I am loving Marriott at the moment. Although I used to work in one and have stayed in others it’s only now I’m realising that they’re not all the same and that they diversify in different ways. I recently had dinner at Gillray’s Steakhouse and Bar in Marriott County Hall and last month I went for cocktails in The Luggage Room at Marriott Grosvenor square.
I was completely blown away by everything; the décor, service, music, cocktails, uniforms, staff, their knowledge and their kindness not just to us but to everyone in the bar. Drawing on the spirit of the twenties and the infamous Bentley Boys the bar offers “distinguished flavours and traditions of the golden age of cocktails” with modern and unique twists the staff think work better. And myyy do they know what they’re talking about.
Called so as it used to be where concierge stored luggage the theme is evident throughout with the leather tufted sofas, monogrammed tables and dark wood décor giving the impression of old style luggage and trunks from the 1920s. The bar feels classy without being stuck up and it’s cosy as well as having an air of elegance about it.
Guests of The Luggage Room are welcomed with a house made Caribbean Rum Punch which is smooth, fruity and very drinkable. I didn’t realise I liked rum until I was in Barbados last year and now I can’t get enough of it so this was a great way to start the evening and it set the bar pretty high for everything that was to follow. Along with the rum punch came sweet and spicy nuts created just for the bar and really delicious and healthy tasting vegetable crisps (carrot, beetroot, parsnip and sweet potato) in little copper pots.
I started with Eton’s Blazer which among other things is created with house made redcurrant liqueur. The fact part of this drink is made in house makes it pretty exclusive as even if others try to replicate it it can’t be done exactly.
Next I went for The Barbados Buck, a fantastically balanced mix of rum, ginger and honey with a big chunk of ice plonked on top. I love the detail carved into the lime and how the orange and green shades complement one another and sit perfectly nestled among the ice.
Last but in no way least, I went back to my old friend the Cosmopolitan. But this was no ordinary Cosmo, it was the original recipe for the Cosmopolitan and known today in The Luggage Room as the 1934 Cosmo.
They’re beautiful. Beautiful colours, beautifully presented and beautifully tasting, and made even more beautiful by two really unique touches I haven’t seen elsewhere and LOVE. Firstly the metal straw/swizzle stick combination and secondly the giant ice block bar staff carve chunks out of for drinks. The metal straw/swizzle sticks are not only a great way to reduce waste but they give the cocktails an old school classy feel while the ice block sits unassumingly behind the bar and makes the cocktails look even more unique and wonderful.
I once heard the Vitamix being described as the Rolls-Royce of blenders, and at The Luggage Room the mixologists and waitresses are the Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Ferrari of staff. Alice was so attentive in her service and was happy chatting away, showing us the different glasses they use and explaining about the bar snacks. Chris behind the bar was unbelievably knowledgeable about the drinks he was preparing and offered some really great suggestions for cocktails we may like to try. Their service wasn’t forced or over the top, it was natural and effortless and if they were to set up a bar together I’d there in a flash because it would be a winning combination.
The Luggage Room has an entrance within the hotel and although there’s also one on street level it isn’t the type of place you’d stumble across, in fact I walked straight by the doorway completely oblivious it was even there. Despite this, there was a steady flow of customers and it got quite busy throughout the evening which is a testament to a place described as ‘Mayfair’s best kept secret’.
I am in love with The Luggage Room and am so glad I got to experience it and even more glad Marriott diversifies certain properties from the chain with gems like this. In fact forget diversifying, every Marriott worldwide should create their own Luggage Room cocktail bar because this place was above and beyond not only the majority of hotel bars but also every standalone cocktail bar I’ve been to. Excellent work, I love this place, I’ll definitely be back.
(I was a guest of The Luggage Room)