The City in full swing with glut of new joints

Tim Badham

New King’s Road launch Upper West channels the spirit of Manhattan clubs like PH-D. The lounge bar boasts a roof terrace complete with olive trees and cascading fountains, while the separate nightclub Madison’s is accessed by a grand staircase and will feature floor to ceiling bronze mirror panelling and a state-of-the-art lighting system.

The City remains an exciting place to grab a cheeky post-work beverage, with two new openings this week, including The Cutler Bar below Sushinho on Devonshire Square. The bar features encaustic tiles, exposed brick, hardwood and stone flooring, as well as prepossessing iron columns. The cocktail list fuses authentic Japanese and Brazilian ingredients.

Voltaire opened in what were formerly bank vaults just north of Blackfriars Bridge and is candidly attempting to quench the local workforce’s thirst for bubbles. Helpful, then, that it boasts London’s largest collection of Pommery Champagne, not to mention an al fresco cigar terrace, an array of secluded alcoves just begging for debauchery, and a fizz bar with a colour palette paying homage to caviar, cigars and champagne.

Famous Soho hotel Café Royal recently reopened and didn’t cut corners with The Bar, which is surprisingly industrial compared to the rest of the hotel. The island bar comprises of burnished metal and exposed rivets, with art deco gracenotes in the form of dark green glass bricks and neon lighting. The Bar evokes the spirit of the green fairy with a huge range of absinthe cocktails and Belle Epoque fountains.

February has also seen many a pop-up, beginning with The Rum Shack at Floridita on Wardour Street. It’s turned to Papa Hemingway’s choice of tipple to replicate the Cuban beach bar experience, with the largest selection of rum in Europe. Speakeasy BYOC (Bring Your Own Cocktail) opened in a Covent Garden basement and has jettisoned the whole “serving customers alcohol” idea. Instead, punters bring their own booze to be mixed tableside with homegrown syrups, spices, cordials and salts.

Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s personal concierge