Conceived by interior designer Bryan O’Sullivan, with a stunning installation by artist Annie Morris, the intimate bar is perfectly positioned on the ground floor of the landmark Mayfair hotel. Overseen by new Director of Mixology Nathan McCarley O’Neill, The Painter’s Room is set to continue Claridge’s legacy as offering one of the premier cocktail experiences in London, joining the dark and glamorous Fumoir and the iconic Claridge’s Bar.
With a back story rich in art and design, The Painter’s Room is named as a homage to the same space at Claridge’s that was created in the 1930’s with murals by renowned artist Mary Lea. Positioned in the space bridging Claridge’s ballroom and the Talking Heads Gallery by Artist in Residence David Downton, The Painter’s Room has been reimagined by Bryan O’Sullivan, who found inspiration in old 1930’s photos from the archives.
The venue’s whimsical aesthetic pays tribute to the hotel’s Art Deco design heritage, with pale pink onyx showcased prominently. The bar, in blush-colored stone, is the stunning center piece, and is complemented by a skylight of peach- and cream-coloured glass. The metal work in the skylight takes inspiration from the signature Deco design doors of Claridge’s, and in the center is a show stopping, intricately designed Deco light.
British artist Annie Morris was specially commissioned to create an installation which runs across the entire space. A painted monochrome mural above the pink onyx features her iconic whimsical characters in addition to her first-ever stained-glass work, which is at the heart of the bar. Morris found inspiration in the historic relationship between bars and artists, and how artists sit, observe, sketch and chat within them. The mural reflects the free sketch style with which one would scribble on the back of a menu. Morris’s characters additionally appear on the menus and are monogrammed onto the bar team’s jackets. The stained-glass installation, made from hand-blown glass, features rich hues which juxtapose with the simple grey lines of the drawings on the walls. The work was originally dreamt up as a watercolor painting, which is reflected in the final piece. The entire installation took a year to conceive.
Spearheaded by new Director of Mixology Nathan McCarley O’Neill, the drinks menu for The Painter’s room will focus on cocktails. Each creative concoction takes inspiration from the culture, art, and design of Europe and the menu is divided into four chapters: Light, Interpretations, Complex and Clean. Ingredients are at the core of the creative process and are all deeply considered to result in drinks that celebrate flavors in their purest, most simple form.
As with all experiences enjoyed at the hotel, every detail has been considered. The bar team’s jackets are traditional painter’s jackets, in a blue that was inspired by American fashion photographer Bill Cunningham. Food will be small plates ranging from crispy scampi to beetroot tartar, and hip-hop remixes, French electro-pop and jazz will set the scene for what is sure to be London’s newest hotspot.
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