Sophistique and salubrious like a speakeasy on the Amalfi Coast, it’s a classic cocktail lounge that’s less clubby and chintzy than other upmarket Chelsea drinking destinations. Located amid the noblesse of Knightsbridge on one of London’s most highfalutin’ thoroughfares, it's a hang-out for haves and hedge-funds, being proper posh and rather ridiculous.
Serviced by genteel Gianfrancos in suits and spread thinly under low-ceilings, yet amply lit with skylights and magnified with antique mirrors, it’s laced with traces of pink neon and fancy fleshiness courtesy of Pirelli calendars from yesteryear. (May I recommend the seating in the left-hand corner? For it’s here, on the wall, that the young Pirelli model representing August resides. She’s lovely.) There’s something of the 1980s about it but that, according to those who know these things, is very much allowed at the moment.
An enormously well-endowed back-bar is the driving force behind an erudite, Italian-leaning cocktail list consisting of archetypal aperitifs like the Negroni, several deviations on the classic Martini and 'selezione della casa' (bespoke house concoctions) of which the Berrycello – strawberries, limoncello, Grey Goose citron vodka and lemon juice – is the most popular. While the basil and lychee martini lacked alcoholic oomph, it was served impeccably alongside classy complementary canapés. Meanwhile, plans are afoot to broaden the current food offers beyond high-class nibbles, olives and bread.
The regulars include panjandrums of high caste, magnificos, miladies, pinstripes, loafers, Italianos with coloured chinos, tanned types drenched in trinkets and the odd breakout of champagne-quaffing bling. Wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few surreptitious sock-suspenders too.