Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Baku

Trattoria L’Oliva
Offering casual Italian dining downtown is L'Oliva with traditional Tuscan décor and belt-busting Italian fare.
The Old Forester
If you like your pubs old sprawling and bedecked with quintessential British style then the Old Forester is your man. So to speak.
The Lounge
We've never seen someone's living room look quite as plush as Lounge - all velvet drapes and polished wooden tables - but it still tries to recreate homely look.
The Gourmet Shop
No hotel is complete with a fabulous foodie shop and the Gourmet Shop is such an establishment at the Hyatt Regency.
The Brewery Pub
Get your hands around a pint of homemade ale at Brewery Pub; be sure to line your stomach first with some of the deliciously plump sausages on the menu.
Shakespeare
As you'd expect of a pub named after England's most famous playwright The Shakesepare is a British pub in the heart of Baku. End of.
Red Olive
Dripping chandeliers and gilt-framed mirrors abound at Red Olive a favourite of both smartly-dressed cool cats and casually thrown-together club kids
Radisson Blu Plaza
With views looking out over Fountain Square and an excellent café bar and restaurant combo, Radisson Blu Plaza checks all the right boxes. Its anticipated renovation will only add to its panache.
Opera & Ballet Theatre
Currently undergoing a mammoth refurb the Opera and Ballet Theatre remains one of the most beautiful buildings in Baku. While you can't check out a performance at present you can stand and stare at its wonder.
Old City Hammam
Expect to be scrubbed and pummelled within an inch of your life...
Meridian
Despite having nothing to do with the Le Méridien group The Meridien Hotel still enjoys a central location and spacious rooms. The décor may not be as decadent as the chain of the same name would command but a planned refurb suggests there'
Konti
Sharp-suited white collar types prop up the bar at Konti a smart bar just a Prada-soled step away from the offices at the Landmark building the British Embassy and Government House.
Khalifa
Khalifa is like an Aladdin's cave of wonders with Arabic-style décor and dancers to match; just don't ask them to rub your magic lamp.
Jazz Centre
Jazz is like Marmite - you either love or hate it. If your personal preference is the former then head to the Jazz Centre for some of the best jazz in town.
Ismailli Wines
Winos and connoisseurs alike will love the liquid on offer at Ismailli Wines. Forget the eat; drink and be merry.
Ibrus Wine Bar
Those on the liquid diet should sample the goods on offer at the Ibrus Wine Club more of an excuse to get drunk than have dinner.
Hyatt Regency
Heydar Aliyev Palace
As Baku's best live music venue you'd expect the Heydar Aliyev Palace to boast an impressive events calendar; and it does with the likes of Kelly Rowland having played alongside George Benson in 2009.
Hazz Café
Located on the ground floor of the Landmark Building - which is teeming with people whatever the weather - it would be a dodgy café indeed that sat empty here. Thankfully Hazz Café is far from dodgy; in fact it's great with brliiant breakfa
Hash House Harriers
Run off the excesses of the weekend with the Hash House Harriers; beats sweating it out solo surely?
Filarmonia
Classic music lovers rejoice; indoor and outdoor performances of the best kind are put on right here. Impressive stuff indeed.
Crown
While it may not be the crowning glory of Baku's hotel scene the Crown is nevertheless a comfortable place to hanker down for those in need of 40 winks.
Chevalier
Le Chevalier goes for a medieval motif with knights in armour at every turn and a dark basement setting; just be sure not to get off your head otherwise you may lose it.
Brothers Carpets
Threadbare carpets are a thing of the past at Brothers Carpets which specialisies in repairing and restoring your rugs to their former glory.
Boutique Palace
Expect all the opulence of an Orient Express carriage at the Boutique Palace with ever-so tasteful décor and a smarty clientele to match.
Black Jack
It may have been open for 13 years - most of them lucky - but Black Jack is still going strong with strong drinks and even stronger bouncers.
Baku State Circus
Roll up roll up! The circus has come to town; enjoy all its carnivalesque goings-on right here.
Azza Café
Cafés aren't usually given the design treatment but the Azza Café at the foot of the ISR Plaza building is an elegant exception; expect the kind of interiors you'd find in a glossy magazine and desserts to ruin any calorie-controlled diet.
Aura Spa
Atropat
Famed for its larger-than-most rooms the Atropat offers sumptuous styling and sharp service to boot.
Arabesque
Dubai style is a-go-go at Arabesque with the kind of fabulously flamboyant interiors that would make Elton John's very own boudoir seem tame.
Ambassador
With a planned rennovation to help it hold on to its five golden stars things can only get better at the Ambassador Hotel.
Ali & Nino Café
Ali & Nino Café is named after a pair of famous star-crossed lovers in Azeri literature; the book theme carries throughout with a bookshop in the basement and a selection of light bites to snack on while you get stuck between musty pages.

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