In Review

Drink to the future of the pangolin

Support one of the world’s cutest - and most endangered - animals with a limited-edition cocktail at The Kensington

The poor old pangolin, now the world’s most trafficked animal, is receiving a boost this Christmas from an unlikely source: the cocktail drinkers of London.

“With its armoured shell and peculiar gait,” says The Daily Telegraph, it “looks more like an anteater prepped for medieval battle than an animal under threat.” But the threat is severe: an estimated 100,000 of the creatures are killed each year for their scales, which are used in traditional Asian medicine.

The link between a chic West End cocktail bar and a creature on the brink of extinction is not as tenuous as it might at first seem. The Kensington Hotel has always had a soft spot for exotic animals, as embodied in the large sculpted elephants occupying the lobby. Its Christmas tree, too, is decorated with scaled baubles and ornamental angel-winged animals, hand crafted by the African jewellery makers Patrick Mavros.

Billy Bolton

They’re also the company behind the decorative swizzle-sticks that come with the Plight of the Pangolin, the fresh and citrussy Elephant Gin-based cocktail on sale in the hotel’s K-Bar throughout the festive period. The Tikki Hywood Foundation, which releases rescued pangolins into the wild and campaigns for their protection, will receive 15% of the price of the cocktail (and Elephant Gin also donates 15% of its proceeds to elephant conservation work).

The initiative is part of the Doyle Collection of luxury urban hotels’ Slice of the City initiative, which is intended to immerse guests in the culture, history and shops around them. Patrick Mavros’s flagship London store is in Chelsea, just around the corner from The Kensington.

SimonBrown

The K-Bar is at The Kensington Hotel, London SW7

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