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The Rose Club, The Plaza, New York City

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, February 01 02:27 PM

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If you prefer your whiskey like your steakrare and Americanhurry to the Rose Club at the Plaza hotel in New York City. Through February only, the Rose Club will be serving the full range of rare whiskeys by Brown-Forman (the distiller behind Jack Daniel's, Old Forester, et al.), a few of which date back to the Prohibition era.

As you sink into one of the velvety sofas with a 1930s King Kentucky Straight bourbon in hand, remember that this wood-paneled bar was once a nightclub that hosted the likes of Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday. And if you really want to recapture those speakeasy days, order an Earl of Canton cocktail (Earl Grey tea with a splash of Early Times bourbon) and contemplate whether temperance made liquor taste better.

150 at The May Fair Bar, London

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, January 21 03:13 PM

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Conspicuous consumption may have fizzled out over the past few years, but it's certainly bubbling back up again at the May Fair Hotel in central London, with the opening of 150. The stylish watering hole gets its name from the magnums (150 cl) of Champagne on the menu, which deep-pocketed guests can order alongside specially matched small plates by Brit star chef Silvena Rowe.

The fizzy parties start at $1,000 for four magnums of Moët & Chandon Impérial, including one blinged out with the name of the host in Swarovski crystals. But the real indulgence is the $6,800 Dom Experience: four magnums of 1998 Dom Pérignon Rosé paired with canapés like pomegranate-glazed foie gras and West Mersea oysters with Sevruga caviar and Szechuan-spiced butter. Now that's what we call bottle service.

Photo: Courtesy of the May Fair Hotel

The House of Shields, San Francisco

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, December 29 05:09 PM

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So what if this beautiful old bar in downtown San Francisco doesn't have a clock (or a TV) to help count down the last seconds of 2010? We're hoping it means there won't be a last call, either.

The House of Shields has been around for a while--over 100 years, in fact. But it has just reopened after a renovation that's added some extra polish to the wood-paneled walls and brass statues and stripped the floor back to the original tile mosaic. Owner and chef, Dennis Leary, also runs Canteen restaurant and the much-loved Sentinel sandwich shop next door, so expect some quality eats soon, too.

Grab one of the spruced-up wooden booths for you and your posse to toast 2011...just make sure one of you wears a watch.

The Wellesbourne, Los Angeles

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, November 11 10:41 AM

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When the weather outside is frightful, there's nothing like a bar serving classic cocktails beside a roaring fire--someplace, in fact, like the newly opened Wellesbourne. We like it so much, we're even prepared to forget that--despite its 19th-century-manor appearance--it's in West Los Angeles rather than the English countryside.

The Wellesbourne has wooden booths with little desk lamps, walls lined with books or toile wallpaper, assorted comfy sofas, and a stone fireplace--all freshly aged for added atmosphere. Along with classic cocktails, it will soon serve traditional pub grub like Welsh rarebit and that classic Brit pudding-and-sausage combo, toad in the hole.

So what if snowflake sightings are rare in L.A.? This is the perfect place to toast the festive season with a Brandy Alexander.

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Daniels

The Box, London

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, November 05 03:36 PM

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NYC's Bohemian cabaret club the Box is the perfect package for London. It's a bit saucy, a bit theatrical, and it has a thoroughly Victorian vibe. Owner Simon Hammerstein has found just the spot for his British outpost, opening soon: a venue in the heart of London's Soho formerly occupied by the Raymond Revuebar. This place was the most risqué strip club in London in the 1960s and '70s, frequented by the likes of Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra in its heyday.

We're sure there are plenty of celebs--and wannabes--across the pond limbering up to come to the cabaret.

Photo: Courtesy of the Box

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Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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