The Academy Hotel – YTL Hotels’ elegant Gower Street property, which has undergone a huge refurbishment this year – is excited to announce the appointment of its Alchemist. Ilias Chondros, a Greek national with years of experience in the buzzing capital of Athens, will be experimenting and concocting only the most delicious drinks at the brand-new Alchemy Bar, which opened this summer.

Building up his reputation in the city of Athens, Ilias worked for three years at the Hard Rock Café and is now bringing an element of his Greek Rockstar status to Bloomsbury. As well as mixing up the most innovative and exciting drinks in the city, Ilias is passionate about growing relationships with guests and customers. Using a mixture of intrigue and alchemy throughout his menu, the Alchemist gives thirsty guests a reason to pop into Alchemy time and again and enjoy a refreshing drink in the chic bar or the sun-drenched courtyard.

From behind the bar, Ilias fuses his Greek charm with local London spirits, Tanqueray Bloomsbury being Alchemy’s house gin, and the base of many of the carefully curated cocktails. Artisan gin and vodka martinis are Ilias’ speciality at Alchemy: guests’ choice of spirit is mixed with one of a wide variety of vermouth for a totally bespoke version of the classic sophisticated tipple. For those after a cocktail, Ilias mixes up traditional favourites with modern twists, such as the Midnight Manhattan, blending Tawny Port 10 with Glenfiddich 12, and the Pure French, combining Chartreuse Green Liqueur, Apricot Liqueur, and Remy Martin Cognac. For a celebration, the house Champagne is Billecart-Salmon, with Champagne Cocktails adding a touch of class and elegance to a drink with friends or an evening celebration.

With a discreet entrance among the townhouses of Bloomsbury, Alchemy offers guests an intimate and private space away from the bustling centre of London. Complete with cosy corners and a spacious suntrap courtyard, Alchemy is the perfect place for a post-work glass of wine, Friday night cocktails, or weekend martinis, all served up by The Alchemist.

Of the appointment, and move to London, Ilias said “Having been building up my skills and craftmanship for the past decade, I feel ready to take the helm not just as Head Bartender, but as ‘The Alchemist.’ It is the perfect role to explore my experimental side and utilise my skills in throwing together flavours and textures in a new and unique way. London has an incredible cocktail and mixology scene, and I’m so excited to have made the move from Athens with such a renowned group as YTL Hotels.”

Designed by award-winning New York based Champalimaud Designs, Alchemy Bar is a classic example of the understated luxury that YTL Hotels espouses in all its properties worldwide. With 50 boutique guestrooms across 5 interlinked townhouses, guests of the bar can extend the evening overnight with a stay in London’s newest luxury hotel.