Here, it’s all about the Martinis. Famed as Ian Fleming’s local, it is said that Dukes Bar is the inspiration behind the expression ‘shaken, not stirred’. Looks wise, the bar is a touch shabby but this only adds to the charm, allowing it to pull off that old-style, been-here-forever ambiance perfectly. Alessandro Palazzi and his white-jacketed team rely on traditional techniques when whipping up their skilfully crafted concoctions and boy does it pay off.
Drinks are served straight up and nitrogen cold – not an ice cube in sight. There are other swills on the menu but with Martinis this good why bother? Stick to the Vesper or Fleming 89, you’ll thank us later. Head to the courtyard garden post-tipple to bask in the swish surroundings and enjoy a cigar plucked from Dukes’ own humidor.
Best seat in the house: If you’re close to the bar, you’re all set.
Dress code: Although renowned the world over, pretentious this bar is not. Rock up in whatever your heart desires. Within reason.
35 St James’s Place
020 7491 4840