Anybody who’s anybody would agree that Mayfair’s iconic and celebrated private members’ club Annabel’s, showcases the paramount of brazen indulgence, brash decadence, and sultry sophistication that keeps enticing you for more.
After three dark and punishing months courtesy of Lockdown 3.0, the washout of the April showers and substandard temperatures had continued to put a bone-chilling dampener on our alfresco affairs.
As a result, the dazzling, luxe-loaded 17th of May reopening of the hospitality world has reignited the nation’s gastronomic spark. Feeling on par with a just-plucked-from-the-tree, icy chilled, glitter dusted peach Bellini on a scorching desert-like afternoon – revitalising, vivacious, and darn delectable.
Along with an abundance of Michelin sanctums and five-star haven revivals, the illustrious Annabel’s had invested their heart and soul into an immersive regal reopening that embodied the height of celestial rapture, celebrating the Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, with a breath-taking recreation of his fabled art works during the foremost of his luminous Golden Period.
The diamond-encrusted, silver spoon birth of Annabel’s took place in 1963 inside the silken domain of 44 Berkeley Square. It is founding father, Eton goer and British entrepreneur Mark Birley lavishly christened this treasured establishment after his now former wife, Lady Annabel Goldsmith; daughter of the 8th Marquess of Londonderry and one of London’s most fabled society belles.
The amalgamation of fashionable settings, sybaritic discretion and a debonair hosting team poached from the capital’s most elite hospitality venues made Annabel’s the most coveted destination with the nation’s moneyed and lionised royals, boasting to have even played host to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2003, whilst she indulged in a smooth, dry gin martini.
It was then in 2007, when millionaire mogul and mastermind behind the acclaimed Ivy Collection, Richard Caring took to the reigns and acquired the club with a tantalisingly show-stopping reincarnation, starting with a new home inside the treasured Grade I listed mansion house in 2018 at 46 Berkeley Square.
Standing tall as Caring’s indomitable collaborator behind Annabel’s design aesthetics, was Swedish native and interiors godfather, Martin Brudnizki. His creative vision mingling eccentric resplendence with mythical like surrealism has, to date, captured the hearts of this aristocratic quadrangle’s blue-blooded society as they bask amongst the ethereal backdrops of a pink onyx back-lit bar, and vibrantly hand-painted glass walls whilst savouring a spiced, pineapple infused Beaty Pearl cocktail.
For the remainder of the month of May, Annabel’s is continuing to welcome discerning members and their guests to lose themselves amongst the hypnotic reopening spectacle inspired by the idolised artist, Gustav Klimt. Klimt was reputed as a rather introverted and discreet individual, choosing to unleash his emotions and expressions through his artworks whilst turning his back against the old age art academics which he deemed lustreless and mundane.
Whilst his creations garnered much controversy with the primary subject revolving around the female body and eroticism, Klimt soon amassed glittering success during his ‘Golden Phase’ through the use of 22-carat gold leaf in his works, most notably ‘The Kiss’.
This artistic odyssey begins from the instant those jewel encrusted shoes touching the ground of Annabel’s, walking under the Tree of Life archway to enter the Arcadian like Eden entrance, and glide through an intricate installation enveloped in shimmering, iridescent hues. Klimt’s paintings have the ability to arouse a medley of hope, love and joy. In celebration of these emotions, Annabel’s have created a reinterpretation of his most powerful works throughout the club’s restaurants and bars to be enjoyed, including his beloved Danaë and Medicine, with, of course, lashings of gold touches.
Keeping in tune with the emotive theme, Annabel’s has also produced a captivating video with a chapter of images honouring human entity in art form and breathing life into some of Klimt’s most priceless subjects in a series of immersive settings all around the club.
A visit to Annabel’s without sampling their exquisitely curated cocktail concoctions would be ludicrously preposterous! Keeping within the gist and essence of gold constantly reiterated in this article, a cocktail menu inspired by the aforementioned artist and his 24-carat shade has been devised especially for this star-studded event.
Guests can enjoy a selection of ambrosian potions including the Judith, which infuses the rich fruit intensity of Hennessy Cognac with the sweet herbal medley of Galliano L’Autentico, and a kick of spiced paprika, all topped with the glitz and glamour of, you guessed it, gold.
Annabel’s fall nothing short of deserving for its title as the grand dame of Mayfair, with its impeccably suave and polished hosts, sublime gastronomical menus, and flawless milieu décor, not forgetting THAT mosaic adorned, crocodile basined bathroom which has heightened the high society’s Instagrammable ecstasy to revolutionary magnitudes. As the nation continues to relish in their freedom from the grip of the lockdown clutches, Annabel’s awaits to host the capital’s most esteemed haut monde with a mesmeric golden escapade which will never be forgotten.
Address: 46, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 5AT
Phone: 0203 915 404
Photography (excluding drinks) courtesy of Paul Farnham