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Le Monde - Around the world in 80 sips
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Le Monde
16 George St,
0131 270 3900
Open everyday

Le Monde has long exemplified George Street luxury, but following its £1 million revamp, the hotel promises a brand new era.

The refurbishment of its main bar and restaurant is the most extensive in its 13-year history and took four months to complete. On arrival, visitors enter the shiny new Laurent Perrier Champagne bar. Its decadence expressed in marble, leather and velvet, as well as cool art deco design features. A second bar and restaurant area, has a welcoming blue bar, red stools and black and white floor tiles. The varied spirits on offer hint at the venue's showcase cocktail menu, but first, the food.

The focus is on varied small plates, allowing several dishes to be sampled in one sitting. There is a good range of options for all dietary preferences. I can certainly vouch for the quality and flavour of the several dishes we tried; cheddar and spinach croquettes, diamond-cut steak, mini haddock bites with pea puree and tartar sauce, Serrano ham and stem broccoli with tarragon crème fraiche, and oak-smoked salmon with fennel, orange and dill crème fraiche.
However, it is the new cocktail menu that is the real highlight of the re-imagined Le Monde.

The 'Millionaire Baller', based on Tokyo's famous 'Million Dollar' cocktail comprises Jack Daniels, Umeshu plum liqueur, lime juice, hibiscus, Triple Sec and soda. The 'Saintoge Sidecar' combines Paris' 'Sidecar' cocktail, and its love of tequila, resulting in a kind of margarita with a side of Champagne. 'Icelandic Tango' is inspired by  Reykjavic's popular 'Tango Mango', a fruity mix of Bacardi, Edinburgh raspberry liqueur, mango, pineapple and lime. My favourite was the 'Gin Gin Cosmo', which unites New York's famous 'Cosmopolitan', 'Clover Club' and 'Gin Gin Mule' in a balanced mix of Gordon's pink gin, Edinburgh rhubarb and ginger liqueur, fresh lime and cranberry juice.

Le Monde is undoubtedly beginning a new chapter and is well worth revisiting for refined dining and a little alcoholic sightseeing. (D Spencer) 

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