London’s Dorchester Hotel opens its new James Bond-inspired bar

The Dorchester Hotel is one of the most prestigious luxury hotels in the world.

A London fixture since 1931, the hotel has undergone several transformations that will continue throughout the year and has recently opened the Vesper Bar.

The white interiors, from the marble floor and the large high ceiling with gold trimmings, as well as the chandelier will catch your attention as you enter the lobby. Upon check-in, the wood accent wall behind the front desk captivates with all its details. And for film enthusiasts, the hotel’s commitment to cinema – from hosting BAFTA events to being involved with 007 – will be of particular interest.

In fact, the hotel is steeped in James Bond history, as 007 creator Ian Fleming was an integral part of The Dorchester.

He invented the Vesper Martini for his legendary secret agent, a drink first appearing in the 1953 book Casino Royale and named after Bond’s love interest and treacherous double agent, Vesper Lynd.

Fleming ate often and stayed at The Dorchester until his death in 1964. At that time, William Boyd continued the Bond series with his novel Solo; In it, Bond wakes up in a suite at the Dorchester on his 45th birthday. EON, the production company for the James Bond films, also had their office at the hotel, where they held various press parties for the 007 films. Fourteen Bond girls, four Ms and nine Bond villains were guests at the hotel. So it’s fitting that the new Vesper Bar pays homage to James Bond – and not just in name.

The snack bar – The Dorchester Hotel

The Dorchester Hotel

The snack bar – The Dorchester Hotel

Exuding 1930’s glamor and elegance, Vesper Bar exudes the perfect ambiance if you’re looking for a pre-dinner meetup, a date night or just a night of chilled cocktails. Soft lighting adds to the ambiance, as the gold tones, teal seating, and hints of Art Deco influences make for an inviting space.

Created by Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki, best known for designing Annabel’s in London, Le Chardenoux in Paris, Baur’s in Zurich and The Pendry in Los Angeles, there is an extra touch of sophistication to the walls. Artwork by Cecil Beaton adorns the walls of the bar in honor of the hotel’s relationship with the artist. A cocktail, The Glass of Fashion, and the name of one of his famous books are also on the menu.

Beaton’s work is accompanied by contemporary artist Rosie Emmerson.

The Dorchester Hotel

Each cocktail at Vesper Bar is poured into unique glassware – The Dorchester Hotel

The cocktails on the menu are curated by award-winning drinks connoisseur and head bartender Lucia Montanelli, and the bar itself is managed by Scott Gavin, whose tenure also includes time at other London mainstays Scarfes Bar, Tom Kerridge and Fitz Bar.

Every drink here has a story and is poured into unique glassware.

Of course there is the Vesper Martini, but the bar’s signature cocktails have plenty to offer. The Strawberry Fizz Forever is a nod to the hotel’s music history, which dates back to the 1930s; Artists from Louis Armstrong, The Beatles, Dusty Springfield and ABBA have all stayed at the hotel.

As for the Bessie Mae — which includes Aluna Coconut Rum, Amaro Santoni, guava and kumquat syrup, wild fennel, and “bath bubbles” — it’s a nod to actress Elizabeth Taylor, who has stayed at the hotel 37 times. Taylor signed the deal for her famous film Cleopatra while sitting in a bathtub in the hotel’s Harlequin Suite. Hence these “bath bubbles”.

If you’re feeling peckish – after all, spies and icons also need their food – small portions are also served at the bar. These include a fine serving of Dressed Rock Oysters for £14, Cured Salmon with apple and horseradish for £16 or Dover Sole Goujons with tartar sauce for £24. And for those with a sweet tooth, there are two dessert options: Assorted Macaroons or Hazelnut Parfait with Chocolate Rice Krispies, both £15.

The Dorchester Hotel

The snack bar – The Dorchester Hotel

In Casino Royale, Vesper Lynd has betrayed Bond.

No chance of feeling betrayed by The Dorchester and its new Vesper Bar. Go for the cocktails, stay for the atmosphere and feel free to hum the Bond theme as you enter. If it’s good enough for 007…

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