Back to Main

Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

  • Calle de Sevilla 3, Madrid, 28014, Spain
MMD_083_square_300x300

Sophie Larrouture

Bar Manager, Isa
“Everybody is out in Madrid, and there’s a sense of sharing, of being together – just like this new bar concept.”

 

Four Seasons Tenure

  • First hired 2006, now since 2013
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Intern, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

Employment History

  • Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva; Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, Playa Herradura, Costa Rica; Best Western Links Hotel, Montrose, Scotland; Hôtel de Crillon, Paris; Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

Birthplace

  • Colombes, France

Education

  • Diploma, Technical Hospitality High School, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France; Bachelor of Business Administration, International Hospitality Management, Glion Institute of Higher Education, Switzerland; Bachelor of Science, International Hospitality Management, Les Roches Gruyeres University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland

Languages Spoken

  • French, English, Spanish

Sophie Larrouture has seen success creating cocktails behind the bar for Four Seasons. Now she is involved in a new bar concept throughout Isa at Four Seasons Hotel Madrid. “We have developed a trendy, seductive, and mysterious mixology bar where Asian-inspired tapas pair with exclusive craft cocktails,” she says of the action she guides as Bar Manager of the first-floor drinking destination. “This place is amazing, just the site itself is full of history and keeps a lot of secrets to reveal.”

While Sophie didn’t dream up original cocktails for Isa, she worked closely with two consultants to build a concept highlighting Asian tapas, the finest spirits, and homemade preparation techniques. Meanwhile, she manages a team of nearly 30, from wait staff to bar backs and the all-important head bartender. “We never build anything alone behind the bar; we do it as a team.” She did the recruiting, seeking vibrant personalities with good backgrounds and strong experience. “I looked for talents that would match Four Seasons. We want to empower our people, but also encourage them to be creative in ways that match our values.”

Magical in Madrid

Sophie further oversees sourcing, tapping connections she has made through Madrid and beyond to track down “magical ingredients” that set Isa apart on the local scene. The idea, she says, is “to create homemade preparations with rare spices and plants to build straightforward cocktails that are easy to understand.”

It didn’t take long for Sophie to get into a groove in Madrid. The city is a strong player in food & beverage, she says, and Madrileños really like to play. “It’s night and day compared to my last posting in Geneva – plus, I’m getting a lot more sun,” she says with a smile. “Everybody is out in Madrid, and there’s a sense of sharing, of being together. That’s exactly the idea of the bar concept: enhance a unique, sharing, and playful drinking experience.”

Born and raised in the suburbs of Paris, Sophie has always been intrigued by hospitality. She studied management at university and interned at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, but initially started as a waitress to ensure that she learned the business from the ground up. When she got introduced to bartending, things really took off.

Ten in a Row and a Rose

Indeed, in 2016, while bartending on her rise to Assistant Bar Manager at Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva, Sophie entered the World Class competition and won Best Bartender of the Year in Switzerland. Her performance was memorable: Anxious before the start, she cooled her heels wandering the event and happened to pluck a white rose from a floral display. The challenge was making 10 cocktails in a row. Upon completing her 10th – “calmly and on time” – she handed the rose to the main judge and said, “I hope I see you at the International Finale in Miami.”

She did, as one of 56 finalists from around the world. “I kept a white rose with me throughout the whole competition. It has become a symbol for me.” Meanwhile, her showing paid dividends, including a guest bartending gig at the VIP Bar of the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2018, for which she dreamt up eight cocktails inspired by creative women from the early 20th century.

Away from Four Seasons first Spanish address, Sophie likes to hike the great outdoors and challenge herself and friends with role-playing escape games. She also enjoys travel and does so as she can. “I always check out the bars and order the weirdest drink on the menu,” she says. “They may not be my favourites, but they’re always interesting and make me more curious to find out what else is out there.”

Meanwhile, she thinks of cocktail creation as “story-telling,” and is inevitably impressed by the way bartenders – her included – draw customers by sharing their inspirations. “The thing I’ve learned is to keep it simple,” she says. “The unexpected will always be better appreciated if it’s combined with something well known.”