The Hamptons Bar
St James’ Court, 54 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London, SW1E 6AF
Nestled within the splendid St James’ Court hotel, mere minutes from Buckingham Palace, The Hamptons Bar is a picture of understated luxury. High-backed chairs and dark wood panelling set the tone, while the bar’s gleaming grand piano evokes the cosy ambience of a Manhattan jazz club. The bar boasts live music on a daily basis, ensuring a lively atmosphere every night of the week. The Hamptons menu covers a wide range of options, from inventive Indian-inspired pizzas to sushi boxes and assorted salads. We were in the mood for sharing and so turned to the tantalising tapas menu, which features dishes from around the globe catering to meat-lovers and vegetarians alike. The tempura prawns, served with hot garlic sauce and crackers, were satisfyingly plump and sticky, while the Cajun- and Parmesan-fried chicken bites were crispy, succulent and expertly matched with tangy harissa mayonnaise. Finally, our appetites were well and truly conquered by a plate of richly delicious beef fajitas, spicy and smoky and served with fresh guacamole and sour cream. To round off the evening, my dining partner opted for the sumptuous Earl Grey burnt cream, while I enjoyed a tastebud-tingling trio of sorbets: raspberry, limoncello and gorgeously smooth mango.