The No. 1 Bar in London: The Coburg Bar at The Connaught
In the newly hip Mayfair district, this landmark brick Victorian has reclaimed the glory of its golden era thanks to a $140 million renovation, creating a sophisticated throwback that no soulless Modernist hotel could ever hope to emulate. Classicist designer Guy Oliver supervised the preservation of burnished mahogany paneling, gilded scrollwork, and formal Adams fireplaces; fortunately, a welcome infusion of 21st-century fun saves the 123-room Connaught from being too somber. Witness the cartoonish Julian Opie cameos in the aubergine-and-slate Coburg Bar (created by India Mahdavi), film-noir nights with buttered popcorn, and chinoiserie cocktail cabinets filled with DIY martini fixings.
Yes, the Coburg Bar is turning heads. It was just voted "Best Bar in London" in Time Out Magazine (May 2008). Parisian-based designer, India Mahdavi, created a masterpiece with this one. Bar aficionados appreciate the trendy décor and distinctive Connaught cocktails- sipped from the old Connaught wingback chairs (re-upholstered in velvet with black fringing) and the caramel Heppelwhite 'loveseats.'
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