JEFF GALVIN<br /><strong>WE FOLLOW THE GALVIN BROTHERS AS THEY COUNT DOWN TO THE OPENING OF THEIR NEW CITY RESTAURANT</strong><br /><br />AS we all know, a great bar is the heart of a great restaurant. Not being people who like to take chances, our new restaurant will have three. Perhaps the most exciting is the six-metre long, pewter bar that will become the focal point of the Cafe de Luxe. Terence Conran commissioned the piece and called it “voluptuous and feminine” – you might remember it from his restaurant Aurora at the Great Eastern Hotel.<br /><br />Chris and I couldn’t resist snapping it up at auction and congratulated ourselves on what we considered to be the bargain price of £5,000. However, we soon realised that relocating it, storing it and having it professionally polished would increase the cost to a more eye-watering £35,000. Still, it is a joy to behold and will be further complemented by our bar manager Ricardo Andreotti, who we have managed to persuade to head east, after many years in Park Lane. He has the easy charm and charisma that you expect from a top barman, and as Sara can testify makes a mean Vodka Martini.<br /><br />We have had a tough time choosing which draught beers to have on, and are still undecided, but one thing we have sorted out is the aperitivo time, from 5.30 to 7.30. This is a really special time of the day, and we have taken the idea from the bars of Milan, Turin and Venice where amazing cocktails and aperitifs are mixed and served with house canapes. It’s a lovely time where you can relax and unwind and catch up after work. Actually, Chris and I will be half-tempted to join in.