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Luxe champagne bar inside the revamped Kettner’s Townhouse.
Oscar Wilde was a fan of the bar at Kettner’s of old, where he rubbed shoulders with noblemen and their mistresses. But that was in the nineteenth century. Fast-forward to 2018 and the French restaurant and once-haut hangout is under Soho House’s wing. The new(ish) title of ‘Kettner’s Townhouse’ is symbolic of how the glory days are being evoked. That includes – charge your glasses – reinstating a champagne bar.
Like the sharp bar-hands at The Savoy’s American Bar, staff behind the stick wear white tuxedos. We were bundled in a corner crowded with cushions, gagging to be up at the bar with them. It’s a crescent-shaped, marble-topped beauty with smoky-quartz-coloured stools. All this opulence and yet no stuffiness: I asked a stupid question and was given a courteous answer – even if I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the decision to serve some fizz by coupe, not flute. It felt like style over substance (but what style!).
Cocktails are delightful bubbly numbers, like the Champagne Martini. And if the thought of prices puts you off, visit during what must be Soho’s swankiest happy hour. From 5pm to 7pm, a glass of blanc de noirs costs £7 while other aperitifs come in at a fiver. When the curtains are drawn, you could almost carry out your own affair. Don’t expect really Wilde times, but a bit of sparkle awaits.
29 Romilly St
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