With its al fresco winter garden and chandelier-studded Crystal Moon Lounge, guests at Corinthia London are already spoilt for choice when it comes to stylish drinking spots. But this November, the five-star hotel will open one more: Velvet, helmed by cocktail connoisseur Salvatore Calabrese – affectionately known as the ‘Maestro’.
Taking the place of the hotel’s former bar Bassoon, Velvet will feature a mix of classic and more contemporary cocktails. The menu will ‘balance references to a bygone era with a modern approach to mixology’, serving some of the Calabrese signatures, such as the Spicy Fifty and the Breakfast Martini. There will also be a selection of non-alcoholic drinks, plus some small plates to nibble on.
Velvet will also feature reimagined interiors courtesy of David Collins Studio – the name behind projects like the Connaught Bar. Suitably glitzy, the new venue will have deep velvet curtains, convex mirrors, lavish lights and furniture upholstered in shades of red and royal blue, plus a central marble fireplace and art commissioned by Robson Stannard.
‘Corinthia London is such a glamorous hotel, and it deserves a sensational new bar,’ said Calabrese. ‘Velvet will be a seductive, intimate bar that we know will become one of the most desirable destinations in London.’
Calabrese is widely regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious bartenders. His passion for mixology began at a young age, while he was working in a bar on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. He moved to London and got a job at the renowned Duke’s Hotel, where he developed a niche market for rare and aged cognacs. Soon, he acquired his nickname as the ‘Maestro’, thanks to his experimentation with drinks and exotic cocktail creations.
Not one for doing things by halves, Calabrese is responsible for making the most expensive cocktail in the world, which is served at The Playboy Club in Mayfair and comes in at a whopping £5,500 per glass. He’s also behind the world’s oldest: Salvatore’s Legacy, which contains rare liqueurs with a combined age of 730 years.
Velvet will open on 7 November at Corinthia London, Whitehall Pl, London SW1A 2BD, corinthia.com