We LOVE a good martini here at Hot Dinners, so we do feel pretty well qualified to point you towards some of our favourite places to enjoy a martini around London.
The 'slurpable' martini at Egerton House Hotel
This Knightsbridge hotel has made a name for itself off the back of its very good - and very generously sized - martinis. The 'Egerton Slurp' is the name given to the genteel sip you need to take from the glass before you can even lift it from the bar without spillage.
The Martini trolley at The Connaught Bar
One of the truly great places to enjoy a martini in London (it was the first place we made a beeline to after the end of the last lockdown). The tableside trolley service is a theatrical delight and it's fun trying to decide which of their fruit or herbal vermouths you want to try each time. Total joy.
The One Sip Martini at Tayer + Elementary
Trust Tayer + Elementary to come up with a fresh take on the martini. Currently ranked fifth on the World's 50 Best Bars list, their One Sip Martini is a perfect post-work pick me up. Pre-mixed with sherry and vermouth it's poured out at -10C.
The straight from the freezer martini at Ever After
The Absolut Elyx Vodka martini at this Hoxton Square bar is made with Dolin Dry Vermouth and Kosertae White Tea and poured straight from the freezer. No messing. No waiting around.
Salvatore Calabrese's martini at the Donovan Bar
Back in the day, Duke's Bar's reputation as one of London's best places to get a martini (see below) was forged by the redoubtable Salvatore Calabrese running the show in the early 80s. He's now at the Donovan Bar at Brown's Hotel in Mayfair where he's still turning out legendary martinis.
The aged Gibson martini at The Gibson
Fittingly for a bar named after this savoury iteration of a martini, The Gibson on Old Street has three alternative takes on the Gibson. The aged Gibson features vermouth which has been aged in an ex-balsamic vinegar barrel for six months and its signature garnish is a truffle and smokey cider vinegar onion.
Old school martini at Bellamy's in Mayfair
A relatively new discovery for us was the bar at Bellamy's. Hidden down the same mews as The Guinea, this charmingly old-school restaurant and bar serves a wonderful martini that's practically a bargain for Mayfair. Good snackage too.
The two maximum Martini at Dukes Bar
Every list of London's best martinis includes a reference to the amazing martinis at Dukes in St James which come with a whole lot of tableside theatre. They're delicious and quite lethal, which is why the bar cleverly puts a two-drink limit on them.
Ice cold in Soho at L'escargot
Hands-down one of the best vodka martinis we've had in a while, this came as a bit of a surprise, but a very welcome one, at the start of our dinner here. If you've been wondering how restaurants like L'escargot stand the test of time, the effort they put into their cocktails gives you an indication.
The potato vodka martini at Ladies and Gentlemen
When you've created your own vodka, you ought to be able to turn out a decent vodka martini and happily the one at this underground Kentish Town bar is up there with the best. Owner Johnny Borrell is also the man behind Vestal potato vodka and that's what this classic is made with.
We're hearing very good things about the new cherry martini at The Nomad London
Down on the South Bank, Lyaness does a Cereal Martini made with Ketel One, Golden Levain, seeded vermouth
New to the list at the original Ivy is a Bond-inspired Francisco Scaramanga Martini made with Wyborowa Vodka, Gun Powder Vermouth and sesame oil.
Subscribe to hear the latest from Hot Dinners