TWR Bar at Crown Towers 2018 Winner

What makes the perfect bar? This question has as many answers as there are people who go to bars. People like different things.

But there are some universal ideas which make a bar a destination, a happy place, a place to unwind and disconnect from your daily cares. All good bars do these things, of course.

To win Bar Of The Year, a bar needs to be much more. It must have an up-front service ethic: attentive and smart without being too keen or gormlessly cheery (it’s a bar, not an Amway meeting). The drinks program must be true to the bar’s brand. If it’s a whisky bar, it should have the best whiskies and the best whisky cocktails. Staff must be able to give good advice on every drink and be able to make good recommendations. 

Bars differ from restaurants: they’re cooler, more intimate, they are the cheapest psychologist you’ll pay for, because a good bar has the capacity to wash away the cares of the day, realign your priorities, give you some breathing space before heading back into the fray, and to decompress after a shocking day at the office.

TWR (it’s an acronym for The Waiting Room, by the way) is a big hotel bar. You might think that big hotels don’t do the sorts of bars we like these days – all a bit robotic, corporate and touristy. But while TWR Bar might not play with the cool kids, and is free of bearded chaps who put Fernet on their Corn Flakes, it is nonetheless the real deal. Its cocktail program is nuanced, inventive and creative. The barkeeps know their stuff.

Sure they can bang out a faultless martini, but when the house-made syrups, dehydrated citrus garnishes, shrubs, wildly imaginative bitters and the unexpectedly fine roster of spirits are deployed, it’s happy days at the glitzy, glamorous, well-heeled TWR Bar at Crown.

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Bars differ from restaurants: they’re cooler, more intimate, they are the cheapest psychologist you’ll pay for, because a good bar has the capacity to wash away the cares of the day, realign your priorities, give you some breathing space before heading back into the fray, and to decompress after a shocking day at the office."