This April sees the reopening of the Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel following its complete re-design by Olga Polizzi and Inge Moore (Co-Founder of interior design studio, Muza Lab). The new look will be accompanied by a new drinks menu curated by the legendary Salvatore Calabrese (former President of the United Kingdom Bartender’s Guild and Head Bartender at Fifty St James Club).
Salvatore will be taking up residency from Monday 9th April, wow-ing imbibers with a selection of new and signature creations alongside a variety of vintage cocktails made from some of the most exceptional, rare spirits from his own personal collection.
The Donovan Bar has long been known as an intimate and sophisticated drinking den, playing host to gatherings of the most glamorous faces of Mayfair’s elite fashion and art scene. Taking inspiration from the bar’s namesake and close friend of the Forte family, the iconic 1960’s photographer Sir Terence Donovan, Salvatore has created a list of 16 original cocktails divided into four sections: bright and refreshing High Exposure; dark and mellow Low Exposure; strong and bold High Contrast; and soft and delicate Low Contrast.
Highlights of the new menu, inspired by the Donovan Bar’s unique history include:
Flower Power – Hendrick’s Gin re-distilled with Rambutan, butterfly pea tea, lemon juice & lavender honey
Gran Torino – Johnnie Walker Gold Label Whisky, Riserva Speciale Martini Bitter, Martini Riserva Rubino, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, orange juice & Re’al ginger foam
Lady Forte – Don Julio Blanco Tequila distilled with Timur pepper, blood orange & grapefruit juice, agave and Moët & Chandon Champagne
Naughty Corner – Bacardi White Rum, white cacao liquor, Galliano liqueur, pineapple juice & fresh passion fruit, rimmed with cocoa butter & saffron
These will sit alongside Salvatore’s Signature Cocktails, representing some of his best-loved creations from over 40 years as one of the most influential figures in the modern drinks industry:
Breakfast Martini – Tanqueray No. 10 Gin, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice & orange marmalade
Godfrey – Hennessey VSOP Cognac, Grand Marnier, Crème de Mur, lemon juice & blackberries
Guests at the Donovan Bar will also have the opportunity to sample a selection of Salvatore’s personal collection of rare spirits presented in an extensive list of Vintage Cocktails, celebrating forgotten favourites alongside some of history’s best-loved classics:
Vesper –Gordons Gin c1950, Smirnoff Vodka c1950 and Kina Lilet 1949
Salvatore’s Legacy – Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac (1788), Kummel Liqueur (1770), Dubb Orange Liqueur (c1860) & Angostura Bitters (c1930)
The redesign of the Donovan Bar is the work of award-winning interior designer, Inge Moore, who has collaborated with Olga Polizzi, Director of Design for Rocco Forte Hotels, bringing new levels of glamour to the space, emphasising Terence Donovan’s reputation as one of the 20th Century’s most revered fashion photographers and bringing to the fore the largest private collection of his work in existence, including a photograph of Lady Forte herself. Working within the hotel’s classically English architecture, the colour palette combines British racing green with tones of Donovan’s signature white and grey and touches of gold throughout. A balance of reflection and shade, shimmering surfaces and matte finishes recall the camera lens, with the glass bar top sitting atop a bronzed panel reminiscent of a photographer’s wet tray.
As well as an extensive refit of the interiors, the main bar now takes centre stage as you enter, and has doubled in size to seat eight people, whilst the space itself can hold up to 100. The striking bar frames the original 19th Century stained glass window of St George as well as displaying the impressive collection of both vintage and non-vintage spirits, wines, champagnes and other tipples. Set to be the most sought-after seat in Mayfair, the ‘Naughty Corner’ has also been luxuriously revamped and offers an intimate, semi-private area for up to 12 people, amidst some of the most iconic photography from Sir Terence.
Donovan Bar will launch on 9th April 2018 at Brown’s Hotel, Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4BP.
For more information, visit the Brown’s Hotel website.