The strikingly elegant white Georgian townhouse that is Kettner’s has once again opened its doors following an extensive makeover by new owners Soho House, enhancing its old magic and restoring its former sparkle. The white-tuxedo donned barman is ready to welcome you for a champagne afternoon tea in the Champagne Bar, or why not enjoy a spot of live music and a cocktail in the Piano Bar, and everything from a traditional trolley carved roast beef with all the trimmings in the Restaurant on Sundays to classic brasserie dishes served day and night seven days a week.
In keeping with its reputation as a house of pleasure, Kettner’s Townhouse now also offers a bed for the night – 33 to be precise, not to mention newly installed lifts to help with the old luggage. There’s such a charm about this place that it made me wince to think what they were going to do to it, yet I am wholly thrilled with the result. It’s darling.
First opened in 1867, myriad period details remain, including the restored mosaic floor, while the sympathetic interior design harks back to London during a time when the likes of Oscar Wilde was a regular and would seduce lovers over a drink or two. To sup a glass of the finest in Kettner’s is as close as you’re likely to get to meeting him or their other famous, late guests such as Agatha Christie or Winston Churchill. Ideally located for the West End, Kettner’s has, and always will be, a supremely popular spot for theatre goers, nor will you be surprised to see the stars themselves enjoying a restorative tipple in the bar after an intense evening of theatrics.
For my part, the Champagne Bar was the ideal venue to while away an afternoon with a good friend over tea, cakes, fizz and lashings of gossip and clotted cream, a far more plush and appealing space than it used to be with cosy corners the prime seats for watching champagne corks aplenty being popped. Our three-tier stand was armed with finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and patisserie made on site every day – as fine as anything you’d find in Paris. They were also incredibly accommodating about my desire to switch champagne for a non-alcoholic cocktail (a startling thought in hindsight) and happily provided top drawer gluten free sandwiches, scones and cakes. It’s set to become a new haunt of mine and perhaps Oscar Wilde will put in an appearance one of these days.
Champagne Tea at The Champagne Bar, Kettner’s Townhouse is priced at £30pp including a flute of Ruinart Champagne and tea of your choice. Served Monday to Sunday 3pm – 6pm. For more information and reservations please visit the website.