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Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sequence, Islington (CLOSED now Bar Prague): Sanctum, Soho


Islington needs new bars like I need new shoes; i.e. not! - but it keeps happening anyway. Welcome to Sequence (pictured), ‘London’s first multimedia bar’ we’re told. Free wi-fi, video-games and vintage cartoon clips projected onto bare walls: Hmm, innovative! We order £7 Whitley Neil dry martinis; they come wet, but otherwise, resident Italian shakermaker is on the ball. Decor is inoffensive; I’m feeling four star hotel in Bodrum - a truly rad departure from the indie-grungy Essex Rd norm. Mark (Embassy Club) Fuller’s Sanctum Soho, a boutique hotel occupying adjoining townhouses, is firmly aimed at rock’n’rollers. The quirky pile offers private cinema, brasserie and individually styled hi-tech rooms decked out in bad-ass badda-bling. Up-lit bathtubs-cum-Cristal chillers are strategically positioned at the feet of porno-tatsic beds the size of Belgium - ideal for you and all of The Pussycat Dolls. At the hotel’s launch, we smirk at such OTT design. ‘Were the Cheeky Girls involved?’ ponders superchic date, before a podgy Eurotrash gnome in cheap tailoring and kiddie-sized cowboy boots - think Sarko, les années Krispy Kreme - demands she ‘show us ‘uuure teetees!’ What’s French for ‘ever had your lights punched out, Napoléon?’ Directly overlooked by various offices, a decked roof terrace - all loungers, jacuzzi and champagne in plastic flutes, presumably lest they’re chucked overboard? - includes a bar housed in what looks like a Neasden home extension. Not exactly Shoreditch House! Guests only may access this playground, but check in with a couple of mates - cheaper than the price of separate cabs back to the sticks - and you too can live the high life like Pearl Lowe back in the day.  

Bar Sequence, 43 Essex Rd N1 7683 0751

Sanctum Soho, 20 Warwick St. W1 7292 6100