Where to Drink: A new opening from the owners of Bodo’s and a slice of Indian chic in the middle of Mayfair

 
Tim Badham

SEPTEMBER witnessed a number of high-end clubs and bars launching across London and the Westbury Hotel has bragging rights to one such venue. No 41 is nestled underneath the newly Michelin-awarded Brasserie Chavot and accessed through a street-side entrance. The nightclub is a plush amalgam of self-aware opulence, with a design scheme replete with grand chandeliers, striking artwork and a colour palette of regal red and gold. The drinks menu pays homage to the Westbury’s Conduit Street address with forty-one different cocktails, and there are four types of punchbowl for those who prefer for their libations large. As the evening unfolds, a relaxed cocktail lounge ambience gives way to a charged, energetic dancefloor as top international DJs take to the podium.

Serial entrepreneurs Diego Bivero-Volpe and Antoin Commane hit zeitgeist levels of popularity last year when they set up the kitschy Bodo’s Schloss in Kensington.

Now, a year later, the dynamic twosome have returned to the scene of the crime (literally across the street) to create Ruski’s Caviar & Vodka Tavern, a tongue-in-cheek take on Russia’s opulent edibles.

The room recalls the storied and tumultuous history of the country itself with noble yet distressed interiors with wood cornicing, parquet flooring, red velvet seating and long tables with copper tops that are well-worn and begging for elevated dancing.

Private club Eight Bank in The City will metamorphose into a very cool, subterranean, speakeasy-style boîte that’s as much New Orleans as it is Square Mile when it becomes the Blind Bee during the evenings. In addition to eight new signature cocktails, the members’ club will host an array of live entertainment taking in the best of London’s jazz, bossa nova and trip hop artistes as well as burlesque and cabaret performances to get that Cajun blood running hot.

On Mayfair’s Albemarle Street, Michelin-starred chef Karam Sethi opened Gymkhana, a paean to the Indian polo clubs of yesteryear. The darkly elegant venue spans two floors with oak booths, marble tables and wooden ceiling fans performing lazy revolutions beneath a dark lacquered oak ceiling.

At the end of the room reposes a marble bar from which an array of Indian-influenced cocktails and punches are served; many of which include subcontinental whiskeys, arracks and absinthes.

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