It’s not every day you get to request champagne at the touch of a button, but this wonderfully spoilt option is typical of Bob Bob Ricard, which calls itself ‘London’s most glamorous all-booth dining room.’ It isn't wrong.
Walk in and you are practically assaulted by the look of the place—luxurious, detailed wallpapers are contrasted with marble floors and cobalt blue booths. It’s weird and wonderful; somewhere between a Russian oligarch’s home, a James Bond movie set and the interior of the Orient Express. Designed by the late architect David Collins some years ago, who was also responsible for elegant London restaurants such as Brasserie Zedel, The Wolseley and Nobu Berkeley Square, his aim was to channel the luxury of early 20th century travel, combined with that of an old-fashioned gentleman’s club.
But, despite the opulent furnishings and decadence of the place, there’s no stuffiness; if anything, the service is welcoming and friendly. The newly reopened club room downstairs, which also serves food or just drinks at the bar if you prefer, is even more show-stopping, with sumptuous golds and rubies, moody lighting and a centrepiece sunken floor designed in the style of a backgammon board, with flashing disco lights and funky music playing. It’s utterly fabulous, and worthy of its £3m price tag.
The food is Russian meets English comfort food, but most of us won’t be familiar with ‘comfort’ food along the lines of lemon sole goujons or lobster mac n’ cheese. The baked oysters with Parmesan and truffle oil were melt-in-the-mouth delicious, as was my sea bass ceviche. And Russian dishes such as smoked mackerel and caviar with a vodka shot are obligatory.
At the Club Room’s elegant bar, impeccably smart barmen are both charming and excellent at what they do. The Cucumber Martini, refreshing and light, was up there with the best cocktails I’ve ever tasted (my friend opted for Russian vodka over gin, a natural choice), and there’s plenty of champagne too. But if you are sitting at a booth, there's no need to get up. Just push that button.
Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James St, W1F 9DF. T: 020-3145 1000