AS THE temperature in London cools, the nightlife appears to be heating up, with almost twenty high-profile openings planned across the capital for September.
Restless restaurant group D&D (Coq d’Argent, Floridita, Le Pont de la Tour) are making their first foray into hotels with South Place Hotel, launching this week near Moorgate. It looks poised to tick all of the boxes as a desirable City location; featuring a variety of hip, high-spec bars and restaurants. In particular, look out for 3 South Place Bar, a twenty-four-hour licensed cocktail haven with DJs until late, and The Garden, a cigar-friendly sheltered outdoor bar with greenery and water features. Perhaps most notably, the hotel will incorporate a special members’ club area name Le Chiffre where guests can kick back with a restorative drink, listen to classic vinyl on the turntable or relax with a book from their library.
Over in South Ken, the Ampersand Hotel just opened and with it the Apero Bar, a glamorous yet understated Mediterranean-style bar where guests can treat themselves to aperitivos while sinking into snug leather banquettes curtained off with luxurious drapes. On Charlotte Street, Sandia Chang and James Knappet (Noma, Per Se) have brought the foodie blogosphere to cacophony with their novel concept Bubbledogs - a Champagne bar that opts for hotdogs over caviar. Handcrafted Grower Champagnes from lesser-known producers (starting at £6.50 a glass) and inventive cocktails are served from behind a resplendent polished-copper bar. The accompanying hotdogs are worth the wait.
After putting your name on the waiting list, investigate some of Fitzrovia’s phenomenal offerings nearby, such as Oskar’s Bar at Dabbous or the new Draft House Charlotte just down the road. Further south on Poland Street at the erstwhile site of 52 North, new hotspot B-Soho opened this week as a cocktail bar and pizzeria from the owners of Project London. Alongside perfect pizzas cooked in just 90 seconds in their 900°C Forno Tradizionale Napolitano brick oven, guests can enjoy over 30 mixological creations in the ground floor bar. Over in Shoreditch, the Rebel Dining Society guys’ Mexican grill and cocktail bar Death By Burrito will open next week in the Catch bar, with Ryan Chetiyawarda (Purl and 69 Colebrooke Row) devising the cocktails: on trend with the harmonisation of street food and boundary-pushing beverages. Tim Badham is the founder of London’s most personal concierge service, Innerplace. www.innerplace.co.uk