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Food + Drink

A Seat At The Bar: Little Blue Bar, Peninsula London

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 Little Blue, a cocktail bar located within London’s recently-opened hotel – The Peninsula.

Located just steps away from never-still Hyde Park Corner, Little Blue is found on the ground floor of the newly-opened and much-awaited Peninsula hotel in London and pays tribute to the historic maritime trade routes linking China and Britain.

The Lowdown

Little Blue bar at The Peninsula London

Enter through an unmarked, yet striking cobalt blue-and-white lacquered door on Grosvenor Crescent to discover an intimate setting. Little Blue and its adjoining restaurant, Canton Blue, pay culinary and aesthetic tribute to the maritime trade routes linking China and Britain, and this hybrid of British and Chinese history unfolds before you throughout the cuisine, drinks and decor in both. Together the restaurant and bar form a collection of beautiful rooms – such as the Tea Room, The Music Room and The Silk Room – each taking inspiration from the Junk Keying – a trade ship that sailed and transported goods between Asia and Europe during the mid-19th century. The bar itself seats about 20 to 25 people, so arrive early to secure your spot. 


The entrance at Little Blue
The best seat at Little Blue, is one where you can take in the majestic apothecary cabinets – but no matter where you find yourself sitting to sip on a cocktail, there’s a refined and romantic precision that permeates the whole experience and makes it one to remember. Every detail is considered here; even the ledge of the bar is slightly slanted to be softer on your elbows. Every detail is carefully designed for a truly impactful evening, and polished service sets this place apart. Other hotspots would be well advised to take note – after all, it is how you make someone feel that matters the most. 

What To Order

Sophisticated cocktails embrace the influence of British and Asian cultures, as well as destinations dotted along traditional trade routes. For a taste of Hong Kong, order the Timur, a negroni-like cocktail mixed with cherry, grapefruit, orange peel and fresh pepper.

Or set sail to St Helena with a mix of saffron, almonds, agave and pepper in the Terra. Many of the exquisitely-blended cocktails here incorporate Asian fruits, spices, and herbal tinctures, and look out for surprising ingredients such as mushroom, scotch infused with Java long pepper, lapsang souchong and plum for cocktails with a difference. All are presented in delicate glasses – and the classics are perfectly-mixed too; we had the dry gin Martini to start.

Soak up the cocktails with a selection of bar snacks featuring Cantonese delicacies and Hong Kong street food such as the crispy prawn wontons with a chilli-bean sauce; wok-fried Scottish Wagyu rolls; and butterfly buns with a choice of barbecued pork belly or duck. You will also find a beautiful selection of teas that can be taken in both the English and Chinese traditions. 

Canton Blue: The Dining Room

Canton Blue: The Dining Room

Afterwards, make your way to dinner at Canton Blue: Little Blue only hints at everything that the main dining room has to offer. Here, soak in displays of Cantonese porcelain; a ceramic fireplace in a magnificent shade of blue; celestial navigation maps; low-lit tables and intimate private booths. Serving Cantonese cuisine, don’t miss the steamed crab and cuttlefish dim sum, the crispy aubergine with seitan plus a sweet and sour sauce, or the Silver Hill Peking duck. 

When To Go

Little Blue is open from 5PM every day of the week and is ideal for an early-week drink. If you’re planning to visit for drinks and dinner, avoid Tuesdays as Canton Blue is closed on this day.

Who To Bring

Someone you would like to have a conversation with; you won’t be interrupted other than with the flow of beautifully-prepared food and drinks. This is also a perfect place to meet with a colleague in a space that feels far from corporate.

The Dress Code

Something chic and elegant, perhaps with a touch of chinoiserie. In theory you could wear anything you like – but the location is too chic and well designed to dress too casually.

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