"It’s not nuclear science, we’re just making soup in a glass with ice!”
Four Seasons Tenure
First Four Seasons Assignment: Current
Novikov, Mayfair; bars in England and Poland
Michal Maziarz is a man with a true passion for cocktails. Born in Gdansk, Poland, he spent years working in bars and during his time studying hospitality, he even wrote a thesis on whisky production and heritage. Michal moved to London in 2013 to pursue a career one of the world’s most dynamic cities for food and drink, and his extensive knowledge and expertise lead him to Novikov, where he was promoted to head bartender after just three months.
For three years, he ran the busy Mayfair bar, but Michal has a down to earth approach to being a bartender, “It’s not nuclear science” he comments on the art of mixology, “we’re basically just making soup in a glass with ice.” And while enjoying the challenge of the environment, Michal was always keen to find a bar where he could give more personal attention to guests. He found what we was looking for with the Rotunda Bar at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square and set out to create a menu that focuses on the quality of ingredients.
Michal’s aim was to start slowly and let the guests define what they like, keeping the number of ingredients minimal but making everything in-house, which allows them to incorporate complexity of flavour within one ingredient. The cocktails at the Rotunda Bar are based on ideas that Michal dreamed up long ago but never quite found the right place to bring them to life. In the grand setting of Ten Trinity Square, he has finally found a place for his creativity, as well as finding team members that share his sense of imagination.
Kathi Wolke, Rotunda Manager has always been passionate about tea and has an extensive knowledge of the different varieties, “Kathi opened my eyes (and nose) to the world of tea,” says Michal. “I’ve now discovered a whole new world of flavours and scents that I hadn’t worked with previously and I’m working to incorporate this into the Rotunda Bar menu.”
Cocktails include the Forget-Me-Not, which uses Earl Grey Tea, along with gin, coriander seeds and tiny blue flowers around the base of the glass. The story behind the cocktail is linked to the maritime history of Ten Trinity Square and the idea of sailors' wives wearing forget-me-nots to pay tribute to their husbands at sea. Even the design of the menu links back to the building with each cocktail represented by a compass that is designed to help guests navigate their way through the different drinks.
Michal’s menu at the Rotunda Bar also provides a timeline of the history of Ten Trinity Square, picking out key dates in the building’s heritage and matching them with different vintage spirits. Mostly one-of-a-kind, the extensive list of spirits date back to 1922 – the same year that Ten Trinity Square was completed – so this may be the only opportunity to try them before they’re gone.