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Ratings and reviews

#1,193 of 15,573 Restaurants in London
Travellers' Choice2022
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Mentioned in

  • 8 bartenders on the bar they’d travel the world to visitmatadornetwork.com

Details

Meals
After-hours, Drinks
FEATURES
Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Reservations, Gift Cards Available
Reviews (499)
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All reviews ian fleming dukes hotel vesper martini cocktail bar reserve a table vermouth palazzi twist mayfair
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Reviewed 2 December 2022

They don’t do reservations unless you are staying at the hotel. Guests make reservations which means space is limited in prime time. It opens at 3pm, so if you get there before 5pm you have a good chance at being seated immediately. If not, you...will wait in the lobby for possibly an hour. We arrived at 530pm and waited an hour. We passed the time talking to the other people waiting, all of whom were long time customers. Almost as much fun as the bar. When you get a seat, enjoy yourself. The drinks are great. The martini is legendary. It’s fun. The negative reviews come from people shocked at having to wait. Don’t be surprised by that, be patient, and enjoy. One pro tip, the doorman can predict wait times better than the bar staff. Bar told us 30 mins, door man said 45-60mins. The doorman was right.More

Date of visit: November 2022
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 2 December 2022 via mobile

Only go to this bar if you want to feel like a second class citizen. We enquired about a table and were advised to wait in the lobby where who I presume the lead bar man looked us up and down and advised us to...leave. Being completely honest the bar looked dated and had no atmosphere whatsoever. Very stuck up. Plenty of fun bars in London where you will not be judged by an old fashioned, unpleasant man.More

Date of visit: December 2022
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Reviewed 15 August 2022

We had a most lovely afternoon here. Don’t let some bitter people on here scare you with tales of bad service and negative accounts. We had an excellent experience with the cocktails and the service. No nasty servers, no discrimination, no one ignoring customers… There...is a dress code… Smart Casual which means a polo shirt, jeans , and sneakers will earn you a place at a table. You can dress up in a suit and tie if you’d like, but it is not necessary. I wore jeans (not ripped or full of holes), a polo shirt, and a pair of Nike sneakers and was treated like royalty. A person tried to get a table in jeans and t-shirt and was turned away. No shorts, track suits, or t-shirts and you will be fine as far as the dress code goes. The service was polite, friendly, and attentive. The food (yes they serve some finger food) was excellent, and the martinis were to die for. This is an upscale place with history, and that comes with a price. It is a small place and a popular spot for James Bond fans as Ian Fleming used to come here for his Vesper Martini, so make sure you get there early if you are not staying in the Hotel. Hotel guests can reserve tables and walk-ins are first come first served. The bar opens at 3PM Mon-Sat, and we showed up right at 3PM and got to pick our table. The martinis are made table side, so you get to see your drink being poured right before your eyes. A great experience indeed. Highly recommend it!More

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 28 July 2022 via mobile

A lovely, classic cocktail bar. The barkeepers know their trade and are wonderful hosts. Sticking to the dress code is the way to appreciate the staff and the drinks served.

Date of visit: July 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 27 July 2022 via mobile

Ian Fleming may have thought up the Vesper martini - vodka, gin & Kina Lilet vermouth, "shaken not stirred" - in this very bar. Earlier in the day we had seen "The Duke" (Jim Broadbent & Helen Mirren), had popped into the National Gallery to...see the Goya painting of the Duke of Wellington that had been nicked in the film, & finished our "day of Dukes" here. The famous martini was superb. All ingredients seriously cold, big pours, & a massive twist of orange peel. Sue had something else equally large & good. Couldn't afford a second, but no matter. We were already legless. Highly recommended.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 27 June 2022 via mobile

Have been twice, once when staying at Duke’s second time (this evening) when not. Definitely a difference. Not sure why but expect to be treated as second class citizen if not a guest of the hotel. Either way do not expect superior service, too short...staffed now or poorly trained staff (example our server tonight in white coat who didn’t even properly introducing himself so don’t even know his name). Knowing what I do now there are so many better options when in London wouldn’t waste time and money here.More

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 22 June 2022 via mobile

I wasted a lot of money on this bar last evening - not because it was expensive, but because it was made so unpleasant by the staff. I think that someone has told each of them that they are very special people and it has...really gone to their heads. I won’t go into the details of the rudeness, but save to say it is not a place to go with guests or if you want a relaxed evening. It’s not clear what the criterion is to be treated well by the staff. I observed the interaction with other guests and I think maybe to be treated well you have to appear outwardly really wealthy. That is so last century. Perhaps that’s it, this place is stuck in a bygone era. There are many other options in London for Cocktails before dinner where the staff will make their guests (as opposed to themselves) feel special. Most don’t have the history of Dukes. However none of them will offer such tired decor,rude staff and a generally forgettable experience. Avoid at all costs if you enjoy life.More

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 12 June 2022 via mobile

We met some friends in London and wanted to treat them to the real, traditional cocktail experience. We had been before, this time I phoned to see if we could reserve a table as I know it is popular, however it is first come, first...served. We arrived, found some tables were reserved but on enquiry found that reservations were only for hotel residents. Not a problem, understood and we sat in the hotel lobby to wait for possibly a good while. However the senior bar manager came over and advised we could have a seat immediately but would have to vacate in around 45 minutes due to a reservation. Great .. we were sat down, ordered our cocktails and let our friends indulge in their new experience ! The only disappointment was we couldn’t stay longer to sample another, different cocktail ... but we always try to pop in when we’re in London, so we will be back!More

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 5 June 2022

This is the benchmark for martini service, creation, expertise, atmosphere, ambience, sophistication, attention to detail and charm.

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 13 May 2022

You can’t make a reservation so I was ok with a wait. But this guy was way too power hungry. I managed luxury hotels all my life and would have been happy to say goodbye to him.

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 10 May 2022

These martinis are small and potent. There's a reason why they only serve 2 per customer (though you won't make it to 2). Fun vibe and great staff.

Date of visit: April 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 13 April 2022

The only downside of our visit here was that bookings are not accepted so it was a 40 mins wait for a table for the four of us. Thankfully we were able to sit in the reception area. The upside was the fabulous service and...our Vesper martinis and having them made at the table is an excellent experience. I could only drink one but my husband managed two!! Well worth the wait but it would have been lovely to have been able to make a table booking for, say, an hour.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 12 January 2022

The only thing I wish I could change is that I wish I lived closer so I could visit this bar more often!

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 29 December 2021 via mobile

Fantastic experience. The martinis are great, I had to go for the classic Vesper but we tried several and they were great. The making of the martini directly at the table is a great touch. We will definitely be back.

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?
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Reviewed 23 December 2021

The bar at Duke's may be small, but the service and experience are exceptional. Alessandro and Maurizio are the best and always make us feel so welcome! It is a must on our to-do list everytime we go to London; sometimes we go a few...times a trip for a Vesper!More

Date of visit: December 2021
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Questions & Answers
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Rano67
9 October 2017|
Answer
Response from Ioana P | Reviewed this property |
Sorry but I can't answer to your question. While I was at the bar I served only champagne.
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Jac385
8 February 2015|
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Response from Craig S | Reviewed this property |
Sorry, I have no idea. I would call them directly.
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DUKES BAR, London - St. James's - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about DUKES Bar

DUKES Bar is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5