THIS week saw one of London’s most auspicious and historic private members’ clubs magnificently unveiled. The Arts Club has reopened on Mayfair’s Dover Street and looks set to take the Big Smoke by storm. Founded in 1863 by a small group of friends including Dickens and Trollope; this most recent incarnation is likely to attract an equally eminent modern alumni with the help of Mark Ronson as Musical Director and Raphael Duntoye (of Zuma and La Petite Maison fame) as Chef Director. Occupying a grand and sprawling Georgian Mayfair townhouse, it’s complete with stunning marble clad brasserie restaurant, a sumptuous first floor lounge bar, verdant courtyard garden with smoking terrace, drawing rooms, a nightclub-come-live music venue in the basement and a striking contemporary art collection throughout that would give leading galleries a run for their money. Put your best artistic foot forward if applying for membership.
Senkai quietly launched last Wednesday and is set to become a destination hang out overnight. This new Japanese restaurant and lounge bar from the Ignite Group (Boujis and Wyld) has perfectly reinvented the old Cocoon site on Air Street by Piccadilly. Still sleek and stylish but the complete overhaul is more subtle and natural with pale woods and serene hues giving it an exclusive and exotic hideaway impression. The famous circular central bar now feels much more spacious and the new cocktail lounge means you can enjoy sipping Nipponese inspired concoctions whilst overlooking the hustle and bustle of Regent Street below. Try their signature, the Parnsip Cup (Babicka vodka with parsnip purée, coconut and vanilla syrup, lemon and ginger served in an absinthe rinsed glass) while sampling the delicious oriental treats on offer. A little higher above street level, in the City/Spitalfields borders, the Sky Lounge also launched last week, situated on the thirty-second floor of the Nido building on Frying Pan Ally.
This new sky-scraping bar features double-height ceilings of floor-to ceiling windows which present stunning 270 degree views from the Olympic Park and Tower Bridge across to the Gherkin and St Pauls. The bar is great, but it’s the views that are the real star and are even more impressive from the mezzanine balcony above. You can walk in but booking a table is advisable and on Thursdays and Fridays there’ll be DJs to spin beats till late. Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s leading specialist VIP entertainment Concierge www.innerplace.co.uk. Nominated for best Concierge in the London Lifestyle Awards. To vote please go to londonlifestyleawards.com/vote.php