37-year-old Cesar Da Silva has over 15 years experience at The Capital Hotel as bar manager, and is the UK’s youngest Keeper of the Quaich – an honour marking extensive knowledge of whiskeys. Here he talks to The London Word about expert mixology and the hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge, home of the famous Capital Hotel and bar.
‘At the moment I’m at work, The Capital Bar in Knightsbridge that specialises in whiskeys. I’ve always had a passion for whiskey from a young age and I’m now exploring mixology so I’ve been doing around 15 whiskey tastings a week.
My favourite area of London is Knightsbridge; the area is so versatile with busy streets but also has quiet cul de sacs and back streets full of different bars and restaurants, something for everyone and every occasion.
My most vivid London memory is my visit to the Ice Bar. It was exquisite, everything made and formed from ice.
I would go to a matinee theatre performance for my perfect London day, followed by visiting a cocktail bar and going for dinner.
As a lover of hotel bars, I would spend my perfect London night going to three or four different hotel bars in the evening, tasting and testing many different drinks they have to offer on the menu.
London is so unique because there is such a mix of cultures and religions with different ideas that work together to make the city feel vibrant and exciting.
Being born in a warm country by the sea I would definitely say spring and summer are my favorite seasons in London. The days are longer so you can do more and people are generally happier.
I feel most creative when I’m behind my bar mixing cocktails and making drinks for my customers. It is my passion to make the very best drinks for every individual as they are whom I get my inspiration from.
I have always wanted to go to London Zoo because I like animals and nature but have never had the time to go.
My favourite Londoner is the Queen!
It’s not so much of a secret but my favourite parts of London are definitely the rich history of the city: all the different types of museums, Big Ben, change of guards, Buckingham Palace and the royal influence over the city.
Casino Royal, James Bond best encapsulates London to me. I’m a big fan.
Whenever I’m away, I miss the dynamics and vibrancy of the city. Everything and anything is available to you 24/7 and there is easy access to everything. There is always something going on and there’s nothing quite like the buzz of London.
I dislike the really bad traffic and how things come to a standstill when it snows.
When I was younger I was told that life isn’t just for the most clever, but is for the ones who make the best of the situation and thrive by doing so. I’ve always been a very focused person.
If I wanted to revisit my past, I would take a journey to west/north-west London where I first came to London as a teenager and went to school there. The area has completely transformed from how I remember it though.
To relax, I go to Regents Park. It is my favourite park in the whole of London. I also often go down to the river on one of the boats and have a drink by the water. You can really escape the busy city and just forget where you are and relax.
My dad is my biggest inspiration. He was a business man and always told me if you’re going to do something, do it with passion. Life is too short to do something you don’t like. Don’t be afraid to try things and have faith. If you fail don’t think of it as a complete failure and give up, it’s just not the right path for you to take. He always said to follow the generations.
I would recommend everyone go to the London Eye and the Ice Bar.
My biggest project at the moment is researching the best ways to introduce international whiskeys to clients and the UK whiskey industry as a whole. My hope is for people to have the same concept for whiskey as wine.
Happiness is essential. You always have to believe in what you do and you must never wonder why you’re doing it’