I had the ultimate pleasure of being invited to review the Playboy Club London, which if you haven’t heard of it, it is a thrillingly decadent adult adventure playground, combining a high-limit casino with destination night-life and unique entertainment. I have to be honest in saying that I really wasn’t sure what to expect, the only time I’d ever seen anything even remotely resembling a Playboy Club was on an episode of Sex in the City…
Situated just metres from the 1960’s Playboy Club in the prestigious Mayfair district, I was to discover that the new Playboy private members club is uninhibited and innovative, representing modern British heritage and old school glamour. (I’m told that it has become the haunt of choice for London’s elite since opening its doors in 2011!)
Quite surprisingly (rightly or wrongly so) the venue has elements of vintage and classic design mixed with modern embellishments.
I was actually quite excited to catch a glimpse of one of the iconic Playboy Bunnies in person, I wasn’t disappointed, they were truly stunning and really accommodating. I was pleased that our host came from Chester originally, I felt right at home! To understand the Bunny you simply have to meet one in person. Bunnies – whether they are croupiers or valets – have a global, magnetic, rare appeal and a subtle beauty. They are an elite, admired, exclusive group of women trained as Bunnies to withhold the finest etiquette standards. They can be found across the whole venue – in Salvatore’s Baroque, Players Bar and on the casino Floor. Playboy Club London Bunnies are staggeringly intelligent, charismatic individuals who consistently strive to be at the top of their service career…they do so with charm, wit and warmth that is alluring both to male and female members.
I was really treated to the full experience, which began, rather nicely so at cocktails then ventured onto food and then entertainment.
Although Playboy Lounge operates as a private members club, it does have an option for non-members can experience access to the ground floor – Salvatore’s and Baroque – via table bookings and guest list. This is where my journey down the rabbit hole began.
Salvatore at Playboy
Salvatore at Playboy is a world-renowned cocktail bar on the ground floor with Salvatore Calabrese – ‘the Maestro’ – at its helm, unquestionably the world’s best mixologist, a man whose patrons include Robert De Niro, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stallone and The Queen herself! I’d actually been invited to The House of Peroni the night before where Salvatore’s son, Gerry did an exclusive cocktail making master class, which was unreal! I knew I was in for a treat with Salvatore at the helm!
Salvatore at Playboy Club London is an intimate luxuriant self contained cocktail bar showcasing the world’s finest collections of liquid history specialising in vintage cognacs dating back to the 1700’s, which really are of the variety of the ‘seen to be believed’.
I was left spoilt for choice as I was faced with the most exceptional cocktail creations a cocktail lover could wish for including the infamous Spicy Fifty, the Breakfast Martini and a range of classic cocktails created with vintage spirits, mixed with vintage shakers and stirrers and served in vintage glassware.
Salvatore at Playboy has won a plethora of awards including the prestigious ‘London’s Best Bar’, and Salvatore himself took home the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award’ and his fame has spread far and wide.
Judy Joo at Playboy
After a couple of the most exquisite cocktails I have ever tasted, I was escorted to Judy Joo’s restaurant, which is nestled in intimate surroundings, which truly provides a modern take on comfort food that will entice the most discerning palette.
I was told that Executive Chef Judy Joo is a familiar face on TV and in the US Magazines with a growing celebrity following.
The menu offering did not disappoint! Here’s a peek at the amazing food we were treated to:
Baroque at Playboy
After a stunning meal, we had ‘one for the road’ as we journeyed back to the ground floor to Baroque at Playboy, the brainchild of Gerry Calabrese…an unashamedly decadent nightspot which hosts a series of seductive cabaret nights from Thursday to Saturday that culminate with DJ’s until 3am for true revellers. Baroque harks back to the 1960’s with a riveting entertainment programme including the Baroque Cabaret Troupe, the Baroque Big Band and some of London’s finest DJ’s set against the lavish surroundings of a vintage Champagne and cocktail bar. With Champagne Towers providing a welcome spectacle for guests there are also Gourmet sharing platters and caviar to accompany.
The champagne was the perfect end to a wonderful evening that left me certain that I will return soon! The musical Jazz tones ended the evening on the perfect note! Leave your preconceptions at the door – The Playboy Lounge is a delight to be experienced! Mark my words!
Situated on 14 Old Park Lane, Playboy Club London is a leading Mayfair private members club and casino. It is completely unique on the London scene as the only members’ destination that has the added pull of a gaming floor.
The venue is open 24 hours 7 days a week. It is the only home to the official London Playboy Bunnies. Playboy Club London leaves a lasting impression representing quality, style and contemporary refinement.
Salvatore at Playboy is open Monday to Saturday from 6pm-2am. Baroque at Playboy is open Thursday to Saturday from 8pm-3am. Judy Joo’s restaurant is open 7 days a week from midday-1am. The Casino floor and Players Bar are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Playboy Club London opened in June 2011 with Hugh Hefner in attendance after great anticipation and affection towards the 1966 Playboy Club which closed in 1981 as Playboy Enterprises took a 30 year hiatus, and turned attention away from the casino world.