Tucked away in a corner of Mayfair, where London’s trendiest inhabitants flock, is Hush. This is a restaurant lives up to its name; you’d be forgiven for not knowing it was there and, despite its jewel-coloured interior and well-adorned crowd, the whole place has a real understated vibe. It’s the kind of place that doesn’t need to show off, but is so Insta-worthy it would be rude not to. (Hint: make sure you check out the powder pink bathrooms.)
Among those in the know, Hush is one of London’s top dining destinations, but today we’re bypassing the ground floor restaurant and taking a flight (of stairs) up to the Aviator bar above. After an 18th birthday makeover, it was crowned Best Bar in The London Club and Bar Awards, so we checked it out to find out why.
You might still be in Mayfair, but this luxurious yet cosy bar will transport you straight back to the Golden Age of travel, and if taste is your favourite mode of transportation, you’re in for a real treat at the Aviator bar. With a menu that looks more like a book of boarding passes, it’s the bar equivalent of turning up to the airport and jumping on the first flight out of town.
Your journey begins in London’s own famous gardens, where you’ll Join The Kew and enjoy a concoction of London No1 gin mixed with delicate guarana, liquorice and lychee. Each cocktail at the Aviator is served with a side and this one is a unanimous favourite: hanging flowers with a sprig of lavender.
If you’d rather join history’s great explorers for a flight of American discovery, Canada’s vodka-led Head In The Game is served in a skull while Peru’s Inca Trail is served with a side of dry bananas and chocolate to complement the mystical mix of La Diablada Pisco, jasmine syrup and maca & chilli.
Next up, we’re off to the Far East to Chase The Dragon in Thailand. Mekhong Thai spirit, coconut water and ginger syrup are garnished with caramelised dragon fruit, ginger and dry coconut to instantly transport you to Bangkok’s river. Hop over to China if you dare, where the world’s most valuable spirit, HKB Baijiu, is mixed with Port, grapes and vodka.
If you’d rather stay a little closer to home, a Roman Holiday to Italy will give you a giddy mix of Aperol, gin, kumquat liquer and sparkling rosé. Or head up to the Highlands for some Whiskey Business in Scotland if you’re a fan of 12yr Bowmore infused with raspberry and chocolate tea.
Finally, no luxury escapade would be complete without a quick visit to an exotic island. Our favourites are The Philippines’ Boracay Bay, which comes with a flaming lotus flower and slices of watermelon, and New Zealand’s Le Sheep C’est Chic: Silent Pool gin, pear purée and basil leaves mixed with spirulina, Sauvignon Blanc and fresh kiwi mean our final destination could easily pass as healthy.
There’s no denying that Hush is deserving of its prime real estate, but don’t assume it comes with an air of pretension. If anything, the Aviator bar upstairs is the quiet kid on the block; it’s so subtle that you probably don’t know that it’s there, but you’ll want to get to know it once you do. It’s that elusiveness, combined with a killer cocktail list and tastefully fun experience, that make the Aviator worthy of its title.
The Aviator Bar at Hush is open Monday-Saturday from 11am until midnight. The menu also includes Take Off Nibbles, Long Haul dishes and a huge selection of spirits and liqueurs. Reserve a table on the website for guaranteed entry.