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5 London cocktail bars for the luxury traveller


World-famous hotel bars,chic cocktail bars and quirky pop-ups: London boasts every type of bar imaginable. Naturally then, knowing where to start can be tricky. So we've whittled tens of thousands down to five must-visit venues. Sure the drinks are great, the service exemplary and the decor tasteful but then, that's not unusual. These five venues boast something intangible that propels them into the upper echelons. They have history, they have stories. They're the best of the best.

The American Bar, The Savoy

The American Bar at the Savoy is not only the most famous hotel bar in London, its the most famous hotel bar in the world. From late-night shenanigans with Richard Burton and Oliver Reed to morning gin with the Queen Mother (she came every day, apparently) this London institution is teeming with interesting history.

Even the name has a great story as it was opened by an American cocktail waiter escaping Prohibition in his homeland. His cocktails soon became recognised as Londons best: Wanna find the best cocktail in London? Go to the American Bar.

Gong at Shangri-La Hotel, the Shard

The fact is, no bar in London can compete with the views from the mighty Shard. When it comes to great vantage points and this is a shrewd tip to remember wherever you are - then aim for sunrise or sunset as its when the skyline (and of course, the sky) are at their most spectacular.

Obviously as we are talking cocktails, sunset might be a better option here! Drinks-wise, the Gong staff mix up a beautiful, complex range of Asian-influenced cocktails. And despite all the talk of sun theres no tequila sunrise on this menu.

Mr. Fogg's

Ahhh, Mayfair - the most charming, opulent and quintessentially English area of London Town. Inspired by Jules Vernes eccentric Around the World in 80 Days protagonist Phileas J Fogg, this cavernous delight is packed with interesting artifacts, thick rugs, clocks of all shapes and sizes and beautiful oak furniture.

Like the dcor, the cocktail list is a quirky hotchpotch too. And no, youre not going mad, that is an audiobook of Around the World in 80 Days playing in the bathroom.

The Connaught Bar, The Connaught

You couldnt make a list of Londons best cocktails and leave off the Connaught. Another London institution, another bar in Mayfair but really unlike anything else on the list in that this is possibly the swankiest and most expensive hotel in all of England.

Make your first drink a martini: A trolley is wheeled out (in a classy way) and the drinks are made right there, at your table. If youre not staying at the Connaught and if you can get in, you really should then you still get to walk through the impressive hotel lobby equipped with a huge formal staircase and old-world front desk.

Punch Room, the London Edition

It could be the dcor which perfectly captures private members clubs of the 19th century, or it could be the fact that you need a reservation to get in, but one word encapsulates the Punch Room at the Edition perfectly: exclusive. As you may well have guessed, the drinks-focus is punch: There are 10 bowls on the menu coming in different sizes for one or more people.

A curated soundtrack of vintage soul, blues, ragtime, and doo-wop is complemented by impromptu live performances too. If you've watched hit US drama Mad Men, you'll have longed to visit bars just like this.

Rob Stross is Chief Marketing Officer at WeSwap.

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Luxury travel treats DJI Mavic Pro drone, MiVue safety camera and more


In this weeks edition of ‘luxury travel treats', we have two fabulous gadgets in the form of arguably the best and most easily portable drone ever and one really useful - and easy-to-use car accessory. Also included is ideal luggage for the watersports enthusiast and the perfect family tent for those occasional weekends in the outdoors.

DJI Mavic Pro

Portable yet powerful, the DJI Mavic Pro is your personal drone, ready to go with you everywhere.Despite its small size, it is incredibly powerful, helping you make every moment an aerial moment. In fact, its compact size hides a high degree of complexity that makes it one of DJIs most sophisticated flying cameras ever, with 24 high-performance computing coresand an all-new transmission system with a range of up to 7 kilometres. It's also equipped with 5 vision sensors and a 4K camera stabilized by a 3-axis mechanical gimbal.

MiVue 688 from Mio

The MiVue from Mio is your personal eyewitness on the road, with integrated GPS, lifetime safety camera alerts and a high quality Sony optic sensor for a superior view. With the new, stylish and lightweight MiVue 688 youll always have crisp clear proof of what really happened on the road. For your convenience, the dash cam will start recording when you start your car. The Full HD 1080 pixel camera records your journey, functioning as your personal eyewitness on the road. And thanks to the integrated Sony optic sensor, youll benefit from for optimal view and superior quality, especially in low light conditions. So, in case of an accident, youll always have clear recordings of what happened, but it's also useful for simply keeping a record of where you've been and what you saw along the way.

Explorer Trolley from Helly Hansen

This duffel trolley from Helly Hansen features a waterproof fabric, making it the perfect luggage piece for many watersports enthusiasts. It also comes with hard-wearing, low-friction wheels, an extendable handle, compression straps,a name tag holder and internal pockets. It measures 57 cm long by 35 cm wide x 26cm deep.

Rocky Mountain 5 Plus tent from Coleman

I know camping isn't everyone's idea of luxury but experiencing the outdoors can, in my opinion, be a luxury in itself, and the Rocky Mountain 5 Plus is a spacious, easy to pitch, family tunnel tent, offering you a comfortable home-from-home in the great outdoors. Featuring Coleman‘s revolutionary BlackOut Bedrooms, with 99% of daylight being blocked out from the bedroom you will be sure to get a great nights sleep and not wake with the first light. The large living area is spacious enough to take a family table and chairs, it also features large PVC windows with covers, offering the ultimate balance of light and privacy. For easy access and exit the tent has an ingenious full-height door with a drop-down section providing a totally flat entrance, perfect for buggies, wheelchairs and to prevent family members from tripping on entry and exit. The impressive 4500mm hydrostatic head rating on the flysheet combined with the strong and waterproof PE groundsheet will ensure that you stay dry, whatever the weather, and the porch over the door gives shelter while you unzip your tent door.

If you have a product you'd like to see featured in the ‘Luxury travel treats' series onA Luxury Travel Blog, pleasecontact us.

We also post occasional gift round-ups. If you have a luxury travel product that you'd like to see featured in one of those, make sure you sign up on this mailing list in order to receive an alert when we are compiling the next one.

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