Where to drink

 
Tim Badham
LONDON bears many nightlife gifts in the run up to Christmas. Pleasure seekers can revel in Mason House, a 5000 sqft high-end nightclub on Argyll Street that has been designed to resemble a Masonic Temple. Guests enter the club through the crypt before arriving in an atmospheric main room fitted with neon installations, banquet seating, an oaken bar and plenty of exposed brickwork. DJs will be piping an eclectic range of tunes through Mason House’s cutting edge soundsystem.

In Shoreditch, some of the best minds in British food, including Angela Hartnett, have opened Merchants Tavern. Its oak-panelled, stained-glass bar is a welcome genteel addition to the neighbourhood, and a nice amalgam of 1950s modernist and Victorian design. Bar Manager Michael Cook, formerly of 5 Hertford Street, has created some playful twists on classic cocktails, warranting investigation.

In Holborn, the Rosewood Bar launched in the eponymous hotel. It’s designed by Martin Brudnizki and evokes private members’ clubs of yore with a selection of leather-bound books in the library, a grand fireplace, a wooden herringbone floor, and an abundance of plush rugs, carpets and armchairs. The Rosewood has imported master drinksmith Giovanni Spezziga to assemble the cocktail list and man the bar.

Anyone interested in the Berlin experience should look towards Southbank, where Topolski recently launched. Spread underneath three railway arches, the prepossessing, post-industrial space is clad in striking works from titular Polish-born expressionist painter, Feliks Topolski. The design was coordinated by B3, the team behind Le Gavroche and Bubbledogs, and comprises of a Bauhaus-style seating, iron sculptures and a DIY-cool plywood bar from which cocktails are prepared with house-infused vodkas.

In Soho, the Tea Light Lounge at Carom is shining a bit of light on November. It resembles a compartment from the train in Wes Anderson’s Darjeeling Limited, with vintage leather suitcases doubling as tables, worn wooden shelves, traditional teapots and floral arrangements.

The Diner Spitalfields is serving up four varieties of hard tea, but craft beer enthusiasts will be catered for as well. Look out for the Widmer Pitch Black IPA, Fordham Copperhead, Ska Modus Hoperandi IPA and Vernal Minthe Stout as well as the better known Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Rogue Dead Guy Ale. Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s exclusive lifestyle concierge. www.innerplace.co.uk @innerplaceLDN