Opera, gin and 18th Century buildings may conjure up images of the Regency-era misadventures of Nell Gwynn, but London has a habit of dismantling our most deeply held conventions. The gin served in Notting Hill is now the tipple of hipsters while opera has long burst out of the concert hall and can now be enjoyed by all. Groundbreaking architectural concepts in Hyde Park point to a future London capable of absorbing the best in order to make it even better.
A distillation of juniper berries, it used to be associated with lonely old ladies but there seems to be nothing in the capital that hipsters can’t make cool. Staff behind the bar are as trendy as the drinks that they make but they are knowledgable, friendly and open to suggestions concerning their methods.
A £70 taster menu is available for those who wish to stretch the evening out and there are packages that include several staff singing a scene from La Traviata, complete with piano accompaniment and climatic toast. Bel Canto is ideal for those who like their celebrations to go off with a bang and is sure to be popular with the late summer Proms crowd.
Collecting another friend on the way, they set off on a trail of binge drinking, partner baiting, child ignoring mayhem. This puts them at odds with the formidable alpha mom, Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and in a strange way forces them to straighten things out as now they have a point to prove.
Kunle Adeyemi, Yoni Friedman, Asif Khan and the Barkow Liebinger group have all brought different visions to the task and the results are spectacular. Modular designs, inside out versions of historical building methods and imaginative use of light are all used.