Finding a cosy and stylish cocktail bar in Mayfair can be challenging if you’re not into the posh, exclusive scene that defines the area. Given the number of glitzy, high-class restaurants, shops and late-night venues, it’s easy to assume there aren’t places that offer quality without the pretence. However, visit Babble Mayfair on the corner of Berkeley Square and you’ll find it’s exactly that kind of place.
It’s easy to spot by its floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal the elegant interior, the long bar lined with shiny bottles and the smartly dressed patrons. Glass chandeliers and ornate baroque mirrors add sparkle to the otherwise simple interior of leather seating and panelling. The bar gets crowded by eleven o’clock, so if you don’t want to stand, make it a point to get there earlier or, better yet, reserve a booth for your entire gang. Cosy up at a window table and watch the night crowd pass by outside.
There is a fantastic assortment of around 40 wines and half a dozen craft beers on the list, but what Babble Mayfair does best are their cocktails. Other bars might offer a wider selection but this one wins with quality ingredients, expert mixing and reasonable prices. While you peruse the drink menu, the “007” cocktail draws your attention. And yes, it is the very same cocktail that the fictional Londoner, James Bond, made famous: a Martini with Grey Goose vodka and a twist of lemon. Shaken, not stirred.
The huge selection of sharing platters and nibbles put some local restaurants to shame with its variety. It takes you a while to pick what you want from the sturdy British staples and East Asian classics on offer. From hearty meat pies, sweet crispy duck rolls, spicy tempura prawns or pungent local cheese bites — whatever you choose, you won’t leave hungry.
While you savour the tasty margaritas and pineapple mojitos, the bar gradually fills with late-night revellers looking for the perfect cocktail. Grab your drink and head downstairs to the basement bar while there is still room on the dance floor. The resident DJ is already warming up the party with a remix of a club classic, which slowly builds around swirling synths, making you itch to throw some shapes on the dance floor. Don’t think twice; the night is still young.