Leo’s restaurant - London, UK
Savvy impresarios have long realised that few things lift the mood more than the prospect of an evening of bubbles, supper, music and dancing. All the more reason to applaud the arrival of Leo’s at London’s The Arts Club. Over the years, the hallowed institution has unfurled various new services and facilities, the better to lure a new generation of members, but we wager it will be some time before anything will top its new supperclub and nightclub.
The Milan-based designers Dimore Studio have orchestrated a fantasist lair – apparently inspired by the Riviera clubs of the 60s – swatched with greens, purples, pinks and reds; finished with brass, brushed steel, leather, Guatemalan marble, pink velvets and floral prints; and styled throughout with a Orient-lite touch by way of Wong Kar Wai’s Shanghai noir classic In the Mood for Love.
The bar, in particular, is a bona fide set-piece. The counter, manned by mixologist Raffaele Marino, practically blazes with spot-lit harlequin triangles. This leads onto the nightclub, whose parquet floor is set off by a shimmering curtain of bamboo beads hand-painted with white and pink lotus flowers, black-lacquered Knoll Saarinen chairs and, curling sinuously along the wall is a set of capacious brass-trimmed booths lit by lantern lamps.
For revellers recovering between sets on the dance-floor and big-band numbers on-stage, chef Jean-Luc Mongodin sends out Italian-influenced plates, alongside the obligatory round of oysters and caviar. Consider our mood duly lifted.