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Food + Drink

A Seat At The Bar: The Rivoli Bar At The Ritz 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 The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz London.

When asked to name an iconic London institution, The Ritz London may just be the first place to spring to mind. With little-to-no introduction required, this London hotel has stood proudly in the capital since 1906; upholding the elegant values of its era while continuing to keep up with the city’s fast-moving cultural scene. We took a seat at the hotel’s beautiful The Rivoli Bar, to sample their new cocktail-of-the-month menu in a space where old-age glamour meets high-tech gastronomy for pioneering cocktail serves. 

The Lowdown

As The Ritz London’s doormen usher you inside, you’re whisked away to the Versailles-like opulence of Louis XVI’s reign, no drama spared. Tall, 28-karat gold gilded mirrors (touched up every year by gold gilders), tasseled lamps, greenery, and more chandeliers than you could count exude this affluent, artistic ambience. Turn right into a conspicuous mirrored door for The Rivoli Bar, where interiors are curated to mirror the experience of walking into a jewellery box – the cocktails are the jewels – and envelope the space with a lavish lifestyle from the moment you step foot inside. Metallic ochres are carried from floor to ceiling through detailed panelling, and line the bar too, aiding the case-like design.

What To Order

The cocktail of the month, of course! Throughout April, The Golden Apple cocktail is the hero of the bar’s menu, in collaboration with Campari and Appleton Estate. It finds its roots in the 1970s favourite, Jungle Bird, and is made traditionally, with rum, pineapple, and Campari – but with a welcome Ritz-twist. Unusually, the cocktail champions apricot, which was believed to have grown in The Garden of the Hesperides, hence the golden-apple name. The sweetness of the dried apricot, which is served on the side of the drink, beautifully cuts through the characteristically bitter Campari. While the cocktail of the month promises a wonderful experience, any of the drinks from the menu’s signature list are worth a try. Highlights include The 110 – a delicate coupe of champagne served with flakes of 28-karat gold and inspired by the gilded archways throughout the hotel – and The Rivoli 75, an elegant gin-based cocktail that has been served at The Rivoli Bar since it was first written onto the menu in 1930.

Led by the enigmatic head mixologist, Michele Saladino, there is an acute awareness to the science behind flavours in all the drinks served here. Saladino and his friendly, expert team have curated a new menu focusing on seasonal ingredients while applying gastro-physics and elements of psychology to their creations. Fusing old and new methods of cocktail making, Saladino applies a large focus on texture in his cocktails, making sure the bespoke syrups are thin in consistency so that flavour arrives at the tastebuds quickly, for a stronger impact. The mixologist team often bounce ideas off of The Ritz London’s head chef for flavour-combination inspiration and most of the ingredients are fermented, distilled, and emulsified in the bar’s onsite lab space.

When To Go

The Rivoli Bar is open everyday of the week, only closing an hour earlier (at 10:30PM rather than 11:30PM) on Sundays and bank holidays meaning no matter the occasion, the stylish bar and friendly team awaits you. Visit for an early evening drink, or after dinner for a digestif.

Who To Bring

Someone you want to celebrate with, be it for an anniversary, a birthday or a family event. An animated charm of excitement oozes within The Rivoli Bar, so your evening here will feel that extra bit special. Through the ages, The Ritz London has been a place for family, friends, and lovers alike, so the amicable and luxurious atmosphere suits all kinds of occasions.

The Dress Code

The Ritz London has a strict no denim, sportswear, or trainers rule. But trust us, with the glitz of the gold-lined bar and the seductive low lighting, you’ll want to look and feel the part. Don’t miss this opportunity to lavish in the golden age of Louis XVI decor through your fashion. Be bold and go for metallic accents if you fancy it, and of course, statement jewellery pieces to suit the jewellery box-like interiors. 

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