high end cocktail bar in a Soho hotel, which I've been frequenting for the past 7 years, so it's my area of expertise.

My preference of bar interiors varies. I do thoroughly like to sit back and relax in warm, sumptuous surrounds. But then again, there's something very enjoyable about dark and dimly lit with a few blue lights, that really screams atmosphere. I've been to Mayfair before and it does change its personality as the day and week goes on. It has this coldness that you fall into and you can't quite explain why you like it so much.

Now when I was in there on a Friday I had one minor problem. I found it a bit too busy and hectic, but that's no one's fault. It seemed to be filling up with all sorts of people, from young professionals enjoying long post-work drinks, to Essex bleach-blondes scouting the room for guys with money. But what really made me smile was that it also became a place for date-night drinks and friends catching up to complain about bad boyfriends over Mai-Tais and Cosmos. As one of my many bar manager friends said, its a buzz bar. What is a buzz bar? It’s where you go because it buzzes with talk for glam choices and suited guys, either hoping to see or be seen.

Now the drinks here are slightly different to what you might expect, as Bar Manager Marios has done twists on many classics. The one that stood out the most to me was the Mojito. While it still included the standard mint and lime, it also had the smooth addition of vanilla sugar and lemon. I'm sure there are some people out there who would trash it for not being a normal Mojito, but it’s a twist that works.

Another cocktail that particularly caught my tastebuds was the Smokey Martini - a Martini with a dash of Glenfiddich 12yr old - which did meet my expectations, probably as I'm a big drinker of Highland scotch, although it could definitely be more smokey. The only small minor change I asked to be made was the alteration of the garnish on my Sazerac, as I'm lover of classic drinks.

The next big question to ask: how hungry are you? There are two options: 2 huge platters, or 1 huge one with a dessert platter. I went straight for the Bento box, as I'm a big oriental food fan and - my name's Ross and I'm sushi addict - a mix of raw and cooked fish with a lovely side of dumplings was a winner. The Aylesbury duck platter is also quite nice, but after the Bento box it was tough to get through. Go for the 'Mayfair Variation', a lovely dessert plate with an abundance of treats that will seduce any chocolate lovers out there. I could have done one of those on my own!

While you're here I really recommend trying a Martini Flight. It’s 3 mini martinis each named Destination, followed by either London, Amsterdam or Milan. They all come with a food pairing which I think is something many bars lack. Oh and I thoroughly enjoy pairings. The only thing with the flights (whisky and champagne flights too) is they have to be pre-ordered, so it's only viable if you've reserved a table as you'll need the space. If this is what you want, (a) you have good tastes, and (b) come on a day that isn't a Friday evening, perhaps a Saturday afternoon.

This isn't the first time I've been to the May Fair Bar - they have a good selection of drinks, especially some of their more playful tipples - so it's easy to see why it's popular with the glamorous types. more

Customer Reviews for The May Fair Bar

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The May Fair Bar.

“The Posh and Becks of bars in Mayfair. Plenty of choice on the cocktail menu and the staff were willing to create a drink off piste although with limited success. Worth popping in but so many tables were pre reserved there wasnt anywhere to sit. Tip = get there early!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Miranda Wright, London (8 years 3 months 29 days ago)

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It's The May Fair's philosophy to serve fresh, ethically sourced ingredients - and only in the season they taste best.
Bar food favourites include sharing platters that showcase the best flavours of the Mediterranean, supremely fresh sushi and wickedly indulgent sweeter treats. A La carte menu and freshly prepared breakfast also available.

Updated 13/09/2012

Evening Platters Menu
A selection of evening platters from the May Fair Bar


With the finest spirits infused in-house, exotic fruits, freshly snipped herbs and fragrant spices, The May Fair Bar’s signature drinks and rigorous approach to quality have made it one of the most celebrated cocktail bars in London.

The May Fair Bar’s title as one of the most renowned cocktail bars in London rests on the expertise of its mixologists: handpicked for their imagination and uncompromising attention to detail.

Updated 13/09/2012

Cocktail Menu
May Fair Bar Cocktail menu

The May Fair Bar Opening Hours

Monday: 8:00am - 11:00pm Friday: 8:00am - 1:00am
Tuesday: 8:00am - 11:00pm Saturday: 8:00am - 1:00am
Wednesday: 8:00am - 11:00pm Sunday: 8:00am - 11:00am
Thursday: 11:00am - 1:00am    

Additional Information

The May Fair Bar Hire Details

Parties in London are defined by their location as much as by their guest list: the exclusive May Fair Bar provides the ideal setting for intimate gatherings, pre-theatre or pre-dinner drinks, or spectacular after party events.
Our flexible booking options mean you can book a personal table or banquet, take over the stunningly appointed bar area, or lounge amid the luxurious fabrics surrounding the open fire.

Updated 13/09/2012

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