264 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2AS , United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 207 225 1212
Website: View bar's website
Hours: 10am-midnight daily
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Fun/atmosphere
Price guide: High-end
Food: Bar nibbles
Something of a South Kensington institution, this old warehouse, opposite Bibendum's flagship shop, has housed a restaurant here since 1996 and boasts an 80ft-long catwalk entrance designed by architect Sir Norman Foster. It was previously a Porsche garage, Conran furniture shop and also the fashion warehouse of English designer Katherine Hamnet.
Now reborn with a stylish makeover by designer du jour Tom Dixon, it still boasts a large mezzanine restaurant floor overlooking a 60ft-long bar, surely one of the longest in London.
Walking down that catwalk and finding yourself in a huge warehouse space feels more like something in New York than well-to-do Chelsea. Angular barstools, architectural lighting sculptures and cosy banquettes mean there are places to be seen and nooks to hide away in, attracting a mixture of business types, dates and groups of dressed-up friends.
A short list of classics and modern classics follows a slightly pun-heavy list of house cocktails, all quite interesting yet thankfully simple combinations - less is certainly more. The Vintage Black Mac combines Scotch whisky, ginger liqueur and Earl Grey tea while the Luciana Martinez mixes sloe gin, Aperol and maraschino - there were lots we wanted to try. Execution of the drinks was a 'could do better', but we liked it.