Here’s a secret: Many London bars are like museums, only with bartenders instead of curators. You may not believe it at first, but dozens of London’s beer houses and cocktail venues are treasure troves of British history. The Churchill Bar at The Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill is no exception.
You take a five-minute walk from Oxford Street, passing throngs of shoppers and modern London bars, to find the leafy Portman Square. It’s here that the grandeur of this five-star hotel bar lures you in to explore Winston Churchill’s past. You nod to the smartly dressed doormen and emerge from the revolving doors to a dazzling lobby. A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II hangs majestically above the hotel reception on your right. In front of you, the marble bust of the late Sir Winston catches your eye. You could enter the Churchill Bar via the street, but that would mean missing out on the Winston Churchill souvenir shop. Through the elegant Montagu, you follow the carpeted corridor to the Art Deco doors of The Churchill Bar and Terrace.
It’s still balmy outside, so you head straight to the terrace where chairs are draped in cosy fur rugs and twinkling lights set the scene. As you peruse the menu, you’re reminded this is one of the few London bars where drinks are inspired by an iconic statesman. You order the Never Give In—a cocktail inspired by Winston Churchill’s famous quote. As the waiter lifts the dome, you inhale the smoke that curls out from the long stemmed glass. As it awakens your senses, you’re told that Bar Mixologist Daniele Bresciani visited the Cabinet Rooms in Westminster especially for this drink. He wanted the smoke to represent the devastation that the former prime minister witnessed during the Blitz. An herbal quality steals your attention as the chartreuse hits your tongue. This French liqueur symbolises the medicine given to the World War II soldiers and gives way to a heady absinthe kick, which symbolises their bravery.
This is almost certainly the only London bar to feature a life-size bronze statue of Winston Churchill. The piece is by Lawrence Holofcener, and your waiter tells you to check out his other piece of Churchill art dubbed Allies, which is displayed publicly on Bond Street. To round off the evening, you both take a seat on the velvet banquettes and peruse the Prohibition-era-themed tea cocktails. After the delicious syrup based Maitre de Chai, inspired by the historic British Raj, you leave on a sweet note. Don’t forget London’s fantastic museums, but for a history lesson with flair and novelty, hit the Churchill—one of the most interesting bars in London.