You would think that following in the footsteps of Auguste Escoffier, Henry Braddock and César Ritz would be daunting, well, not for Anna Sebastian. Under her watchful eye as its Senior Bar Manager, The Savoy’s Beaufort Bar has continued to flourish since the day it opened in 2010.
There really should be only one way to enter The Savoy – by taxi. It’s the closest to experiencing how the swells might have felt at the turn of the 20th Century, when it was first built.
Driving in on the right-hand side (American!), your chauffeur or the doorman would help you exit without having to go around the cab, all thanks to a special Act of Parliament.
Still, as much as hopping back in time sounds exciting, there would have been no Beaufort Bar to make your local. After a three-year long restoration and refurbishment of the entire hotel, it opened to great fanfare on October 10, 2010 at 10:10. The Beaufort Bar was born that evening.
The sun may have gone down, but, every night the lights switch on in this evening-only drinking establishment and the drinks pop-up. I use this term because the menu is literally a Pop-Up Book specifically created for the Beaufort Bar.
Fifteen hand-crafted cocktails make up the menu, including “character” cocktails dedicated to the famed entertainers and icons who walked the halls of this venerable hotel. You must watch this video to see the creation of this unique menu.
Anna Sebastian, who joins us today on Best Sips, reigns supreme over this hallowed spot. Under her watchful eye, the Beaufort Bar was awarded the title, Best International Hotel Bar in 2015 by Tales of the Cocktail, the world’s annual premier cocktail festival in New Orleans.
This year, Anna herself was also nominated for Bar Personality of the Year 2016 at Imbibe Live, Europe’s largest drinks conference. Anna explains that she “didn’t know that the hospitality industry really existed at this level – I didn’t know you could travel the world, deal with such an eclectic mix of guests as well as create something and be part of history in so many ways.”
You can see why I was so excited to be sitting down with her to talk about The Beaufort Bar and how she found herself a part of its venerated history, before making me the bar’s most Instagrammable cocktail: The Impressionist, inspired by Claude Monet’s stay in the hotel during his time in London in the late 1800’s.
Make sure you pop on down to see the pop-up menu before the new year is out! Then return often to catch the new menu hot off the presses.
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