London, on a summer Thursday evening… Ah no, but we are in Milan! So why London? The answer is obvious: I’m talking about The Yard Hotel. I decided, following the advice of a friend, to enter the bar of this beautiful boutique hotel that has a very curious and catchy name: The Doping Club. The first feeling is that of being catapulted into the Old England: that of gentlemen’s clubs, of Savile Row and dandies… Ok, maybe I’m dreaming too much but it is certainly the perception that you’ll have (and if it’s not so, please let me I know so that I can begin to worry!). But back to us, or rather, to our Doping Club. Leather, vintage objects and rosewood are the protagonists and they make the atmosphere warm and retrò: modern meets vintage in a perfect match.
After getting comfortable in one of the spacious tables, my attention is suddenly caught by a shelf full of Hendrick’s bottles, which is at my right side, then magazines, and books (yes, beautiful art and fashion books) available to customers who are sitting on each table. By this, you can already imagine how people can relax, read and why not, enjoy a fine cigar.
No even the time to look around and they bring me a glass of water: I have to be honest, this thing has never happened to me in any other place, and I think it’s a really a fantastic idea. It is the details that make the difference! I open the drink list and there’s plenty of choice: a great variety of cocktails with the most interesting names, a wide assortment of wines, spirits and liqueurs. In the end I decided to opt for an Alcoholic Carousel (the name inspired me, I must confess), perfect for aperitivo. My choice is spot-on: excellent presentation, accompanied by a small square of dark chocolate and a piece of cheese, which strikingly enhance the taste of my drink.
And it certainly is the high quality of the cocktails and the refined recipes prepared by Mixologist Stefano Agostino, defined as real alchemist who wisely know how to create the “potions” by dosing different ingredients, one of the strengths of this bar and its distinctive characteristic.
The Doping Club at The Yard Hotel then, nothing is left to chance, and I think it is just that what makes it a bar for cocktail connoisseurs, for British style lovers, and why not, even for Oscar Wilde’s dandyism disciples… I mean for real gentlemen and gentleladies!
I recommend to spend a night in this sophisticated and exclusive “Club” in the company of friends or even alone, to enjoy a great drink just a few steps from the Darsena and to get into a space-time dimension of other times with a high level of service. One last tip: go to the bar counter and be enchanted by the skills of their mixologists … you will be fascinated! Cheers!