With bars from Cardiff, Bournemouth, Bristol and St Ives in Cornwall making up our top four, this new Wales and West category at the Class Bar Awards was very competitive, with Lab 22 prevailing.
It seems with each of its 10 years of operation, Lab 22 has got incrementally better. In 2023, it now stands as more than a cool Cardiff cocktail bar, but a landmark of Wales’ hospitality industry, and a name in the global bar industry.
At the heart of its operation is its delivery of hospitality – never losing sight of the fact that serving drinks is more than a transaction. But in recent years, those drinks have grabbed more than a fair share of the industry’s attention.
The bar’s approach pushes boundaries in ingredients, techniques – with all sorts of lab equipment deployed – and, perhaps above all, storytelling.
Its latest menu, Theories + Frontiers (the last of its Research + Development series which has already seen the award of World's Best Menu), is another thought-provoking piece of work, which links its creations to that of the wider world of science and discovery.
Finalists: Ojo Rojo, Bournemouth; Filthy XIII, Bristol; Ugly Butterfly, St Ives