Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

Floating glasses, mysterious ticket doux, strange rituals and good food. What’s not to love about LPM’s fabulous Cocteau cocktail menu?

Jean Cocteau was a French poet, playwright, novelist, designer, filmmaker, visual artist and critic. He was not, as far as we know, a mixologist, but he certainly liked a drink. And of course a little opium.

A very talented man, he is celebrated at LPM Restaurant & Bar with a carefully constructed eventful cocktail menu from October 11, taking inspiration from his remarkable life and works.

So we hurried to a preview via a sexy marbled mosaic walkway to LPM’s newly created and very beautiful bar in a room behind the buzzing restaurant.

First, we were handed a lavishly made memory menu called “Recipes for Our Friends,” filled with Cocteau sketches, excerpts from his handwritten notes, the cocktails themselves, and the story of what inspired them.

There are four “chapters” in the story, each containing three multisensory and innovative beverages that it has taken LPM Global Bar Manager Tibor Krascsenics a year to create.

Each has a good deal of theater to its production, some of it technological and all that fun to watch. And there are lots of ice cubes too, I’m a sucker for having giant gin-clear ice cubes and balls in my glass, I think Cocteau would have approved of that too.

Tibor knows his stuff; as well as making our beverages, he is able to roll off all sorts of fascinating Cocteau facts. Clearly, he has done a lot of research to make this experience more fascinating to the guests.

We tried a drink each from all four chapters, which meant we had to try eight in total, or possibly more, as there are some small gaps in my memory for some reason.

The Pablo – photo by LPM

And I can not begin to describe all that we had, especially since my notes are a bit smudged, but I can clearly remember Pablo, who of course refers to Cocteau’s friend Picasso and was a gimlet-style drink made from The Botanist gin, tarragon , orange and mint hearty, with three small dots of blue-green olive oil floating on top. Pablo loved that color. We both loved the tarragon hit, so unusual, and the drink was amazingly smooth.

Lettre à Coco, was about another friendship, the one between Cocteau and Coco Chanel. It came with a personal note tucked away in a small envelope that had become fragrant with a spritz of her famous perfume.

Letter to Coco. Photo LPM.

Made from Ketel One, Champagne cordial, jasmine, bergamot and rose, this one again made us happy.

And it’s not all drinks, small snacks are available to help get rid of booze. Crispy tangles of deep-fried squid, a creamy hummus with butter bean, crispy grid hooks topped with rich, dark tapenade and cod marade croquettes all went by storm.

We did not try one of the showstopper cocktails, Room 22, which is a classic Absinthe fountain, where drinkers take water from four individual taps to add their absinthe. All very decadent things.

We tried Trinity, a blend of Bacardi Ocho Rum, cocoa, strawberries, Islay honey water and bitter, a drink served in a way that makes you question your own eyes, but I will not ruin that surprise for you.

I have to say that all of this revived my love of cocktails, like a little bit in the 1980s because of a lot of sugar and suggestive names that would get any bar canceled today. Done with this much creativity, skill and a skewed sense of humor cocktails rock and Cocteau Menu is a real triumph and a great idea for a group of four so everyone gets to sip something a little surreal

The Jean Cocteau menu launches at LPM Restaurant & Bar on Monday 11 October

The global menu will also be launched in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Miami and Hong Kong before the end of the year.

Address: 53-54 Brook’s Mews, London W1K 4EG

Phone number: 020 7495 4774

Website: www.lpmrestaurants.com/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lpmlondon/

Opening hours:

• Mon-Tue: closed

• Wednesdays: Breakfast only

• Thurs-Sat: 12-2: 30, 6-10: 30

• Sunday: 12-15: 30

Dress code: Smart casual. No shorts or sportswear. Smart educators are acceptable.

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