May 11, 2018
This Mad Men style bar is named after the legendary photographer Helmut Newton (whose Foundation is housed not that far away), and like the great man’s photographs, it’s certainly not for prudes. In keeping with the theme of the bar, Newton’s giant nudes adorn the walls, so shy types might not know where to look. (Don’t seek refuge in the menus they’re also illustrated with the nude images, though less successfully what looks striking and stylish on a wall looks slightly tacky when you’re trying to read a cocktail list, a rare lapse in taste for what otherwise is a very chic venue). It’s a deliberately old-fashioned venue, recalling the gentleman’s clubs of yore: the interior of black leather armchairs, oak tables and dark green marble counters and floors is perfectly complemented by the dramatic black and white shots of supermodels in various stages of undress (OK, we’re lying: total undress). There’s an upstairs cigar lounge where you can impress business guests or your dates over a brandy, fine wine and Cuban or Dom-Rep cigars, but we reckon you should sidle up to the half-moon shaped bar in the main lounge, order a martini or gin gimlet and check out the eye candy. Women don’t worry: while this may sound frightfully old boys’ club and unwelcoming, it’s actually not an intimidating space, and the bar staff are friendly and pleasant. Plus, anyone familiar with Newton will know his women always look strong and capable, so there’s no cheesy and off putting ‘lad’s mag’ feel to the nudes. Instead, there are stylish men drinking well-made cocktails or quality scotch, while attractive women perch on stools, couches, armchairs and, not least, are framed 18ft-tall on the walls.