Artesian at the Langham in Marylebone: Polished yet playful cocktails that invigorate the senses
Flashes of vibrant colour and luscious liquors: the Artesian Bar definitely knows how to greet the return of friends and guests, serving up a brand new cocktail list with the usual charm of The Langham’s lounge. The award-winning team has opted for a menu that experiments with textures and the fluorescent pigments from the disco era. The twelve concoctions, most of them original creations interspersed by evergreen classics with the Artesian twist, are updated week by week, as favourites from the counter are joined by new combinations.
The presentation remains polished, with a few playful elements. Our first order of the night, Woo Woo – whisky-based with a touch of peach sweetness and a smooth feel from the vermouth – introduces the experience very well. Lightened by cranberry and soda, the tipple is colour-matched with a flamingo straw. However, an extremely cool drink, lands on the table immediately after to steal its thunder: Blue Hawaii. Under the table lamp and the camera filter, the substance assumes a greenish tint, but the ambrosian blue curacao, with a melonade finish, goes down a treat along with the Patron Blanco Tequila. Topped with a fluffy frozen cloud, this refreshing glass offers satisfaction in ever every chilled sip. All that’s missing is a disco ball to complete the scene.
The Fruit of the Day Daiquiri completely confounds our expectations – in the best way. The starring ingredient on our visit happens to be the banana, which, together with the fairly sweet base, leads us to expect a rather sugary taste. Instead, the fruit gifts a silky texture without overpowering the concoction, making for a delicious cocktail. On the exotic edge, the Tequila Sunrise nicely mixes the titular spirit with rhubarb sparkling wine and some zest for an invigorating glass. We conclude our kaleidoscopic tour with a classic, the Cosmopolitan. Served like a shot in a ceramic pastel glass, the Michter’s Rye whiskey wakes up not just the tongue but all of the senses, pleasantly scented by the bitters.
Along the way, we accompany our glasses with a couple of indulgent snacks. The succulent king prawns, fully encompassed by a crispy – but not greasy – coating, crown soft buns, resulting in rich bites. A crunchier nibble are the crackers with purple pesto that go together with some exquisite San Daniele prosciutto slices.
Fame precedes the Artesian Bar, but despite always managing to amaze their guests, the team steer clear of pretentiousness. Serving up elegant and modern cocktails, they offer a truly a warm welcome back to the snazzy venue.
★★★★★Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To book a table at Artesian Bar at the Langham, 1C Portland Place W1B 1JA London, call 020 7636 1000 or visit their website here.