Tucked away in an exclusive corner of Mayfair, only a brisk walk away from Buckingham Palace, lies Dukes Hotel. Stroll down St James's Street and take a side-street to enter the minute courtyard to find this discreet spot. Dukes Bar may come across a touch pretentious at first glance, mainly due to the imposing décor and grand location, but don't let that put you off.
The Edinburgh Fringe is over and while that may be a disappointment to many art enthusiasts and tourist hot spots, it is good news for those of you who really want to explore the city. The crowds are clearing and you can finally get your foot inside many of the secret delights Edinburgh has to offer.
As can be expected in the City, dining at Eastway is a very different experience depending on when it is visited. Go in during the week and there will be the usual mix of busy City workers, lawyers and bankers but brunch at the weekend is a slightly subdued affair with a far more laid-back atmosphere.
I love a good cocktail. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at ordering them and nine times out of ten, what looks great on the menu turns out to be florescent pink and arrives topped with the entire contents of a can of spray cream. And glitter. Not exactly the sophisticated look I would like to project, but one I can't seem to escape.
Our industry is unrecognisable to what it looked like 20 years ago when I first started out in the licensed trade. Having good food, reasonably priced drinks and excellent customer service are no longer virtues to brag about, they are now the norm and the expectation of every customer who comes into our bars.