Aug. 24th, 2011

Celebrity Haunts | A Guide to London Nightlife

Photo Courtesy of NOBU

It’s the end of the summer and you are on a euro tour. You happen to make a stop in London. Here are five haunts that are not to be missed. Note the emphasis on the word “haunts” as you will spot celebs at a given time in any one of these venues. This list was created taking into consideration luxury and variety. Among the list are two private members venues and three restaurants (two of which are Michelin starred).

Nobu Berkeley

Nobu commands the top spot on the list based on the largest buzz factor. Or perhaps, it’s my infatuation with good sushi and fascination with the scores of paparazzi that reside by the front entrance. The Mayfair Michelin star haunt oozes sophistication – from the paparazzi laden façade and minimalist dimly lit front bar to the spiral staircase leading to the main restaurant. The crowd is very beautiful and trendy. Even the servers are gorgeous – leading one to wonder whether they have all been hired from a modeling agency. Besides the ambience and socializing with celebs, the sushi is quite good and reasonably priced. Plan in advance as reservations can take up to three weeks unless you get lucky otherwise.

Kensington Roof Gardens

KRF is a close second. This multi-purpose private members venue located in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea is owned by Richard Branson, a.k.a. King of the Virgin empire. As such, it exudes upscale charm. From the moment you step into the elevator to arrive at the entrance, you begin to notice the intricate details – the multi colored lighting, the airy interior, the private VIP rooms exquisitely decorated in high glam. The venue commands an impeccably dressed crowd. Last but not least, the outdoor gardens - the main draw is amazing. With several bars surrounding the main courtyard, a Moroccan themed corridor stocked with hookahs, a BBQ area to order food from with views of London, it’s the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night. Entry is possible by guest list available through the venue’s web site. Apply in advance.

Shoreditch House

Next on the list is Shoreditch House in East London. Situated in a former biscuit warehouse factory in hipster-chic Shoreditch, the venue is normally only accessible to members. However there’s another way to access it. The venue runs a boutique hotel and for a reasonable payment per night, you can access uber-trendy Shoreditch action. And the action in the multi-level venue are: a buzzy lounge bar, a rooftop pool with views of London, a bar with two bowling lanes, a gym, a restaurant and mingling with London’s media elite. With that sort of ambience, no wonder it’s an A-list celeb hotspot.

J Sheekey

Located in Convent Garden in the middle of London’s theatre district – this seafood restaurant is tucked away in the hustle and bustle of the West end. Perfect for pre- or post- theatre dinner. On first sight, it looks plain drab but don’t be fooled. With burgundy and cream colors, the interior is warm. Additionally, the walls are adorned with photos – giving of a 1920s jazz venue ambience. And in that ambience is where A-listers are making deals while reveling in the food. Of course one doesn’t really come here to hobnob with celebrities but instead to savor seafood glory. The shellfish options are extensive. Must try dishes are the monkfish and the fish pie – simply amazing. Reservations a couple of weeks in advance are highly recommended.


Based in Soho, the entrance to the upscale Chinese restaurant is an obscure hole in the wall. However on entry, the blue-lit, maze-like setup feels as if you have been transported to somewhere in futuristic Asia. The food is amazing at the Michelin star restaurant. The dim sum is undoubtedly the best I have ever had. The wagyu beef is a specialty as well. Reservations in advance recommended as the door staff are pretty strict.

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Carol Driver
A journalist with more than 12 years' experience writing, subbing and editing at national and regional publications and websites in the UK. Luxury NEWS >