My husband and I had drinks at the Beaufort Bar on Saturday evening. We arrived around 6:30 and waited about 30 mins for a place as they do not take reservations. We put our name on the list and went and explored the newly refurbished ground floor.
The lobby is very grand and beautiful with staff everywhere asking if you needed assistance. The American Bar was somewhat crowded but not near as buzzy and luxurious as the Beaufort Bar (which used to be a Cabaret in the old days), so we decided the wait was worth it. There are two interesting creative/art displays that are between the lobby and the Beaufort Bar. They are painted black and solely have the word "curious" painted on them. You have too look into a peep hole to see an image of various high end luxury items that can be purchased through the Savoy. There is a lovely chocolate shop where you can see a choclatier creating delightful chocolate creations through the huge glass pane windows. We tried the white chocolate and macadamia nut clusters and they were delicious. There is also a lovely tea shop adjacent the chocolate shop.
After 20 minutes or so the hostess came and let us know that they had a place for us. They put us at the bar although there were at least two or three other tables available. We did not request to be moved, however hindsight we should have as another couple did so and were kindly seated at a table. The crowd was very mixed and appeared to be made up of about 25% tourists, some business men, some couples, some larger parties celebrating. The mood in the place was sophisticated but not stuffy. There is a pianist that plays every night which is a nice touch.
There is a long list of champagne by the glass or by the bottle as well as a page of champagne cocktails. There is also a short list of cocktails and it seemed as if the bartender were anything but novices, as we saw them make at least 25 different drinks that we not on the "specialised cocktails list". Our first drink was" for two" and was called something that included "Bird in a Cage" . It was a delightful combination of vodka, lemon cassis, passion fruit, mango, and pomegranate foam. It was served literally in a bird cage and transported me directly to the Caribbean. As for our second drink, we both had a martini. We are Americans and therefore we prefer our martinis be made of primarily vodka or gin with a splash or vermouth versus the traditional European way of making it. I communicated this to the bartender, and she did a fantastic job of listening and providing us what we asked for. It was the best martini we have had, with the exception of the bar upstairs at Rules, in the last two years that we have lived here. The drinks came accompanied with a silver tray of blanched almonds, candied cashews, and olives. We were also given a selection of canapés that included two tuna rolls wrapped in seaweed and sesame seeds, two pieces of a Parma ham and a cheese spread that were placed on a parmesan bread like base, as well as some parmesan crisps. All of the canapés were decent to good.
If we had any complaints, it would be the level of service. We were not asked whether we wanted our coats and umbrellas checked until we were seated. Furthermore, we were seated at the bar after waiting for 30 minutes when tables were available. Our first rounds of drinks were provided in a timely fashion, but the second round took a good 30 minutes to transpire after the order was placed. The bartenders were apologetic for the lapse in service and stated that the cocktail waitresses had overloaded them with orders, but in our opinion if we were paying £16-£22 a drink, a more efficient outcome should have been produced.
Overall, we will return and will hope that the lapse in service can be chalked up to the Savoy working out the kinks given that they just re-opened two weeks ago.