No one should ever need an excuse to go for a drink at The Connaught, one of the timeless grand dames of London hotels, which sits in splendour on Carlos Place, perhaps Mayfair’s most gorgeous corner — but it’s always nice to have something in your back pocket, were anyone to suggest you were spending too much time at the bar, rather than, I don’t know, jogging?
The best excuse imaginable arrived at the end of September in the shape of a brand-new bar, the first to open at The Connaught in over a decade: The Red Room. The name describes the contents: a collection of works of art, all red, all by female artists and all, as you would expect, world class: the late, great Louise Bourgeois; pioneering American Jenny Holzer; Belfast-born, LA-based photographer Trina McKillen; and Ti-a Thuy Nguyen, the remarkable young Vietnamese artist. All curated by Paddy McKillen, co-owner of the Maybourne Group, proprietor of inimitable landmarks including, in addition to The Connaught, Claridge’s and the Berkeley.
The artworks aren’t the only reds on display. The Red Room bar focusses on wine — and carries a significant collection of the world’s best reds from The Connaught’s 30,000-strong cellar. Standouts include a 1994 Petrus and a 2011 Richebourg Grand Cru by the famous Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. In a nutshell (they have those too), it’s the most glamourous, and beautifully stocked wine bar in the world.
Non oenophiles are catered to with a new cocktail list and whatever you’re drinking, there is a charcuterie menu of British cheeses and hams, as well as small plates (we’re on the Gochuchang chicken oysters.) All this in a spectacular setting of Italian marble, Murano glass and hand cut mosaic. And you can’t say that about your local plonk shop.
The Red Room is one of four bars at The Connaught. Now that you’re on site, you don’t need an excuse to visit any of those, either. Or the restaurants from Helene Darroze and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Or the Aman Spa, Europe’s first. Come to think of it, might as well get a room.
The Red Room is open from 4pm to midnight, Wednesday to Saturday
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