Category: Bars


So I just started checking out Pinterest.  I know, slow, right? Well, it has lead to a full blown addiction…which is what I suspected, and probably why I held out for so long. Anyway, my favorite latest discovery is the Balthazar champagne bar in Copenhagen, Denmark by Space Copenhagen.  Am loving the wall panelling, those fab chairs and the pink banquettes. I’d be quite happy propping myself there with a glass of bubbles and a few of my girlfriends on a Friday night…

The Luggage Room

On a corner of the Grosvenor Square Hotel, in the space that used to store guest luggage, is a hidden gem of a bar called…The Luggage Room.  Designed by Fabled Studio, the interior is inspired by classic luggage trunk details and the infamous Bentley Boys of the 1920’s who won the Le Mans race and were renowned for their all night parties on Grosvenor Square.
This is the kind of space that you just need to see in person to appreciate, its so full of thoughtful details and references to the history of the space that I’m sure these photos don’t do it justice. 
Tom Strother, Design Director of Fabled Studio says of the space; “Crafted to charm and delight our Mayfair bar has a nod towards the nostalgia for the past with its feet firmly in the present.”
I must say, I think they’ve executed their intent perfectly, and I now must add this to the growing number of places to visit on my next visit to London!

The finish of the upper walls is somewhat visible here, they have been lined with silk moire, a material that was historically used to line the inside of trunks from Louis Vuitton and Moynat.  What is not so visible unfortunately is the lower walls have a leather dado, and below that a custom embossed and screen printed leather with aged timber ribs, inspired by the protective exterior carcass of old luggage trunks.

All of the furniture was custom designed and made for the space; each of the tables have the initials of one of the Bentley Boys monogrammed on them in the style of luggage monograms.  The metal window screens are inspired by vintage Bentley radiator grilles.
The bar back is crafted from Sapele wood with dusky pink silk velvet and satin ribbon diamond recesses – reminiscent of the Goyard trunks that are plain on the outside but explode with colour on the inside, giving you an unexpected suprise when opened.
Photography by Steve Ryan, care of Fabled Studio.

London calling…

I’m beyond excited that we are off to London next week…its been two years since the last trip, and this one also happens to be for a wedding.  I have a long list of new bars and restaurants to check out that have opened since I was last there, along with some others that I missed last time…but if you have any recommendations please feel free to let me know!  
Speaking of which, this might just be on my hit list…Galvin @ Windows in the Hilton Park Lane in Mayfair, which was just refurbed by the talented team at Central Design Studio.  The Michelin starred restaurant has incredible views of London’s most iconic landmarks, and the interior was inspired by the 1930’s and the golden age of cinematography.  Sounds divine!

Meet you at the bar? I’ll have a G+T please…

The Upper House

Last week I had the pleasure of checking out the fairly recently opened The Upper House establishment in Hong Kong- the second installment by Swire hotels (they opened The Opposite House in Beijing late last year). Designed by local rising star Andre Fu of AFSO (who will be speaking at BoDW later this week), the spaces are done in a modern Asian style that is simple, elegant and luxurious. I haven’t seen the guest rooms yet, but the public spaces are lovely. When I checked out Cafe Gray for both mid-afternoon coffee and a late night cocktail it was jam packed. News travels fast in this city. I have to say though I especially loved the Living Room….complete with an open fireplace (a bit of a rarity in this city) that might just have to be added to my favorites list, see previous post on fireplaces here. What you can’t see in this photo is during the day when the drapes are drawn there is an enviable view of green mountain side. What a great place to curl up with a book – any time of the day!

Photo taken by a fabulous photographer, and friend, Haf Saba (click to enlarge).

Cool bars of the world…5

Another cool looking bar, one I haven’t been to – but is on my list of to do’s soon, the Glamour Bar in Shanghai is very chic. I love the way they have managed to capture the style of 1930’s Art Deco era in Shanghai – but in a modern way. I don’t have the details of who designed this place, so I will update when I find the info. But I will definitely be checking this place out next time I’m in Shanghai!
(This is my favorite image – love those pink Haines-looking lounge chairs and deco detailing of the lights!)

(The famous cocktails at Glamour Bar, and view of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower at night).

(The fabulous view of the Bund from the Glamour Bar during the day).

Cool bars of the world…4

Finally, a bar I’ve actually been to! This is the ‘MO Bar’ at the new Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong. This was designed by renowned hospitality designer Adam Tihany – whom I actually met by chance at a seminar here in Hong Kong. I sat down next to him during the break and had no idea who he was. Very charming and funny guy. Anyway, MO is a fantastic bar, and I love the combination of materials he has used, it has a very luxe deco feel with the macassar ebony and the almost Haines-like arm chairs. They make fantastic vodka cocktails, in fact on a Thursday night they do a girls night and provide free Absolut vodka drinks to girls after 9:00pm. Very dangerous!

Cool bars of the world….3

Here is another one that tickles my fancy, just a shame I didn’t get a chance to visit during my trip in NY. These photos are of the Rose Bar, Jade Bar and private Rooftop (see footage of NY socialite Fabiola Beracasa do a tour of the exclusive rooftop) at the new Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, designed by Julian Schnabel (previously a film maker) for Ian Schrager. Here is an article on him (with more photos) in the NY Times. I love the colours they’ve used, and just how different it is to anything else I’ve seen lately, very new and fresh. And the collection of art is to die for! Check out the photos below, I also recommend checking out the website for photos of the hotel itself, its quite eye catching!

Cool bars of the world…….2

This is another fairly new one, and I particularly like the use of colour and the chinoiserie effect they’ve acheived without it looking tacky or over the top. The Artesian Bar is in London, and was designed by David Collins (who I saw profiled on another blog – Desire to Inspire). I think it looks sophisticated and I’m putting it on my to do list for the next trip to London, whenever that might be…

Cool bars of the world…

I thought I’d share a few favorite hotel/bar/restaurant designs with you all. Here is one that’s new-ish in Melbourne (it opened after I left and I still haven’t had a chance to try it out). It’s called Baroq House, designed by multi-disciplinary firm Playground in Melbourne, Australia – lead by a very young but very talented Fady Hachem. Enjoy!