Introducing new levels of glamour and visual seduction to a destination recalling one of the 20th Century’s most celebrated fashion photographers, Terence Donovan, the new bar has doubled in size, views have been opened up onto the classic Mayfair street outside and it now has its own street entrance.
The new design is a balance of reflection and shade, shimmering surfaces and matt finishes, and tones layered one on top of another as found in photography. It is a room seen through the lens of an imaginary camera that comes to life like an image emerging in a photographic darkroom providing a canvas for Donovan’s photography to star. The backdrop is classically English – as befits a gracious Georgian building.
The colour palette combines British racing green with tones of white to grey, reminiscent of Donovan’s work. The new, longer bar has been moved centre stage, its magnificent glass bar counter sitting on top of a bronzed panel glimmering like water in an over-sized photographer’s wet tray; the back-bar design is made of glass and gold metal. The bar front is in a ribbed grey leather with painted panelling. Elsewhere, Florentine tables tops from Il Bronzetto are cast in etched glass and have bronze bases.
A focus for the designers was the creation of contemporary new wall mouldings to act as a frame for each work in the collection of Donovan’s photography. Pierre Frey and Dedar fabrics are of velvet, leather and silk in bold, dark bottle green and gold and the original stained-glass windows have been retained.
Arriving via the new street entrance, guests find themselves in a corridor lined with Donovan’s photography, in effect an intimate gallery and prelude to what is to come in the bar.
“We have created a new destination for local people as well as for hotel guests,” says Inge Moore. “The legacy of Terence Donovan was fabulous to work with, not just in terms of the glamorous collection of his photography that we had at our fingertips but in the narrative it lent to our design concept.”