“TO THE 5TH FLOOR, SWEETIE DARLING…



“The stunning new Fifth Floor Champagne Bar is inspired by Emile Gallé’s iconic 1902 anemone design for the Cuvée Belle Époque Champagne bottle”. That’s what Harvey Nichols (London) website states.

Emile Gallé was the French artist who is nowadays mostly associated with precious and highly valuable glass vases and lamps of the turn of the century, and is considered one of the leading artists of the Art Nouveau movement.

If he knew he was associated with the garish, gaudy, cheap, chintzy, glittery, kitschy decor of the bar, he would probably be turning into his grave (made of cherrywood with vine-like tendril patterns I imagine and possibly lined with a purple, stamped velvet with iridiscent voluptuous plant patterns. Nothing more).

Harvey Nichols (London) Bar on the 5th floor

Harvey Nichols (London) Bar on the 5th floor

Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque champagne

Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque champagne

Galle Pear Souffle vase, 1890

Galle Pear Souffle vase, 1890

Emile Galle floral vase, 1910

Emile Galle floral vase, 1910

By Galle

By Galle

Tassel House (Brussels) by Horta, c.1893

The acme of Art Nouveau decoration: Tassel House (Brussels) by Horta, c.1893

I don’t think I had been to the top floor bar since circa 1997 when ‘Harvey Nichs’ was a hip and fashionable place to be and be seen for the Ab Fab generation. And this 15-odd-year hiatus was our punishment. To add insult to injury, not only the interior was ghaslty but the service had ‘attitude’ (with terrrible tattoo. On.her.neck) and was inefficient (they sulked and ignored us for a good ten minutes after we turned down a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc that wasn’t to our taste. Only human). So not a great start.

But things started to look up when we were finally ushered to the restaurant. To go to our table – the big, round one at the back (there were seven of us)- we had to walk through the whole room.

The first thing that catches your eye is of course the impressive domed,chequered-patterned, faux-skylight ceiling, itself reminiscent of the  magnificient domed, glass ceiling in the Great Court of the British Museum, which gives charisma and aplomb to the room.

Great Court of the British Museum

Great Court of the British Museum

I found the interior tasteful and quite pretty.

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BASQUE IN THE SPRING



If you are looking for a quiet, current but unspoiled and unpretentious place to eat in Central London that will most importantly titillate your tastebuds, Donostia is the place. This small restaurant, only five minutes’ walk from Marble Arch (and conveniently from my flat) in Marylebone’s villagey Seymour Place,

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PAD Paris 2013



 

It’s that time of the year when my favourite fair is about to take place. Since its inception in 1997, PAD, the Pavilion of Art and Design, has become the crème de la crème when it comes to showcasing 20th and 21st Century works of decorative art and design. It is now synonymous with

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