Nestled in the centre of Soho’s Kingly Street, The Court, which opened on 18 February this year, occupies the former site of music venue Bag O’Nails, which Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles were known to frequent. The club’s founder, entrepreneur Harry Mead, has a vision to capture the iconic charm of clubs of the past with The Court and has recruited a roster of impressive talent to propel his dream: Michelin-starred Tom Sellers has created the menu, award-winning mixologist Ryan ‘Mr Lyan’ Chetiyawardana is on the drinks, there is vibrant art by Bradley Theodore dotted around the space and floral arrangements by Wild at Heart’s Nikki Tibbles. Mead also hosts every night.
As you enter at street level it feels immediately exclusive. We caught a glimpse of a private dining space down the corridor and the indigo walls and low lighting are offset by a colourful masterpiece by Theodore, known for his expressive paintings. This one is a kind of skeletal, aristocratic last supper. We are led downstairs into the Gatsby-esque dining room/cocktail bar: a coalescence of luxury fabrics and gold. There are plush booths in rich navy, and velvet orange tub seating surrounding gold-edged tables. Smoked mirrors and low lighting continue the club’s cosy exclusivity and the well-lit piano stage towards the back of the room provides a sense of Golden-Age charm. It’s like a very luxurious and welcoming living room, making you feel instantly comfortable.
Sellers’ menu is tempting and refined, with a choice between smaller plates, larger plates, bar snacks and desserts. The mouthwatering offering made it difficult for us to choose between dishes but we opted for artichoke and lobster to start, which arrived with the lightest, fluffiest pea puree we have ever tasted, and the 45 day-aged steak tartar – both delicious precursors to the artfully presented miso aubergine and succulent Cornish turbot mains. Much like the design of the restaurant, the dishes are carefully considered both in flavour and presentation and the portions are generous. Part of The Court’s vision is to hold special events for its members, and the night we visited there was a fun whisky tasting in collaboration with Glengoyne, which involved five different whiskies paired with delicious chocolates by William Curley (this all happened before we had even ordered our meal). This meant that by the time dessert rolled around we were already pretty full, so we decided to share a moreish strawberry tart with vanilla chantilly (if you can fit it in, definitely order a whole one for yourself – it’s seriously good).
Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan, the award-winning mixologist behind Lyaness, formerly Dandelyan) adds to the impressive roster of The Court’s contributors, with his carefully curated cocktail list, which includes a sayre negroni (using Sri Lankan spiced gin), and a wild at heart – a light and fruity take on the Aperol spritz. There’s an impressive wine list and the semi-circular bar –with its comfortable swivel chairs, wood panelling and glamorous amber glow – could well be one of the glitziest places to enjoy a nightcap in the capital.
A three-course meal for two with cocktails is around £170. Membership is £600.
The Court has got it all, from friendly staff who make you feel like part of their circle by the end of the night, to delectable dishes and nightly entertainment – it oozes exclusivity and old-world charm and is definitely worth frequenting on a regular basis.