If there is one thing London knows how to do, it is to let your hair down. And the capital’s party scene thrives against all odds again. From the East End club kids and fashion trends of West London, to the Mayfair pillars and Soho Cabaret queens, our city has one of the most dynamic, daring and dazzling social scenes on the planet. While the party season is underway, here’s everything you need to know to navigate it in style …
Getting the party music mix right can make or break your evening. London-based duo RawSilk are the new kids on the block to be booked now, and Georgie Bee and Jonathan Bestley are the go-to for sophisticated party disco. Canada-
Based producer Jayda G is in town right now, while Park Hye Jin is the super cool name to drop. The South Korean
born, LA-based producer is included on the Fifa 21 video game soundtrack and is muso’s choice. Perennial party favorite Fat Tony is still the best choice for a blazing old-school set, his tune of the season? Everybody’s Free by Piero Pirupa. “It’s euphoric, joyful and fun – all that the festive party is all about.” Amen.
Maison Estelle in Mayfair is the member club for one per cent. The newly opened super-exclusive hideaway is a membership club that aims to feel at home, and once you step in, you really wish it was – it has some of the most beautiful interiors I’ve ever seen. Its app informs staff about your preferences: from how you like your coffee, to what drink to cool for your arrival, and what type of lighting you prefer. Expect to see party planner Fiona Leahy, Louis Vuitton’s Faye Mcleod and the rest of London’s boujis interior crew there. Other new member club openings are the Knightsbridge Pavilion and the relaunched Langhan’s, which now has a new members-only space upstairs.
The latest look is about adding pieces from a handful of designers to things you already own. Cora Corré, model and granddaughter of Vivienne Westwood, says: “I think everyone is moving away from fast fashion and into vintage and old school brands. I’m finding a way to recycle everything in my wardrobe, “Like my Les Boys Les Girls tracksuit, which I dress up with a heel and a cool Lurex sock to go out. Of course, I’m very into my Westwood kilt from Worlds End.” Other notable brands are Kepler, the corseted hand-knitted London brand that gives rich-girl-in-East-London-dive-bar-vibes, and IT-girl-favorite Annie Doble’s Annie’s Ibiza, which recently opened near Carnaby Street. For the boys? According to GQ Fashion Editor Zak Maoui, Knwls, Marine Serre and everything in stock at Machine-A.
There is nothing that says you are down with the kids like dropping your toe in a teen rave until you realize you have no idea what anyone is talking about. Here are a few tips for the new party diction:
Calm – an answer to “I’m coming a little late” or “can you go to the bar”. Basically an answer to everything.
Truth – as in, “I could not agree more.”
Prison – shouted when someone is doing something bad or a little shady. Quite abrasive, tbh.
Purrr – as in, “you are fit, mate.” Yes, it has three Rs.
The dream guests to land for your party? According to casting director Tom Macklin, Frank Ocean, who now lives between London and New York, is at the top of the list. “He’s definitely someone people get excited about when he’s in space.” He is succeeded by The Crowns Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin. “They are at the top of the invitation lists,” he says. Our personal dream guest? Tilda Swinton, Harry Styles (obvs), Courtney Love, and not to forget Michaela Coel and Kate Holy Trinity of Blanchett, Cambridge and Moss.
The classic Martini has a moment – the friction is that more than one or two, and it’s serious that lights up the territory. Like, hey. Then welcome to Long Haul Martini, created by Gray Goose’s global head of mixology Joe McCanta, which has the same pure, delicious taste but served in a tall glass as a less deadly alternative.
King’s Road comeback
It’s been a while since anyone called King’s Road a party destination, and Club KP (a soundproofed room at the bottom of Kensington Palace) is not quite the same since Harry flew the nest. But Italian restaurateur Riccardo Giraudi has just opened the first British outpost of his Beefbar restaurants on Cale Street, known for some of the best Japanese Kobe beef and a glamorous but understated audience. Add to that the redesign of The Chelsea Pig – where Kate and Wills had many dates – and the relaunch of 151 Club, the Kensington club nicknamed The Dive, which hosted many younger royals in the eighties, nineties and noughties. Get yourself down there to get yourself a viscount.
One of the most talked about launches is the new hotspot from Canadian restaurateur Joey Ghazal. Maine opened earlier this month in the ground and underground floors of a Georgian house on London’s Hanover Square. By mixing “old-fashioned British elegance, New England extravagance and underground decadence”, this is the place to be seen. And we could not possibly confirm that there are also rumors of a secret invitation club hidden behind the losers. Irina Shayk, Riccardo Tisci, Rocco Ritchie, Alexa Chung and Lila Moss have already visited. Maine ties in with the big (literally) trend for XXL restaurants. Forget small and cozy; think instead of grand titanic joints. See Park Row, the colossal Batman-themed eatery in Soho; the twentieth Shanghai-inspired MìMì Meì Fair spans three floors in Mayfair, and Carousel will move from Marylebone to a new three-story townhouse on Charlotte Street.
The private dining room at Rosewood tops the list for Friendsmas, closely followed by the private space at the newly opened Il Boro in Mayfair, a Tuscan restaurant brought to you by the Ferragamo fashion dynasty. Fiend Portobello has the perfect space for private parties, or for those looking for a little imagination, should look at the listed Oliver Messel penthouse and pavilion at The Dorchester.
Next week, The George reopens on Great Portland Street from customs officer Dominic Jacobs and James Knappett from the two Michelin-starred Kitchen Table. They successfully relaunched the Chelsea institution The Cadogan Arms this summer. Other notable, recently improved beverages include The Pigs Head in Clapham and the Chesterfield Arms in Mayfair.