ADDRESS66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA Tel: +44 (0)20 7201 3899
|4:30pm - 12am
|4:30pm - 1am
Whether your ideal evening entails discussing the merits of the Art Nouveau movement over some bangin' sushi, or you're all about getting glam, sipping a few cocktails and snapping the perfect Insta pro pic (or all of the above - we contain multitudes, baby!), this is the place. The Aubrey is the restaurant and bar beneath the swanky Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge, and it's the kinda spot you hit when you're feelin' a little extra - and you've got a little extra cash to splash, too.
The Aubrey draws on the life and work of Aubrey Beardsley, the 19th-century English author and illustrator who had a thing for Japonisme. No surprise, then, that Japanese-inspired grandeur is the name of the game here. There are multiple rooms to suit your mood, from the cosy wood-panelled bar area to a sophisticated pink-hued dining room lined with Japanese screen prints. Take a seat and get involved with the cocktails: The Yellow Book menu is themed around Beardsley's art, and it showcases some epic Japanese spirits - think sweet potato shochu, gins made with unique botanicals and whiskies from the country's top distilleries. If you're in the mood for something on the lighter side, take your pick from the extensive Highball menu. And when it comes to the food, go big: the wagyu maki, skilfully sliced sashimi and oysters topped with salmon roe and ponzu are all must-orders.
But if you really came to treat yourself, you need the cocktail omakase in your life. This exclusive experience clocks in at a cool £198 per person, and it's held in a secret bar, limited to six guests. "Omakase" means "I'll leave it up to you", and in keeping with this idea, The Aubrey bar director Pietro Rizzo and his team of experts craft special cocktails based on your tastes and whims. You also get a little learnin' with your liquor, as the bartenders explain the finer points of sakes, spirits and teas while mixing the drinks of your dreams. We can confirm that it's pure, unadulterated luxury: our omakase featured an elegant yuzu-laced Champagne Cocktail made with the restaurant's own limited edition champers, a traditional serve of barley shochu and hot tea, and a theatrically smoked Japanese whisky cocktail topped with a perfect miso-caramel truffle from the kitchen. Did we mention the drinks are accompanied by next-level dishes from the kitchen? Your overdraft never tasted so good.