Where to drink

 
Tim Badham
NEW bar 3 Cromwell Road launched on the site that witnessed Jimi Hendrix’s first London gig and previously housed FireHouse and Dorsia. It now looks poised to compete for Chelsea’s clubland crown with an edgy design orchestrated by Andrew Martin, comprising of sexy neon art and Kalashnikov rifles papered onto the walls.

The Top Floor Drawing Room at 3 Cromwell Road will function as the bistro, while the Back Room will function as a modern apothecary doling out carefully conceived cocktails.

For those with a preference for late nights and louche behaviour, The Basement is a dark and sultry club area decorated with graffiti and equipped with padded walls.

Nearby on Fulham Road, an intrepid couple who cut their teeth at Cocoon and Eclipse have opened an Italian-American grill/lounge/speakeasy named GOAT, which will appeal to Chelsea’s chic set. The sleek tri-floored venue is classically designed with industrial grace notes. It includes a cocktail bar and all-day lounge where DJs spin tracks as the sun descends, as well as an incredibly cool speakeasy that they’re currently keeping under wraps.

In Soho, The Grill Room launched at the newly reopened Café Royal Hotel and is quickly establishing itself as one of London’s premier destinations for a glass (or bottle) of bubbles, with an appetising array of the same classic Champagne cocktails that attracted the likes of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. Hidden away in the heart of the hotel, far from the hubbub of the streets, The Grill Room retains beautiful original Louis XVI styling with enough mirrors and gold leaf to surprise and delight. It creates a stunning backdrop to the night’s entertainment which includes live music and DJs till late.

Over in Shoreditch, The Rushmore Group (Milk and Honey, Giant Robot) opened the Rotary Bar & Diner, which serves pint-sized cocktails and food cooked by top chef Carl Clarke. More importantly, Rotary features a members’ only subterranean cocktail lounge that’s straight out of Mad Men, with pressed tin ceilings and bar panelling, art deco light fixtures, tessellated geometric carpeting and South American inspired drinks. Book dinner upstairs and stage a charm offensive with the staff, and you may even be invited downstairs to investigate.

• Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, concierge service.www.innerplace.co.uk @innerplaceLDN