Three great venues for Friday night cocktails

Our old correspondent Ms RS of Southend on Sea wrote to us recently thanking us for our suggestions, and for the pleasure afforded thereby to her and her many neighbours. “we love to sit in our front gardens with our many neighbours and children round the barbecue, swigging back the old cocktails while the boys race their cars down the streets, competing to see who can make the loudest noise” . That at least is the gist of what she told us.

We thank Ms RS of Southend on Sea, but realising that some of our other readers might prefer a slightly more-ah, formal setting, we hereby recommend three venues for the sophisticated enjoyment of the fruits of the Cocktail Tree, all of which we have personally visited. Check Covid restrictions before you pitch up!

Observation Bar Queen Mary, Long Beach California.

The Queen Mary was built in 1936 as the last word in ultimate ocean luxury. When finally taken out of service, she was given a re-tread as a marvellous hotel (which goes nowhere) permanently moored at Long Beach. Yet nothing has been missed out, from the state rooms to the marvellous glass and steel of the first class cocktail bar, now renamed as the Observation Room. Sip your cocktail in are deco splendour as the ghosts of the 1930s cool crowd flit around you.

Our recommendation-something short and sophisticated, maybe along the lines of Martini, Manhattan or Margharita

Reids Palace Madeira

Long ago, old hands returning from the sweltering East would put in at subtropical Madeira to acclimatise before the return to cold rainy Blighty. In those days, one stayed at Reids- a marvellous mixture of gentle stucco walls, and rich interiors of polished wood and marquetry, and deep hidden gardens. No better part of this than the Cocktail lounge with its panoramic views of the harbour, town of Funchal and the mighty cruise ships moored, as t’were, at your feet. Service comes with smartly uniformed waiters, attentive to every subtle whim of the thirsty cocktail seeker.

Our recommendation: Madeira’s hot, so ask for something long and cool. such as a gin sling or a Long Island Iced Tea

American Bar The Savoy London

We don’t know how they train ’em, but we had one of the most subtle mixes ever here. Our companion of that night and this advises us that it was called a 1928 or something, but check the menu, ‘cos there’s something for everyone. As for the hotel, the name speaks for itself. But if you are like Ms RS of Southend on Sea and don’t like posh nosh, we believe there is something called MacDonalds, or MacRonalds, or something, close by in the Strand.

Our recommendation: Stay in the Savoy to eat after your cocktail.

#cocktail #madeira #california #london

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