The Journal is an online collection of articles and essays written and curated by writer & photographer Thomas W Coombs, published bi-annually.

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Issue 23; A little trip to meet the Duke

written by @coombstw

Sometimes an impromptu jaunt on a train is just what is needed when a free Friday comes up and this is exactly what Grace and I did a couple of weeks ago.  And living in Kent there is only one real destination, London.

We made a day of roaming around the West End, strolling through China Town and wondering why Magic Mike has such a central location for what is basically a strip club.  This thought was all mine I am sure.

With Afternoon Tea booked last minute at the Wolseley we had an hour to kill prior to the feast and heading towards the area we found ourselves in the vicinity of Dukes and in need of aperitif.

Dukes Bar is situated at Dukes Hotel, in St James’s Mayfair, and is slightly hidden down a side road you could walk past it without noticing it is there.  The Bar in most circles is more famous than the hotel itself and is branded as doing the best Martini’s in the world. Dukes does get busy for a small venue and when we arrived the place was reserved.  In came Alessandro Palazzi head Bartender at the Bar, who after a quick smile and nod, removed a sign and said we had an hour.

But I am not a Martini drinker and so what better choice than my all time favourite the Negroni, the delight of woody bitterness pictured I believe is the best Negroni I have ever drank.

The quiet lounge of Dukes Bar is just lovely and even when it gets busier this elegant lack of noise is perfect.

To make my day Monday just gone, Dukes posted my picture to their account and also Alessandro himself liked my comments.  One more thing to say is that I will be returning to this temple of mixology sometime real soon.