Where to drink
The Parisian-born phenomenon Buddha-Bar launched last week, reincarnated in Knightsbridge following the closure of their Embankment-based venue two years ago. This very different proposition has a modern take on its Eastern influences and is poised to reclaim glory with delectable cuisine, incredible decor from renowned sculptor David Begbie, inspired mixology and the live DJ sets for which they are famed.
Nightlife impresarios Guy Pelly and Marc Burton have a hip and fun new opening, Tonteria, on Sloane Square. The mezcalería features hand-painted tiles a la Oaxaca, Mexican plants, drinks trolleys, beverages imbibed out of calaca skulls and luchador masks, and staff donning elaborate costumes from outré British designers Sorapol and Daniel Lismore.
The equally jovial Alpine ski chalet inspired Bodo’s Schloss lives up to its Brompton Brands pedigree with a £5,000 hand carved ice castle complete with sluice for limitless cocktails. For a touch of Austrian authenticity there will also be a DJ booth crafted from a ski-lift gondola, steins, housemade schnapps, staff in traditional lederhosen and dirndls as well as centuries-old tiles and timber sourced from Austria. In Fitzrovia, Movida founder Marc Merren has opened Beat, a secret after-hours party haven which opens its doors to nightlife’s elite from 2am till 6am on a site that once hosted Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and the Sex Pistols. It blends industrial flavours with opulent attitude: dark leather couches and refurbished cinema chairs are juxtaposed with exposed brick.
Just a few streets north, the pop-up collective behind Bonnie & Wild went permanent with the Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack (more seaside chic than shack), and if you manage to secure a seat, enjoy a selection from their cocktail menu, which often employs aquatic ingredients like palourde clam broth, smoked black sea salt, and garnishes including oysters on the half-shell and salmon roe.
To catch the next development in London’s thriving ping pong trend, head to Bounce in Holborn, built on the site of table tennis’s invention and featuring 17 tables and an expansive bar.