Inside London’s latest hotel cocktail bar

Corinthia London has unveiled its winter warmer: the sumptuous new hotel cocktail bar, Velvet, which has been lovingly designed by David Collins Studio. Editor Hamish Kilburn checked in to explore…

Velvet interior design scheme inside Corinthia London bar

Just slightly beyond the lobby that sits under that striking Baccarat chandelier, Corinthia London‘s best kept secret, London’s latest hotel cocktail bar called Velvet, is sheltered under silky drapes. The new cocktail destination, designed by David Collins Studio, is all about the glamour with a saucy and seductive design scheme that echos the essence of exclusivity and makes guests feel as if they are walking into a private members’ club.

A wide angle of a Velvet-draped cocktail bar

Image credit: Alex Upton

Calling (and mixing) the shots, the new bar sees acclaimed mixologist and drinks expert Salvatore Calabrese, aka ‘The Maestro’, shaking things up with a menu that captures a new, almost sedate, atmosphere for the luxury hotel. “Corinthia London is such a glamorous hotel, and it deserves a sensational new bar,” he said. “We want to celebrate the magic and theatre of hospitality, with a cocktail list of sophisticated classics, that have stood the test of time, alongside modern drinks which are now well-established in the 2020s. Velvet is an intimate bar that we know will become one of the most desirable destinations in London.”

Under Calabrese and experienced bar manager Christian Maspes, Velvet brings back the theatre to cocktail-making, delighting guests with craft and passion in what Calabrese terms ;the music of the shake’.

“The lost art of cocktail making has been beautifully reimagined.” Thomas Kochs, Managing Director, Corinthia London.

Blue sofa with bouquet of flowers in London cocktail bar

Image credit: Alex Upton

The cocktails served up inside balance references to a bygone era with a modern approach to mixology, and subtle, personal twists from Calabrese. A selection of his much-loved creations will feature, such as the Breakfast Martini and Spicy Fifty, alongside a range of non-alcoholic options and a menu of small plates.

The new hotel cocktail bar is the result of meticulous planning from the executive team at the hotel, led by Thomas Kochs, Managing Director of Corinthia London.“We are delighted to showcase our new bar Velvet, which will celebrate ‘joie de vivre’, with a subtle nod to the golden age of cocktails but with a modern approach as well,” he added. “Concealed behind rich, velvet curtains is an elegant and thoughtfully designed setting for guests to meet and have fun, and where the lost art of cocktail making has been beautifully reimagined.”

Velvet has taken the place of Corinthia London’s former bar Bassoon. The furniture has been upholstered in shades of red and royal blue, and deep velvet curtains provide a glamorous feel, alongside convex mirrors, and lavish lighting, as well as commissioned artwork by Robson Stannard positioned either side of a central marble fireplace and throughout the bar. Both the design and the incorporation of a performance space for live music evokes an exciting style of the early 20th century.

Rich design scheme inside London cocktail bar in Corinthia London

Image credit: Alex Upton

“For me, Velvet captures the essence of a mood – the spirit of intimacy, extravagance, and secluded indulgence,” explained Simon Rawlings, Creative Director at David Collins Studio. “It’s about a feeling, the discreet excitement through the pleasure of music and cocktails.”

The arrival of Velvet complements the other prestigious food and drink venues at Corinthia London, including The Garden, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill and The Northall Restaurant & Bar. Since its opening in late 2022, the bar has confirmed the hotel as a key player in the London dining and drinking scene.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the hottest hotels opening in 2023 (Q1 & Q2)?

Main image credit: Alex Upton