SKETCH in Mayfair is celebrating its 10th anniversary in style with a metamorphosis courtesy of Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed. The Gallery has been transformed from the previous stark white canvas into a multicolored, multifaceted cornucopia of mismatched designs, items and motifs. Not a single piece in the room matches, including cutlery, glasses and chairs. It somehow works brilliantly and feels like an intriguing, much warmer space, appealingly now boasting the addition of its own full bar. However don’t miss the Glade Bar across the hall which, in keeping with its name, is newly adorned with a stunning wall-to-wall woodland fresco, creating a beautiful panoramic in which to enjoy delicious cocktail concoctions.
Another classic establishment enhanced last week is Hawksmoor Spitalfields on Commercial Street which has turned its basement (formerly a strip club) into its swishest drinking proposition thus far. Reclamation is key with glazed Victorian bricks, Art Nouveau turquoise tiles, blue-patterned mirrors and an entire brass wall made from salvaged Art Deco lift doors. There are alcoves and booths and a teak parquet floor spattered with wooden tables made from old chemistry lab tops. Already renowned for its cocktails, this new 60 cover space features just 10; including five monthly changing Desert Island Drinks from the bartenders themselves. Amercican-style hearty snacks on offer, too.
Moving to South America, Ceviche launched on Frith Street in Soho last week and this lively and laid-back Peruvian hang-out brings with it London’s first Pisco Bar. Set to a stylish 60s sound track, it serves nothing but Peru’s national drink, the Pisco Sour and also a sweet Pisco Punch (if you like Mojitos you may like these).
National specialties are on trend at the moment with chic Italian Mele e Pere recently opening a vermouth bar on Brewer Street, the quite stunning Galante on Sloane Avenue reimagining glamorous 1920’s Argentina, Baku adding an Azerbaijani flavor to upmarket Sloane Street and now Mexican La Bodega Negra about to open on Old Compton Street. This interesting proposition is brought to you by New York nightlife legend Serge Becker and London’s own super-restaurateur Will Ricker and will offer a heady mix of risqué Mexican wrestlers, hidden alcoves and a serious sound system. Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s leading providers of VIP entertainment, including film premieres, launch parties and members club access. www.innerplace.co.uk.