Even if you didn’t know who was behind London’s new Ralph’s Coffee & Bar, there would be enough hints in the décor to give the game away. Inspired by Manhattan’s The Polo Bar, Ralph’s – which is located next to the new Ralph Lauren store on Regent Street – is billed as the city’s first Ralph Lauren dining destination.
While it’s difficult to imagine that the 77-year-old American design legend himself was too involved in the minutiae of the actual planning and furnishing, the DNA markers of his brand are evident.
One part zhooshed up bar, and two parts gentleman’s club, the compact 36-seater is swathed with an unapologetically equestrian theme – framed drawings of thoroughbreds hang over light brown saddle leather banquettes, while the walls are clad in dark wood panels and green billiard cloth.
Meanwhile, the brass-topped bar is framed by subway tiles, cane bar stools, and a surprisingly comprehensive menu of bourbon, single malts, rums, vodkas and tequilas.
The food menu proudly flies the American flag in its offerings of Cobb salad, butternut squash soup, brownies, ice-cream sundae and cheesecake – a patriotic bent that extends to the all-day breakfast menu of oatmeal and smoked salmon bagel.