Rubbing Shoulders with Winston at The Churchill Bar and Terrace:
Finding the right positioning for a modern hotel in a central London location is an interesting challenge. Do you go the way of some of central London’s uber-trendy hotels– and risk being a victim of your own fashionability in a few years? Or build a more traditional and timeless British presence, using one of the Icons of 20th Century Britain. As suggested by the name, ‘Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill’ this place has chosen the later, so that although the building was only completed in 1970, it has a timeless feel.
In the Churchill Bar, where we met for cocktails and canapés the aim, so Henny Frazer, Director of Marketing told us, is to create a welcoming yet elegant environment where you can relax, enjoy a drink and feel almost as if you were at home.
The bookcases are lined with books from Daunts covering a range of subjects from fashion to art and travel. You are invited to browse, relax and read. There are knitted animals on the shelves, Jock, Rufus and Pig, just as Churchill in his own library at Chartwell used his children’s toys as book stops, and there’s a private terrace looking out over Portman Square complete with a rather larger than live bronze of the Young Sir Winston Churchill. An attention to detail and meticulous styling that makes this place rather special.
Of course our cocktails were wonderful. I would have been disappointed, given the surroundings, at anything less. My Clementine champagne cocktail was faultless, made with Churchill’s own favourite Pol Roger (it happens to be one of mine too) and Hine Rare VSOP Cognac. But then I am happy to drink champagne cocktails all night given the chance.
The canapés were excellent too, even I enjoyed the scotch quail eggs, despite my aversion to eggs, and the steak tartare was a mouth of lightest tender beef on a tiny morsel of bread.
Often, hotel bars are to be avoided. Uncomfortable and noisy, full of suited business men on expense accounts, with a limited range drinks and inedible bar snacks. My experience at the Churchill Bar and Terrace was certainly not of that, although with wine starting at £33 a bottle and cocktails from £12 upward, it is somewhere for a special occasion rather than a quick drink after work for me at least.
The Churchill Bar and Terrace is just around the back of Selfridges overlooking leafy Portman Square. So, perfect if you’ve been shopping and have a little time to kill before dinner.