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August, 2 Bloomsbury Place,
London, WC1A 2QA
Ideal, which has been around since 1931, is all about the classics: a dry Martini, a Horse’s Neck highball, a big dram of whisky to close out the night. Led by third-generation owner José María Gotarda (who might be working the bar on occasion), the team here consists of real pros who look the part in their requisite white jackets. Ask to meet Guillermo, who has stood behind this bar for 32 years, or Sergio, his admirable deputy. Don’t expect any fireworks, but what they do, they do well.
C/ d'Aribau, 89, 08036 Barcelona, Spain