From a late night cocktail and dessert bar in Soho to a British brasserie overlooking London's superyachts, Rachel Beard has the lowdown on what to drink, wear and see in the Big Smoke this fall
Basement Sate, Soho
This new Soho drinking den opened September 4 and pairs cocktails and desserts for a late night subterranean sugar fix. The concept comes from Cathleen McGarry, who cut her teeth on the Paris bar scene, and the sweet treats are courtesy of Provençal pastry chef Dorian Picard, who previously worked for Gordon Ramsay. The menu may be all sweetness and light, but the interiors are dark and brooding, with wood paneling, brickwork and copper-topped tables.
The Mondrian London
All eyes are on London's south bank this fall as the Mondrian opens its doors on September 30. Right on the riverfront, this luxe retreat is a collaboration between a crack team of creative and culinary stars from both sides of the Atlantic, with interiors by British design guru Tom Dixon and a restaurant helmed by New York chef Seamus Mullen. The rooftop bar looks set to be a top spot for sundowners and skyline views, and the ground-floor Dandelyan bar will feature cocktails by hipster mixologist Mr. Lyan.
The Goodhood Store, Shoreditch
This two-story flagship store on Curtain Road stocks a collection of threads from high-end designers (Comme des Garçons) and homegrown creatives (You Me Create, Universal Works). The blond wood floors, white walls and edited rails bring a Scandinavian edge to the Shoreditch sartorial scene. The Goodhood Café offers in-store snacks from Borough Market's Elliot's Cafe.
Tom's Kitchen, St Katherine Docks
The latest venture from Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens is a laid-back British brasserie in St Katherine Docks, London's answer to St.-Tropez. In a converted warehouse overlooking megayachts and luxe houseboats, the eponymous restaurant may look stark and industrial, with its brickwork, exposed piping and white tiling, but the menu is pure comfort food (shepherd's pie, beer-battered pollock and chips), and all ingredients are proudly procured from U.K. suppliers and farmers.
The Breakfast Club, South Bank
Having developed a cult following for its kitsch '80s interiors and no-nonsense diner-style menus, the Breakfast Club's winning formula has been distilled into a new location south of the river, just around the corner from Borough Market. But the best bit about this all-day dining joint is its underground dive bar; whisper "I'm here to get lucky" to the wait staff and you'll be whisked through the kitchen to an intimate drinking den for strong cocktails and loud music.
Paperworks, Elephant and Castle
This new open-air venue in Elephant and Castle (a down-at-heel but on-the-up neighborhood in south London) is part street food market, part gig venue, part hipster hangout. The creative hub is a collaboration between a local arts complex and Peabody, a social housing organization. Pair a craft beer with a korean burrito. It's guilt-free gorging — a percentage of the profits will be used to fund local community projects.
The Shrub and Shutter, Brixton
Brixton's latest boozer is an intimate bar from cocktail consultants Salts of the Earth. The drink list features pun-tastic film-themed concoctions like You Can't Handle Chartreuse and Brixton Buyer's Club, and the menu (artfully scribbled on a chalkboard) offers brasserie-style snacks and reasonably priced steaks.
New club openings are a dime a dozen in east London, but at Swingers, the clubbing takes place on a nine-hole mini-golf course in a warehouse off Curtain Road. So far, so Shoreditch. This urban golf club brings together a traditional '20s-style clubhouse bar and a rotating lineup of London street food vendors, including When Mac Met Cheese and Patty & Bun.
Victoria Beckham, Mayfair
The artist formerly known as Posh will open a flagship store in one of London's swankiest neighborhoods this fall. The Mayfair boutique will occupy a prime position on Dover Street, opposite designer department store (and fashion editor favorite) Dover Street Market. VB has enlisted architect Farshid Moussavi (the brains behind the 2012 London Olympic Park master plan) to design the 7,000-square-meter store, which will stock a range of her signature dresses and handbags (with not a platform sneaker in sight).
Opened August 29, Pond serves Hawaiian grub to hipsters in a converted Victorian warehouse in Dalston. Say aloha to dishes like lau lau pork and smoked squid with shichimi hollandaise, and wash it down with a tropical cocktail mixed with London gin.