Make the most of the Night Tube (or your chauffeur) this party season. Our man-about-town, Innerplace's Nick Savage, rounds up the best new after-dark clubs and venues in London
London nightclubs are the opposite of perennial flowers in that they tend to come into bloom in the autumn. This year seems to have provided a bumper crop. At the same time, many clubs have been closing down, leading mayor Sadiq Khan to launch an initiative to save London’s nightlife. We’ve recently seen west London institutions such as Boujis, Whisky Mist and The Wellington shut their doors, not to mention east London spots like Fabric, Dance Tunnel and Plastic People.
Back in Mayfair, a number of fledgling clubs were seemingly cut down in their youth. Though this usually means rejuvenation. Whisky Mist transformed into Drama and in turn became a central place to see and be seen, and, more recently, Mason House has become Toy Room.
Formerly housed on Swallow Street next to Cuckoo Club, Toy Room has upped its game and taken over Argyll Street. Perhaps best known for its mascot – Frank – a stuffed bear with a proclivity for partying that would put Ted to shame, it aims to bring more revellers into the fold with a double capacity venue designed by Antonio Tadrissi, an after-party den and specially commissioned art. Hot off the back of club launches in Mykonos, Dubai and Istanbul, you can expect the new Toy Room to serve as a home away from home for international sybarites. In short, it’s a table service classic. Elsewhere, a number of venues seem to be mutating their table service, giving equal billing to both food and entertainment, perhaps even giving precedence to the F&B.
MNKY HSE, which launched in early October on Dover Street, bills itself as a late night restaurant, a type of location that has been taking over from nightclubs in cities like New York and Las Vegas. Opened in the former digs of the iconic Dover Street Wine Bar, it features an eclectic Latin American restaurant helmed by Pablo Peñalosa Nájera (Four Seasons). Spread over two floors, each of which offer a stage that will play host to international DJs, MNKY HSE includes a number of design elements including adjustable seating that will encourage table-hopping and can be adjusted to create a dancefloor. With dark parquet flooring, leather-clad banquette seating, a three-dimensional back wall and a Murano crushed glass chandelier, MNKY HSE brings all of the bling you’d expect in a Manhattan club.
Nearby on Sloane Square, Twiga London + Sumosan has taken over the old Baku site and looks poised to take over Knightsbridge. Backed by - Briatore (former Formula 1 boss and owner of various Ciprianis and hotels), the new venture will feature a lounge for up to 150 guests and a restaurant and bar for approximately 180 covers.
Meanwhile, Hyde in High Street Kensington has reinvented the basement bar with slick contemporary pop art from JJ Adams, cocktails that would rival an east London speakeasy courtesy of Andy Mil, and an excellent Pan-Asian food offering compliments of chef Adi Gunawan, who previously worked under Ian Pengelly at Gilgamesh. Dining, it seems, is gaining influence in London clubland.