May 11, 2018
Heavily hyped on opening, Pierre Gagnaire’s deliciously over the top bar and restaurant complex in Mayfair is now a decade old. It remains one of the most intriguing spaces in London.
Housing a tea room, lounge bar and two excellent restaurants, it’s a playful, deeply theatrical space, colourful and witty, even more so since its redesign by Turner Prize winner Martin Creed. The Gallery the one Creed had a hand in – is a bold, bright, collision of a space; no two chairs are the same and there slashes and splashes of colour on the walls.
The vast East Bar lounge area boasts white leather walls while the Parlour is a collage of retro prints and red velvet, a sensory assault. The latter is the place to head for champagne afternoon teas and decadent cakes. The amazing cocktails are beautifully executed and as intoxicating as the design of the place.
The list includes a few standards alongside the Lovely Bubbly – a mix of passion fruit with black raspberry liqueur and champagne and the Rosemary martini, a aromatic blend of black vodka, basil, vanilla syrup, rosemary infused vodka, sugar, salt, pepper, pineapple and apple juice.
The crowd are often just as glamorous as the surroundings; dressing up is pretty much mandatory. None of this comes cheap but there really is nowhere else in town quite like it. If you’ve got some real cash to splash, the sumptuous Lecture Room restaurant remains a real experience. And we haven’t even mentioned the famous egg-shaped toilets.