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Top 5: Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s top five bars in the world

Kate Whitaker

The Formosa (Los Angeles)
My spiritual home… walking into the dimly lit room from the bright LA sunshine makes you blink, makes you a little giddy. Then your eyes adjust and you realise that you’ve been transported back in time. Red leather booths. A wood and zinc bar. Dry martinis and drier humour. You’re in Old Hollywood now, baby. Movie stars portraits line the walls. And you’re in for great drinks and a history to die for…

Quo Vadis (London)
Classy, entertaining and just a little louche, this grand dame of Soho always delivers. Try one of Jeremy Lee’s wee kickshaws with one of Luca or Nico’s excellent cocktails. Order a Brooklyn or a classic Negroni. Or Luca’s signature On The Way To Saronno.

Chez Jay (Santa Monica)
Oh, the stories this bar could tell! It’s a beachside classic with peel-and-eat peanuts and kick-ass Margaritas. Ask them about Marilyn or the peanut that went to the moon. No, really.

The Bar at The Musso & Frank Grill (Hollywood)
Old school. Perch on a stool alongside the ghosts of writers past and ask Manny Aguirre to mix you probably the finest martini you will ever taste.  Touch up your siren red lips. Sip and dream.

Mark’s Bar at Hix (London)
This cool Soho fixture has great cocktails, a hip crowd and lots of energy. They even serve a Musso-style sidecar with your extra martini mixings. Classy.


Kay Plunkett-Hogge is author of Make Mine A Martini. Available here.