Barcelona’s renowned Dry Martini comes to London

Dry Martini bar

Javier de las Muelas has transported the style and service of his legendary Barcelona bar to London

Widely regarded as the best bar in Barcelona, Dry Martini is a regular fixture in the annual list of the World’s 50 Best Bars. Its style, service standards and dedication to a classic Martini have come to London, opening in the Meliá White House hotel on the eastern corner of Regent’s Park.

Javier de las Muelas, who founded the Barcelona bar in 1978, has worked with the team in London, headed by bar manager Martin Siska, to create a destination as superior as the original. Serving a range of classic and original cocktails, the bar champions the eponymous Dry Martini. As in Barcelona, there is a display board counting up how many Martinis have been sold. With a choice of 80 gins, guests order the Martini of their choice and, in another tradition from Barcelona, receive a stamped certificate as testament of their experience.

The menu features updates on traditional serves such as the Scented Negroni, a herbaceous take on the classic aperitivo combining Tanqueray No Ten gin, Martini Rosso, Campari and Dry Martini’s signature Rosemary Droplets – part of a range of essences created specifically for the bar.

dry martini the jigger

Celebrating Dry Martini’s focus on experimentation and invention is the Excentric section of the menu, featuring innovative techniques and ingredients as well as striking glassware. The Carnivore is served in a frozen flower on a bed of moss and dry ice, combining pisco with strawberry, Szechuan pepper and passion fruit juice. The Pipe serve features a bottle smoked with cherry tobacco while The Jigger (pictured above) is an updated twist on the sharing element of Sangria – fresh seasonal fruit is mixed with Zacapa 23 and Bacardi Superior rums and served in a porthole-style vessel.

The Excentric drinks are products of a laboratory and bar at the back of the room, which is in a glazed antechamber, filled with homemade syrups and tinctures and different glassware and equipment. The main copper-topped bar counter has been specially designed by Javier and his team, including three metres in the centre especially suited to making Martinis.

The space, formerly Longford’s Bar, has been transformed with an interior design that mixes heritage and contemporary elements. Dark wood panelling and a chequerboard floor are offset with pops of bright colour from the selection of mismatched classic-style chairs and sofas. The walls are covered with a range of Spanish artwork curated by Javier, varying from hand-drawn impressions on the napkins of Dry Martini Barcelona through to oil paintings by Keith Haring and portraits by Matías Krahn. The common thread throughout is Dry Martini’s celebration of artistry, culminating with a striking picture by Eugenio Recuenco behind the bar.

dry martini london

The venture is the latest partnership between Dry Martini and Meliá Hotels International after creating bars in the Gran Meliá Fenix in Madrid and the Gran Meliá Victoria in Palma de Mallorca. For his first project in the UK, Javier is bringing back glamour to the Grade II building which was built as luxury apartments in 1936 and became home to exclusive members’ club The White House until the 1960s. After being bought by Sol Meliá in 1999, it is a four-star deluxe hotel that is now being put on the cocktail map thanks to Javier and his Dry Martinis.

Dry Martini, Meliá White House Hotel, Albany Street, Regent’s Park, London NW1 3UP
Tel: 020 7391 3000

dry martini london

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