After a particularly hard year of lockdowns, London seems to be cautiously swinging back into life as a bustling urban capital. The occasion has been marked by the openings of a number of new restaurants, bars and gallery spaces, among other venues, and one of the most notable is Claridge’s new cocktail bar, The Painter’s Room. 

Interiors of Claridge’s Painter’s Room bar

Inside The Painter’s Room at Claridge’s

Designed by Bryan O’Sullivan, the space is a modern interpretation of the hotel’s iconic art deco interiors. Guests can perch on plush, pastel stools in an intimate space that is illuminated by intricate peach and cream glass light fixtures. At the centre of the room is a blush-coloured stone bar, where drinks from the cocktail-heavy menu are served. 

A variety of drinks are on offer, all inspired by the culture, art and design of Europe and with the menu divided into four chapters: Light, Interpretations, Complex, and Clean. Offerings include Homage 22, a blend of brut rose, campari, and absinthe; and Clavé 20, which features melon vodka and tarragon. 

Stained glass windows at Claridge’s Painter’s Room bar

Or you might be tempted by the bar’s Saint Remy, a favourite of director of mixology Nathan McCarley O’Neill. ‘Our Saint Remy – a variation on a martini – is inspired by Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom painting,’ says McCarley O’Neill. ‘We studied the terroir of almond blossom itself – where it comes from, where it grows, what grows around it – and this influenced the other ingredients in the drink, such as apple and quince.’

The Painter’s Room is decorated with a mural by British artist Annie Morris that features whimsical characters chatting, drinking, sketching and observing in their own, imagined bar setting. Morris also designed the striking stained-glass centrepiece of the room, which is made from hand-blown glass and features rich hues that contrast with the simple grey lines of the drawings on the walls. 

Cocktail served at Claridge’s Painter’s Room bar

Food at The Painter’s Room comprises small plates, among them bar classics such as crispy scampi and updated delicacies like beetroot tartar, all served by a bar team dressed in ‘bleu de travail’ blue worker jackets inspired by the signature outfit of American fashion photographer Bill Cunningham. §