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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Why you should visit the Best Luxury Bars in London, Reykjavik, New York and Around the World

The Ideal Bar or lounge may not be a bar near you but one of the Best Bars in the World.

Visiting the best luxury bars around the world can be a very rewarding experience and some websites only suggest lounge options for the best bar drinks.  Maybe you don't think the "bar scene" is for you, but there are MANY reasons that cool luxury bars may be interesting to you:

1.  Experience cocktails that are part of a city's history

At Duke's Hotel in London, Ian Fleming was served a new cocktail called the Vesper Martini in the 1950's.  When Ian Fleming wrote his James Bond novels,  this famous cocktail made it to his stories. "Shaken, not Stirred..."

2.  Enjoy Craft Spirits from the Region or Country you are Visiting

Recently when LTD was at Ashford Castle in Cobb, Ireland, we tasted a craft gin, Bertha's revenge.  BERTHA’S REVENGE SMALL BATCH IRISH MILK GIN
The gin as well as the story about Bertha the cow was intriguing:  "Bertha, or ‘Big Bertha’ as she was known, was a legendary Droimeann cow from Sneem in Co. Kerry. She was reared locally, and was bought as a calf by a farmer called Jerome O’Leary.
When she died on New Year’s Eve 1993, just 3 months shy of her 49th birthday, she had become something of a local celebrity. Over the course of her long life she had given birth to 39 calves, and this achievement, together with her tremendous age, had earned her an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. This fame was harnessed productively by Mr. O’Leary; Bertha became a regular at local fairs, and lead the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Sneem where she was engaged in raising money for local cancer relief charities." (courtesy of BALLYVOLANE HOUSE SPIRITS COMPANY)

Bertha's Revenge Small Batch Irish Milk Gin

3.  Unique Architecture

One of the best classic bars in New York City is The Campbell Apartment, 5 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York The Campbell Apartment is located inside another city icon—Grand Central Terminal. It was home to the offices of American financier John W. Campbell, who died in 1957.  Following his death this space was a storage closet for transit police and even a small jail! In 1999 the grand space was restored to its former glory, and now houses a chic cocktail bar.  What better place to see beautiful architecture than Grand Central Terminal and all of its history and top it off with a visit to a beautiful cocktail lounge!

Ex Tip: Enjoy the design up close by bringing a great set of binoculars!

the campbell apartment
Go to Grand Central Terminal to enjoy The Campbell Apartment

4.  History of the Location

Yvonne's in Boston is great place to visit to relive the era of the speakeasy with impeccable decor and service.  Locke-Ober was the third longest running restaurant in Boston until it finally closed in 2012.  The Greek Revival building was constructed in 1832. By 1862, the Boston City Directory listed Adrien Destre as operating a restaurant at 4 Winter Place. By 1868, F.A. Blanc was listed as running the restaurant. By 1879, Boston city records listed Luis Ober as the proprietor of a restaurant at 4 Winter Place of "over twenty years' standing." From the start, the restaurant specialized in French food and had been central to the financial, political, and intellectual history of Boston.  Painstakingly renovated and reopened as a modern interpretation of the supper club, Yvonne's is a great place to visit on your next trip to Boston.  The location, the building and the concept are historical in every way.Yvonne's, 2 Winter Place, Boston

5.  Cool decor

Maybe you have a great man cave bar at home, but there is so much more to see out in the world at bars!  Take The Jane Restaurant In A Renovated Church, Antwerp, Belgium.  It is a trend all over Europe to open restaurants in renovated churches, so I encourage you to consider visiting one if possible.  Usually this equates to large open spaces with beautiful ceilings, much like Le Train Bleu in Paris which was part of an old Train Station in Paris.  The Jane shows a unique mix of parochial interior with modern decor.

The Jane Restaurant and Bar in Belgium is in a renovated church.

(c) Eric Kleinberg Photography
6.  People Watching

Paradiso in Barcelona is a new speakeasy on the scene with much buzz.  Speakeasy bars are abundant now, but have you ever been to a speakeasy within a speakeasy?  You may need to wait because of the demand to enter but you won't be disappointed in the quality of the drinks and the "patrones guapos!"

El Paradiso is at Carrer de Rera Palau 4, Barcelona

7.  Meet Some Locals and Hear Some Local Music

Some people use, but that isn't most traveling person's style...But there are great ways to meet locals.  Let's take Cuba as an example...Now that Cuba is open to US Citizens for tourism, LTD would like to recommend a great place to experience local Cuban flair.  El Floradita bar oozes history and culture.  Learn how the frozen daiquiri became so important to Cuban culture.  Imagine sitting next to Ernest Hemingway, while hearing Cuban music playing in the background and sipping a frozen daiquiri or mojito.

Feel Like Ernest Hemingway sipping a daiquiri in Havana.

8.  Nostalgia

Nostalgia is incredibly powerful and good for the psyche! Pat Hurley, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida says that two of his favorite bars are the Molokai Bar at the Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale and Durty Nelly's outside Bunratty Castle in Ireland.  Pat describes bars like these as "visually remarkable" and having "the ability to sweep you away to another place and time."

9. Oh my...the View!

After the Reykjavik bar crawl, less than an hour from Reykjavik, Iceland, does it get any better than sipping on a cocktail and viewing the Northern Lights?  The Northern Lights Bar

Where are good places to research bars online before you go?

LTD recommends researching before you go to a particular destination to know location, attire, busy hours, if food is served among other things.  There are so many bars in larger cities, it can be very confusing.

1.  The Worlds 50 Best Bars is one of the most quoted websites.  However, this is a list generated by the international drinks industry.  Voting is a process involving cocktail aficionados, bartenders and drink writers. This will not be a list breaking down what you may desire except for consistently good cocktails in great spaces with great service.

2.  Esquire will publish its list of the Best Bars in America every year and obviously this is a great list for domestic travel.

3. Thrillist is a good website for particular locations in the USA and you may find more than just bar lists.  LTD feels this website is too busy to find what you are looking for and doesn't always cater to luxury.  However, it does include domestic and international cities.

4.  Yelp has a "nightlife" search option.

Finally, always remember that a nice glass of wine in your short term rental is relaxing as well.  See LTD entry on booking a short term rental for your luxury travel.

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