Venue of the month: The Churchill Bar & Terrace

Inspired by Sir Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine, The Churchill Bar & Terrace offers award-winning cocktails and dining in a glamorous, yet tranquil, setting tucked away behind Oxford Street.

London is home to a portfolio of themed bars. With a bronze life-size statue of a young Winston Churchill, this stylish venue offers people the opportunity to experience fine dining among original photographs and love letters between the former PM and his wife, adorned on the walls within the luxe décor interior.

The Churchill Bar & Terrace is located in Hyatt Regency, London, boasting craft cocktails (many of which are made with the bar’s own Churchill Craft Gin) homemade tonics, premium spirits and fine wines in addition to traditional menu favourites.

Originally from Portugal, Bar Manager Nelson Bernardes has an impressive history in hospitality spanning across 10 years, starting in Lisbon before moving to London. Bernardes has a number of achievements under his belt, now leading the award-winning bar in the exclusive Portman Square, Marylebone, delivering a highly creative and technical cocktail menu; “We reopened The Churchill Bar & Terrace in two phases, opening the outdoor terrace first followed by the indoor bar” said Nelson.

Adhering to government guidelines, diners were able to enjoy hospitality at The Churchill Bar & Terrace again when they reopened in April with the venue’s heated terrace bringing in customers every day. Nelson explained; “Given only outdoor hospitality was permitted to begin with, the terrace proved extremely popular, and we were looking at reservations two weeks ahead and seeing it fully booked, every day”.

Diners are now able to enjoy their British-inspired food menu inside too, where they serve lunch and dinner. Customers can also treat themselves to a Churchill’s brunch – which includes a series of craft cocktails.

The pandemic ultimately changed the way people travel, with many unable to visit family and friends oversees. Left with only the memories of better times abroad, Bernardes spoke of how the teams’ reminiscing led to the unlikely inspiration for some new creations; “We combined personal experiential travel memories with what we do best: mixology. The first few weeks’ post-lockdown also saw the launch of our new World of Wanderlust craft cocktail menu, timed with the reopening of our luxe indoor bar.

“We took advantage of the time during lockdown to experiment behind the scenes, innovate and design this new cocktail menu that was inspired by our mixologist’s own unforgettable travel experiences at a time when travel had all but ground to a halt” he continued.

Their new cocktail menu provides a personal touch, created with the international experiences of the bar staff in mind and allowing customers to share their journeys across the globe with every sip.

“To create the cocktails, we focused on the personal, the meaningful, and the memorable – each cocktail relates to a particular travel experience, not just a country or destination. Which is why you’ll find cocktails on the menu that are inspired by everything from the high-octane and adrenaline inducing, like gliding over the Himalayas, to the simple rusticity of a beach bonfire with friends on a Greek island.” Explained Nelson.

However, that wasn’t all that lockdown inspired, and some technological touches were thought of in time for customers’ return; “We also created an interactive menu where you can travel to far-flung destinations with the swipe of a finger, guiding Pilot Churchill and his plane across the screen and over continents to land and learn more about each cocktail, its ingredients and destination inspiration.

“We wanted guests to feel the same sense of fun and playfulness while experiencing each cocktail, that we had in creating the menu” he added. Every cocktail in the World of Wanderlust menu has at least one homemade ingredient of some sort, requiring syrups infused for spirits and lab preparation.

With travel at the forefront of their minds, The Churchill Bar & Terrace have seen extremely positive responses from customers, where guests are eager to taste their way to a destination through the bar’s travel-inspired cocktail menu. Diners are curious about ingredients they are unfamiliar with, and The Churchill Bar &Terrace have their mixologists on hand to explain.

While their focus has been on the World of Wanderlust cocktail menu launch, the team at The Churchill Bar & Terrace have also revamped their craft cocktail selection for brunches – which will be perfect for the warmer and sunnier days ahead. Whether it’s brunches, a bite to eat or you’re looking for a little bit of travel inspiration behind the bar, let The Churchill Bar & Terrace whisk you away on a tasty staycation.

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