We always want what we can’t have. As kids, we wanted to be allowed in with the grown-ups. As grown-ups, we want to make it into the VIP lounge. And so on. It’s a mindset that’s well understood by the owners of the Theatreland’s latest hot ticket, Christopher Corbin and Jeremy King. It may be a few years since they sold out their interests in The Ivy and Sheekey’s, but they were the men responsible for the modern-day success of both of these celebrity magnets.
The duo’s talents have, in recent years, been tied up at the Wolseley – a prominent site that’s much more visible from the street than their other creations. Perhaps it’s in reaction to this that the newcomer we review today takes them back to their roots. You could walk past its forbidding black double doors on a curiously nondescript patch of (Lower) Regent Street every day without realising there was a restaurant there. The windows are almost opaque. This place is called a restaurant, but it’s really a club.
That of course, is the joy of the duo’s previous creations. They are clubs open to all’ if you’re famous enough, or book months ahead. BBC Bigwig Alan Yentob, was the famous face on our lunchtime visit during half-price review week, so presumably the rest of media land cannot be far behind. And Jeremy and Christopher were much in evidence, assiduously working the room in that effortless style of theirs.
Unlike The Ivy or Sheekey’s, the calming, Scandinavian-style interior here is a masterwork of understatement. This is simplicity to the point of being stylishly nondescript. The confident presumption is that the Beautiful People will come – which they surely will – and furnish the room.
Oh yes, the food. It’s very good, but not the point.