On a cold December night, there is plenty to be said in favour of the warm glow of the refined Scarfes Bar at London’s luxury Rosewood Hotel. For it is at this time of year that even the most socialist-minded may feel the draw of a wingbacked armchair by a large dark wood fireplace too much to ignore. On the evening in question, the two men shaking the frost from their fingertips found a cosy spot by the fire after a brief sojourn at the piano taking great delight from the highly interactive playbook of a menu. As Pavarotti entered stage left, the Spice Girls exit, pursued by a tenor (in cardboard form only), and the Tell Me What You Want (Monkey 47, mango wine, “unicorn” and pink grapefruit) and Poetic Justice (Chivas Mizunara, tonic wine, Sassy small-batch cider, maple wood and hazelnut) roll into the spotlight shortly thereafter. Two sparkling, long refreshers may not scream reassuring December warmth, but the wood-panelled walls and twinkles from the chandeliers and fairy lights were more than enough to set the tone, even before the house band struck up a pared-back rendition of White Christmas. If more seasonal engagement was required, a leather-bound book of carols – nestled between the court reports of decades gone by – inspired a debate over the stress and intonation in God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. For what could be more Christian than a heated argument over punctuation at this time of year? By the time the second round was drained, the jazz spins on Christmas carols proved to be a little too much festive spirit, and our gentlemen – now rested merry – headed back to the street, leaving the Dickensian Christmas tableau behind. (252 High Holborn. 020 3747 8670).
26 January 2020 / Bar Reviews