Following a £55 million redesign by Martin Brudnizki,Mayfair haunt Annabel’s has swung open its doors and unveiled a maximalist dream.
Gone is the old, country house styled basement, replaced by a whirlwind of ritzy bars, restaurants, private dining rooms, cigar salon, nightclub and even a spa – all encircling an open air garden terrace.
Brudnizki's interior design scheme was inspired by a painting of the Garden of Eden. Flora and fauna abound, from the intricate white plasterwork panels bulging with fruit and flowers in the entrance hall, to the tigers, eephants, birds and cheetahs creeping through the nightclub's carpets, walls and mirrors.
The extensive overhaul – not just of the interiors, but controversially the members too – means the newclub has moved two doors down to a gorgeous, Grade-I listed Georgian townhouse at 46 Berkeley Square that, at 26,000 square feet, is three times bigger than its predecessor.
Founded in 1963 by Mark Birley, the private members’ club was named after Birley’s then wife,Lady Annabel Goldsmith. And it has probably the most famous basement in the world. The nightclub has played host to royalty and high society, from Mick Jagger to Liz Taylor, Lady Thatcher to Lady Gaga, anybody who was anybody made an appearance at one time or another.
Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson famously snuck into the club dressed as policewomen to gatecrash Prince Andrew’s stag do, and it remains, according to reports, the only club that the Queen has ever been to. She had a gin Martini, apparently.
The transformation is as lavish and glorious as you would expect from Swedish-born Brudnizki, who has worked alongside the club's owner Richard Carling for more than ten years. Together they have collaborated on some of London's most celebrated venues including The Ivy and Sexy Fish. However Annabel's is one of their biggest projects to date.
The furniture is all as bespoke as bespoke can be, with each pieceupholstered in multiple fabrics, trims, fringes and tassels.The main bar and dining space on the ground floor feature a hand-painted mural by artist Gary Myatt, while gilded de Gournay wallcoverings of Indian scenes and lush foliage decorate the first floor bars.
The piece de resistance? The ladies loos, where faux peonies form a carpet of foliage on the ceiling, andgilded swan taps spout water intohand-carved pink onyx sinks.
Housed on the top floor of the club, they are a joyful explosion of pink.
There are hand-embroidered pink-silk panels on the walls and the ceiling is lined with thousands of handmade pink-silk peonies, complemented by baby-pink onyx sink basins with gold swan taps.
Even the loos themselves are pink.
But the old Annabel’s hasn't been wiped out completely. Onlyone relic remains; the Buddha is a throwback to Annabel's heyday.
Time to get the party started...
Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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