Iconic whisky bar experiences series: Donovan Bar, London

let’s begin

I have a confession to make; despite being a devout born and bred Londoner, I rarely get around to checking out the iconic and best cocktail bars in this great city, this series of articles aims to readdress that. This week's featured bar is  the Donovan Bar.

Located in the discreet Brown’s Hotel near Green Park and Hyde Park in the heart of Central London, the story of Donovan Bar is rooted in the 1960s.

Named in honour of British photographer Terence Donovan, the bar’s walls are lined with over 50 of his black and white prints. The extensive range of wines, champagnes and cocktails are all served with a twist of style. Order up our signature Donovan Martini and take a seat in the ‘naughty corner’ with Donovan’s more risqué pictures. Alternatively, sit beside the original 19th century stained glass window of St George in one of the coolest bars in London.

The menu has fantastic drinking-related quotes throughout, bringing stories and the bar’s ethos to life in a fun way.

Their signature serve is “Spey Trip”, costing just over £20. Steep? Not once you are served this fantastic cocktail which is essentially a take on the classic old fashioned. 

“Spey Trip” was inspired by the journey taken by The Donovan Bar team in open canoes along the River Spey to reach the distillery where they met all the craftsmen who make The Balvenie.

All the elements of this unique and delicious serve have been created by repurposing materials found by The Donovan Bar team at the Balvenie distiller itself.

This includes the copper from the stills to make the label, wood from casks in the cooperage to make the stand and the bottles, which would otherwise have been filled with The Balvenie single malt whisky, to make the glasses.

I must say it was a great cocktail, really interesting and presented perfectly giving the sense of the journey the whisky has made from spirit to serve.

Definitely worth the trip, make sure you head there when you next fancy a great cocktail in a historic location.



Brown’s Hotel,
Albemarle Street,
Call: +44207 493 6020
Email: [email protected]

Tags: Donovan BarDrinkWireLondonReview
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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