For those of you who have yet to experience the delightful nostalgic Britishness of The Churchill Bar at the Hyatt Park Regency, now would be a good time to become acquainted. Tucked a stone’s throw away from the furore of Oxford Street the seasonally themed Churchill Bar’s Terrace has taken a festive turn by travelling back in time introducing the vintage Winter Terrace- a romantic hidden gem in the city.
This glitz and the glam of The Churchill Bar has been transformed offering guests a fully heated hideaway complete with a new menu that promises to take you on a journey of Winston Churchill. From classic London memorabilia to iconic British posters and even an old railway clock, the vintage themed terrace guarantees to delight. Don’t be put off by the nippy London weather; the terrace is covered and complete with hot water bottles to keep you warm, cosy blankets, fur lined chairs, twinkling lights and oodles of festive cheer.
We were seated in a secluded corner which was very romantic and as I started to get comfortable I looked up and noticed that we were sitting opposite a life-size bronze of a young Sir Winston Churchill (complete with a red woolly scarf) which I later learned was cast by the renowned sculptor Lawrence Holofcener. So of course we had to take a selfie with such an important figure. After wrapping our legs in blankets and snuggling into the fury chairs David and I couldn’t wait to browse the themed menu. Cocktails first (obviously) and boy did we have a hard choice deciding. The Churchill Bar’s menu is bursting with craft cocktails, each telling their own enchanting story inspired by everything from Churchill’s time in the Cabinet War Rooms, his iconic moments, favourite places and passions and even a cocktail named after the upcoming Universal/Working Title Churchill film tipped for Oscar success, Darkest Hour. The head mixologist came out to introduce himself and talk us through the menu and the ingredients in which they use. Before I knew it David has placed his order for the Darkest Hour and left me floundering wondering what to pick. At this point the very helpful mixologist quizzed me on my normal drinks preference and told me that I should try the Charleston Punch; a twist on the classic Pisco Punch.
With cocktail orders placed we turned our attention to food. The menu is mouth-wateringly delicious and includes new warming winter dishes, adding a special twist to some of Churchill’s favourites, take from Churchill’s Cookbook written by his beloved personal Chef Georgina Landemare. Dishes include a White Truffle Croque Monsieur and Braised Lamb & Potato Croquettes. Of course The Churchill Bar’s famous fondues remain as popular as ever on the menu! We decided to go all out and ordered lots of dishes to sample with my favourites being the local goat cheese & Salisbury honey, crostini and spiced almond flakes and the artichoke, pine nut and feta croquettes with rocket pesto.
The first cocktails were divine but we would recommend wearing gloves as your hands can get a little chilly holding the icy glasses. We were surprised to hear that the mixologists produce their own syrups, bitters and even have their own Churchill gin which we thought was a lovely touch and produces flavours that can’t be easily replicated. Time for the next cocktail and as a huge gin lover I decided to try and Time Out and I am so glad that I did! Morocco became Winston’s favourite winter holiday destination and one of this favourite places to paint. Inspired by his journey through the Mediterranean Sea to the city of Marrakech, the Time Out cocktail combines London N1 Moroccan Mint infused Gin, with the sweet flavour of Italicus Rosolio, balanced with the bitter note of Luxardo Bianco. These ingredients are complemented by the homemade citrus cordial for an exotic libation. As a lover of gin I have tested many gin based tipples over the years but I can honestly say that the Time Out is up there with my favourites.
We were a little annoyed with ourselves that we didn’t leave enough room for the famous Churchill fondues (Green & Black’s milk Chocolate and praline with homemade marshmallows, biscuits and Strawberries or Pineapple Smoked applewood cheddar & bacon with artisan bread, new potatoes, pickled onions and cornichons) but after such a magical night we vowed to return for round 2.
To visit or for more information please visit www.thechurchillbar.co.uk/
Hyatt Regency London- The Churchill’s Vintage London Winter Terrace open from 1st November.