Raffles London at The OWO – the first UK outpost of the famous Singaporean hotel - has unveiled The Guards Bar and Lounge, the first of three bars to launch at the site.
Opening with the hotel on Friday 29th September, the bar is located in one of the rounded pavilion corners of the Old War Office building in Whitehall.
Raffles London enlisted consultant Anna Sebastian for the launch of its bars, with Alice Taraschi joining the permanent Guards Bar team as bar manager and William Campbell-Rowntree as head bartender.
The Guards Bar and Lounge will honour The OWO’s long association with the Household Cavalry, who stand as guards at the entrance to Buckingham Palace, which the bar overlooks.
The interiors at The Guards Bar and Lounge feature the room’s “historic panelled windows, rich fabrics, striking chandeliers, intimate table lanterns and oak panelling”, with the “warm red” furniture chosen to evoke the colours of the Household Cavalry.
Head bartender Campbell-Rowntree has created sixteen signature drinks, with each cocktail focusing on British ingredients that highlight small local brands or flavours from around the world inspired by other Raffles locations.
In addition, there will also be three varieties of the Singapore Sling, which was created in 1915 at Raffles Singapore. The “London Sling” will also be introduced for the first time featuring all British products and flavours and served over bespoke cherry ice. The "Seasonal Sling" will highlight creations from other Raffles Hotels from across the globe.
The hotel's bar operations will also look to work sustainably, cutting waste, while also partnering with supply chain companies such as EcoSpirits to reduce carbon footprint.
William Campbell-Rowntree said: “The setting of the Guards Bar and Lounge, facing the prestigious Household Cavalry, is incredibly special. It’s a grand yet welcoming space, providing the perfect location for unforgettable celebrations and meet-ups. We’re very excited for guests to sample our sixteen fantastic signature drinks and, of course, the exclusive London Sling.”
Taraschi added: “I am extremely excited to be part of this iconic opening at Raffles London and breathe new life into this spectacular historic building. We have focused a lot on supporting smaller British brands within our cocktail menu as well as sustainable partnerships, and of course, the Singapore Sling will be represented in various iterations”.
The hotel has also collaborated with cognac House Rémy Martin to create a bespoke trunk, from which Louis XIII will be served by the glass. A first in five-star hotel bars, according to Raffles London.