A riot of purple hues and etched ornate mirrors, this is a jewel box of bar tucked discreetly off the main reception at The Sanderson Hotel.
Hotel bars are dull, stuffy affairs, right? Wrong. The 5-star Sanderson Hotel has two bars and a restaurant on its ground level that have a party vibe a lot of bars and clubs in town would love to be able to bottle and replicate at their own gaffs. To be fair, Purple Bar is the dark, broody, intimate sibling in comparison to the loud, bright, roaring goings on in the Long Bar – but they complement each other perfectly.
It’s so dark in the Purple Bar that, on first entry, it takes a few minutes for your eyes to adjust properly. Once they do, it’s like sitting in a life-size jewel box complete with silk curtains, a violet padded roof and decadent mirrors framing the bar. There’s only room for around twenty people in total and most seats are reserved in advance so you will need to book ahead rather than just chance it. Celebrities seeking a quiet corner, international business-class travellers and girlfriends treating themselves to killer cocktails are all known to frequent.
Martinis (around £15 each) are the business here and are definitely up there with the best you can find in town. There are around 25 in total split into The Martini Collection and Modern Martinis. From the latter, a ginger and lemongrass concoction is feisty from the fresh base ingredients and is further tarted up with apple juice, bitters and Citroen Ketel vodka. Recommended. Alternatively a Manhattan can be ordered and you’ll be asked whether you like it sweet, sour or perfect. Perfect, a finely balanced mix between sweet and sour, is a heady mix that will give you an inner glow and may well have your other half getting high off the fumes. Premium spirits, champagne and bottle beers are all present and correct, too.
The Last Word
If you love bars that make you lose track of time and feel completely ensconced from the real world, Purple Bar, with its decadent design, cocoon-like properties and heady martinis, is an absolute peach.