November is for locals, with new London bar openings in all corners and for all tastes. The D&D group have just opened Carom in the Meza space on Wardour Street (above Floridita).
This Indian bar/restaurant will be serving subcontinental wines and whiskeys never before seen in Great Britain in the large, refurbished space. Azulito, a basement bar under the Soho Wahaca, will be doing some of the same, with more of a south of the (American) border focus – they have over 80 bottles of 100 per cent agave tequila so if you’ve got a thing for cactus juice, this is your spot. Covent Garden favourite Dirty Martini has also set up a central outpost on Hanover Square where, unsurprisingly, martinis will have pride of place on the menu.
There’s a new cocktail pop-up called L.T.D. in Fitzrovian hipster hangout The Social which is reinventing the drinking wheel by simplifying it; featuring only the “best of the best”, one type of vodka, one of gin, whisky, etc. each of the highest quality.
For cocktails with a New Orleans attitude, head north to Euston and Shaker & Company on Hampstead Road where you can grab a beat-in leather sofa and listen to live music and open mic nights while sampling lovely libations from the 19th and early 20th centuries by masterminded mixologist Adam Freeth.
New Shoreditch restaurant Assemblage from James Knight-Pacheco (BBC2’s The Restaurant) is proving to be as innovative with its alcohol as with its food and is a hit with the locals.
Singing and drinking often go together and the new Greenleaf on Red Lion Street in Bloomsbury blends the two with karaoke and a Chinese flavour with a contemporary look. Flute Bar and Lounge is also about to open their first London outpost on Great Portland Street (already established in NYC and Paris) where they will be offering a dazzling array of champagnes and sparkling wines at reasonable prices.
Talking of Paris, the big opening of this week has been the discreet and exclusive Le Baron below the new Embassy in Mayfair. This arty, laid back night lounge has a seductive, bohemian chic appeal – if you have the look and style to get past the door. The area is hot right now with Aurelia (from the owners of La Petite Maison and Arts Club), opened on Cork Street with a 200-bin wine list, a beautiful oaken bar and very lovely staff. Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s leading entertainment concierge, experts in access to exclusive members clubs, bars, restaurants and VIP events. www.innerplace.co.uk. @InnerplaceLDN