November is here, the days are shorter and the weather a bit cooler, which means it’s time to have more fun inside. Luckily, in London, there’s new art to experience, a new incarnation of The Grill at The Dorchester to try and a new cocktail menu at The Bloomsbury Club bringing magic to the city’s nightlife.
Antony Gormley’s current exhibition at the Royal Academy
Three extraordinary, colorful and interactive contemporary art exhibits are on at the moment. From tunnels to toast, English sculptor Antony Gormley’s current exhibition at the Royal Academy on until December 3, ambitiously showcases his wide-ranging use of organic, industrial and elemental materials: Installations you can walk through made of iron, steel, hand-beaten lead; plus various mind-blowing displays using seawater, clay and even...sliced bread.
Equally impressive is the Olafur Eliasson at the Tate Modern on until January 5, where he uses light, mirror, shapes and patterns to alter the viewers sense of reality. There’s also a section that explores Eliasson’s deep engagement with society and the environment, issues of climate change, energy, migration and architecture. At the Southbank is a major retrospective of celebrated British artist Bridget Riley on until January 26. Spanning 70 years of her work, the exhibition brings together her iconic black-and-white paintings of the 1960s, expansive color canvases, early figurative works and recent wall paintings, as well as Continuum (1963/2005), her only three-dimensional work.
The Dorchester London is turning up the heat with a new look and new chef at The Grill. Set to relaunch on November 12 the latest era in The Grill’s 88-year history will begin under the direction of one of London's youngest chefs, 26-year-old Tom Booton. His British-inspired dishes (think: homemade Stout bread served with black pudding and freshly churned butter; Prawn scotch egg, warm tartar sauce, pickled gherkin; his take on the classic chocolate treat "Double Decker" and more) will complement the fresh new interiors, creating an overall more relaxed dining experience.
A "Pudding Bar" will add an element of theater to the dining experience, as will a "Chef’s Table" for the final course to watch the pastry chefs in action. An incredible and creative selection of sweet treats, innovative cocktails and Champagnes are also set to delight. We cannot wait! Booking is advised; call +44 (0) 20 7629 8888 or visit dorchestercollection.com.
Cocktails at The Bloomsbury Club
For late night fun, head to The Bloomsbury Hotel where the dark, sexy speakeasy-style bar, The Bloomsbury Club, has launched a magical cocktail menu that’s a throwback to the edgy and artsy “Bloomsbury Set” of the early 20th century, a crowd who delighted in magicians and mind-readers. The new menu has 14 cocktails inspired by tarot cards designed in 1910 by the bohemian occultist Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith; each cocktail corresponds with one of the 14 mental states. Upon arrival, guests encounter the Diviner (which looks eerily like the Zoltar machine from the movie "Big"), which “reads” emotions to advise the perfect libation for the state of mind.
We tried the Painted Veil, which mixes vodka, citrus liqueur, Cointreau, Bitter Orange, Pisco and cranberry—a combination said to counter nervousness and fear. It tasted great and definitely was soothing. We also loved the Persian Mist, a concoction of vodka, cognac, East India cream sherry, Indonesian coffee, Persian damask blossom, and golden double cream, said to lift heavy spirits. There’s also a decadent snacks menu with burgers, grilled cheese, fries—you can make a meal of it. On weekends, the bar has a live Jazz band starting at 9 p.m. Between the great music, cozy booths and magic cocktails, it was the most fun we’ve had in a long time! Bookings are essential; call +44 (0) 207 347 1222 or visit thebloomsburyclub.com.