29 Romilly Street, London, W1D 5HP, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7734 6112
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Wed midday-midnight; Thu-Sat midday-1am; Sun midday-10.30pm
Style: Champagne bar
Price guide: High-end
Food: Full menu
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Primarily a champagne bar, Kettners feels enjoyably decadent and attracts a predominantly pre-theatre crowd - but the atmosphere is lively yet relaxed.
Housed in a grade-11 listed building, Kettners was opened in 1867 by Auguste Kettner, chef to Napoleon III, and it is said that both Oscar Wilde and Edward VII ate here. (It's also said that Wilde used to take rent boys to the upstairs rooms.) It underwent various incarnations until 1979, when it was purchased by Peter Boizot, founder of the Pizza Express chain.
This place looks nothing like a Pizza Express outlet (although the pizzas are very good). Consisting of a series of simply decorated yet grand rooms with comfy leather armchairs and wooden floors, it has the air of a gentlemen's club without the pretension.
Kettners is one of London's original Champagne bars and remains one of few still offering 30 plus marques and appropriately, nearly half of the cocktails are sparkling wine based. A refined place to meet friends or lovers and chat while a bottle chills in the bucket.