Where to Drink

Tim Badham
From NYC to London

EVERY so often in a major metropolitan centre, one venue will achieve supremacy as the foremost spot to see and be seen in, and Ian Schrager’s new hotel, nestled in Fitzrovia on Berners Street, bears all of the hallmarks of one such opening.

Famed for founding the zeitgeisty Studio 54 in Manhattan with Steve Rubell in 1977, Schrager displayed the same social sleight-of-hand in London by putting Sanderson and St Martin’s Lane on the map, two perennially stylish hotels that persist in drawing in a glamorous cosmopolitan set. His newest project, The London EDITION, looks poised to achieve the same cultural impact. Housed in the building that once was the Berners Hotel, it will juxtapose Edwardian England with contemporary international accents, and provide a full suite of gathering places likely to be popular with London’s bold and beautiful.

Restaurateur Jason Atherton will continue his Big Smoke blitzkrieg by opening Berners Tavern – a plush amalgamation of dark leather, rift cut oak tables and chandeliers inspired by New York’s Grand Central Station – all within a lofty room adorned with stunning wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling artwork. However, the piece de resistance is a towering, amber-backed liquor display cabinet that sets the room apart as one of the most prepossessing in the capital. In the bar itself, drinks are powered by Atherton’s mixological test kitchen and cocktail bar The Blind Pig, which is perched above his most recent opening, Social Eating House in Soho.

This will bring Mr Atherton’s yearly tally of launches in London to three, with one more on the way. Visitors to the EDITION who prefer a liquid diet are spoilt for choice with a buzzy lobby bar taking centre stage for West End elite, or, for those who prefer their drinking to be intimate and discreet, The Punch Room is secreted away at the back of the lobby. The latter channels the classicism of a private club of yore, with a fumed oak-panelled room fitted out with a multitude of antique-inspired seating options, and cocktails served atop throwback silver salvers by an attractive and attentive staff. Schrager is holding back a few other knock-out punches for now, but scenesters should keep The EDITION in mind as a future dancing destination, and dust down their finest threads to celebrate the hotel’s launch.

Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s personal lifestyle concierge membership. innerplace.co.uk @innerplaceLDN