In our column, A Seat At The Bar we showcase the world’s best bars – from plush cocktail spots to dive bars, and everything in-between.
This month, we’re spotlighting Mayfair’s Bar des Prés.
Some might call this the sexiest little bar Mayfair has to offer. Bar de Prés is a new intimate lounge inspired by 1950s Paris. As winter draws in the warm, low lighting and enticing close knit arm chairs are the perfect place to hunker down for the evening.
Enter via the restaurant on Albemarle Street and head downstairs to this underground haven. It’s one of those places you’ll only find out about if you’re “in the know” (you’re welcome). But beware, it’s also the kind of place you’ll visit for a pre-dinner drink and end up missing dinner reservations, instead seduced by the cosy and sexy interiors, and persuaded to stay by the fried sushi – a must try.
Taking its lead from Parisian hot spot, chef Cyril Lignac’s celebrated Bar des Prés in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, this London cousin bottles the same vibes. The bar exudes elegance and has a touch of old-world glamour: rich in colour and bold in pattern the carpet sets the tone and is set against mahogany accents, high velvet stools at the bar, and low-slung arm chairs that are perfect for spilling secrets.
What To Order
The focus is on wine – with exceptional French wines taking centre stage – but the interiors here feel in tune with an Old Fashioned or a Martini. We settled into the latter (the dirty version), topped up with a few Bellinis. Bar de Prés also excels in its food offering: a hybrid of french cuisine with an Asian twist. Did we already mention the fried sushi? Trust us, you’ll want to order it, alongside the avocado and crab galette and the squid tempura, on repeat.
Who To Bring
Someone you can have a good conversation with. Your best friend or third date would be ideal. This is a bar you’ll want to sink into and stay a while.
When To Go
Bar de Prés is only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The ideal end of week pick-me-up.
The Dress Code
If you can manage to nail French-girl insouciance, go for that. Otherwise, nothing too dressy or too casual: dress to ensure you’re as comfortable and chic as your surroundings. We opted for GANNI leopard print jeans and blue Manolos.