Great world bars we love: The Connaught Bar, Mayfair, London

Photo courtesy of The Connaught Bar

Once we can travel and socialize again, we know just where we’ll be heading. We’re going to a bar. And not just any bar. The very best bar in the world.

That’s The Connaught Bar, which was named No. 1 by The World’s 50 Best Bars last November, after spending 10 years on the list. It’s an elegant 1920s-style space on the ground floor of The Connaught Hotel in London’s posh Mayfair neighbourhood. The room is both glamourous and cosy. Although it’s a vintage space, it was redesigned by David Collins and relaunched in 2008 with swellegant nods to Cubism and Art Deco.

Photo courtesy of The Connaught Bar

But what really raises it above the rest is the creativity and effortless hospitality of the bar team led by director of mixology Agostino Perrone. He is a legend in bartending who came to London from Italy on a vacation in 2003 and never left. After working in just about every bar that led the aughts’ cocktail revival, he joined the Connaught team for the 2008 reopening. Two years later, The Connaught Bar was named World’s Best Bar, and Perrone the International Bartender of the Year, at Tales of the Cocktail.

And now, he’s conquered World’s 50 Best.

When we visit, we might order the Bloody Mary, which arrives in a cloud of aromatic celery foam. Or perhaps the modernist scotch-and-sherry Magnetum the World’s 50 Best judges loved so much. Wait, who are we kidding? It’ll be the bespoke Martini, rolled in on a trolley of accoutrements—including the house-distilled gin—and prepared tableside by a white-gloved bartender.

Whatever we choose, we can’t wait until we return.

—by Joanne Sasvari

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