I've had a few (too many) cocktails in my time and all too often I find that 'cocktail' has become a synonym for charging you too much for a vodka and orange. Either that, or the bar makes a huge deal of being a 'cocktail bar' and ends up putting anyone who wants something simple off.
As a result any bar that gets the balance right is remarkably refreshing. Galvin at Windows is already famous for its combination of a brilliant kitchen and spectacular 360° views so it's no surprise the newly refurbished bar is living up to the high standards of the venue.
The bar's ambience impresses right away. Understated elegance is the order of the day here; it's the views that do the real talking. The music in particular jumped out at me. I don't know if I it was just the night I was there but it was really slick; funky versions of old swing tracks makes drinking a martini that little bit more cool. The music is played quietly and never gets in the way of conversation.
But of course as nice as the music is we're all here for the drinks. Whether you're after a classic cocktail or something more experimental you're not going to be disappointed. In the interest of science I tried as many as possible and my personal favourite of the evening was the 'Apple@Oval'; a gin cocktail with apple and cinnamon tea. It tastes like christmas. Although if you're looking to be refreshed 'Cool as Cucumber' is easily the way forward; a palate pleasing combination of vodka, cucumber and pineapple juice.
Special mention has to go to 'The Original'; Galvin's take on the classic martini. Along with the Beefeater gin and Dry Lillet a splash of grapefruit bitter is added, which enhances the taste considerably. It genuinely stood out as one of the best martinis I've had (I'm happy to try more, of course). Moral of the story here is that grapefruit and gin work well together.
So go on, visit, try a cocktail or two. Just make sure you've memorised how the lifts work before you leave. Those things are a nightmare to navigate with a head full of liquor.
Galvin at Windows
22 Park Lane, London,
United Kingdom W1K 1BE