'The Hyde Bar is one for the boys'

The Hyde Bar, Park Tower Knightsbridge

Open daily 8am–2am

The blurb

With its intimate lounge and townhouse garden-style outdoor cigar terrace, The Hyde Bar is one for the boys. Boasting more than 130 international whiskies, an impressive cigar list and brasserie menu, The Hyde Bar has recently added a new burger collection. Designed by executive chef Pascal Proyart, ‘The Hyde Collection’ menu takes us on a culinary journey from Morocco to France and out into the wilderness with recommended whisky pairings.

The style

Located just off the hotel’s main lobby, the bar’s heavy carpeted, dark wood and gold accented room has clearly been designed with its monied, mostly male Middle Eastern hotel guests in mind. Solid grey leather studded chairs surrounding marble-topped tables are given plenty of space, while several dark wood and glass screens provide further intimacy.

It’s aiming for a men’s private member’s club feel but I found it a little soulless, reminding me more of the intransience of an airport business lounge. You’d also have to be okay with the smell of cigar smoke as it wafted in with the men coming in and going out to the cigar terrace.

The crowd

Middle Eastern and Asian businessmen were unwinding on the terrace, talking numbers at the tables and working solo at their laptops at the bar.

The food

As we were in a Knightsbridge hotel bar, we had to order the ostentatious ‘The Luxury Collection’ (£29) with wagyu beef, Vermont white cheddar, heritage tomato and a gold leaf-coated bun. Kelly, our waitress, suggested medium, but the date asked for medium-rare, which he received but I think he was a little disappointed it wasn’t bloodier.

Kelly approved of my choice of the Caprese (£18) – polenta, tomato, aubergine, basil, olive and rocket in focaccia – while our order of a portion of chips was swiftly followed up with a second. High-quality produce had clearly been chosen for our burgers but mine was a bit of a carb overload.

The drink

The drinks list lived up to its five-star hotel status and staff knew their stuff. My Hendrick’s & tonic (£12) was prepared with obligatory cucumber; there was a good choice of white and red wine by the glass (Gavi di Gavi, £14 for 175ml, for me; Chateau Cissac, £18 for 175ml, for him); and Kelly asked if we’d like our whisky without ice.

Service was slow but came with apologies and spark (I was deemed ‘naughty’ for swapping drinks with my date).

We forsake the suggested burger whisky pairings and chose a couple in place of dessert. The Japanese whiskies are arguably the most popular. The hotel was out of Suntory so Kelly knowledgeably recommended Hibiki Osaka 17 year (£25) while I went for my perennial favourite, a peaty Lagavulin 16 year (£18).

The Hyde Bar, The Park Tower Knightsbridge, SW1; www.theparktowerknightsbridge.com/hyde-bar-knightsbridge; 020 7235 8050

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Bars & Pubs |