Exciting news for anyone traveling to London this summer: the legendary Blue Bar at The Berkeley, created by the late design great David Collins, just reopened after a six-month restoration by one of Collins’ former design protégés, Robert Angell.
With its distinctive signature Lutyens blue color, the Blue Bar helped spearhead the popularity of the vibrant London hotel bar scene when it first opened in 2004. While still being respectful to the original Collins design and historic Lutyens paneling, the Blue Bar has been restored and extended with a dramatic new glass pavilion created by longtime friend of the hotel Richard Rogers and his company, Rogers Stirk Harbours & Partners. Meanwhile, Robert Angell has sensitively masterminded the evolution of the Blue Bar design to enhance the overall bar experience. “I am very touched and proud to have been asked to work on this distinguished bar at The Berkeley,” Angell said. “I was particularly mindful of respecting David’s design legacy whilst still trying to add a touch of my own aesthetic.”
The iconic wooden paneling, designed by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, came from the original Berkeley Hotel when it was based in Piccadilly; it’s been restored and painted in the distinctive Lutyens blue with additional touches of reds, black, and silver. Still in place is the dramatic central lighting structure: an authentic Lutyens design known as the Cardinal Hat, with elegant suspended red tassels and broad flat glass rims that diffuse the light. A blue bar, topped with onyx, dramatically takes center stage on a floor of white marble and dark crocodile-print navy leather, mirrored by blue leather touches on the bespoke furniture, which has been custom-designed by Angell himself.
The menu of “Cocktails with True Colour” has been created by bar manager and mixology expert Rashid Ghuloom to pay tribute to the use of color in the bar. This new menu offers an array of bespoke cocktails that increase in potency depending on the color chosen, ranging from the subtle green section to yellow champagne cocktails to potent red highballs and finally a selection of favorites within the blue cocktails. Ghuloom tells us his menu of inventive and colorful cocktails is poised to put Blue Bar back on the map of London’s hottest places, but as far as we’re concerned, Blue Bar is—and always has been—perennially cool.
For more information about Blue Bar and The Berkeley Hotel, visit www.the-berkeley.co.uk.