Early autumn is a time when the silken belles and spiffing chaps find their way back to our grand old London, sharp of wit and ready for festivities. We decided to call together a few exquisites for Michaelmas Drinks and, dedicated as we are to elegant people in elegant places”, we thought Black Tie would suit the mood. As usual.
But what about the place? Our Wonderland City Directory now counts some 32 (!) places for proper potables where topping scenery meets a sense of history and occasion. One on the list that wed not previously graced with our presence, save for a fleeting sharpener, was Fitz’s Bar, in the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel (former Russel Hotel). The splendidly renovated interiors lead, through a couple of acres of polished marble, to a drinking den inspired by the decadent, opulent side of Edwardian decor.
Many Sheridanites were in attendance, as well as a leavening of other friends of our ilk. It is your reporter’s duty to recount that, following a dispiriting trend among high-end bars, the management of Fitz’s has seen fit to invent a plethora of unnecessary, craic-slaying rules. Guests must be seated to order; ‘large’ groups must pay as one; etc., etc. Positively pernicious, no?
In the end, our polite but granitic insistence and the helpful staff’s better instincts prevailed so that, as the evening progressed, we had buried all the nonsense underneath a cascade of cocktails (well made) and champagne (aggressively priced). A fine night, we would say, made all the sweeter by roughly half of the revellers moving on for a nightcap at the nearby, and appealingly louche, L’Oscar.