We love London here at Hg2, and not just for its dazzling array of exciting venues, but for the equally as exciting people who live here. Like party girl Tatiana Mercer, for instance, who has just launched BarChick.com – a super-sexy site on which to impart her expert bar-hopping advice. As you can imagine, us hedonists have plenty in common with the anonymous reviewer and we couldn’t wait to pick her brains on what she thinks are the capital’s coolest watering holes.
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Name: Tatiana Mercer.
Profession: Founder of BarChick.com.
Where are you from? Oxfordshire.
Where do you live? London.
In London, what are your favourite…
Bars? Depends on who I am with and what we’re after! Barts for the fancy dress box and speakeasy vibe – you’ve got to love a martini in leather lederhosen. The members’ bar upstairs at Quo Vadis, as the cocktails are amazing and there is always someone weird or wonderful in there. The Beaufort Bar at the Savoy for its service and all that gold! Casita is great for chilling with some cocktails and you can take/order in food from anywhere. Then just around the corner, Callooh Callay as you never know what will be through the secret cupboard. The Portobello Star is always fun, and it kicks off with good tunes at night and owner Jake Burger wins most of the cocktail competitions. More laid-back is the Balham Bowls Club – it’s perfect for a Sunday session. Then the Joiners Arms. It’s a gay pub in Shoreditch – tranny-run karaoke on a Tuesday is something else.
Hotels? Not that I can afford them, but The Mandarin Oriental is faultless and now it is home to Heston’s new restaurant I wouldn’t ever need to leave. I also like The Portobello for its quirky design. I can’t wait to check out the new St. John Hotel, either, and the W Hotel is fun for party-loving types. You can smoke in the rooms, which is refreshing.
Restaurants? Polpo’s new offshoot, Spuntino, is like no other place in London, plus the menu has licorice ice-cream, which is my favourite. If someone else is paying, it will always be Zuma. Ragam near Baker Street is super-cheap and serves delicious Kerelan food – you can eat like a king for a tenner. Not a week goes by without a trip to the Hawksmoor in Seven Dials; I cannot fault it, perfect steak and an incredible bar. Barrafina is the best for lunch, Royal China for dim-sum on a Sunday, and Providores y Tapas for its original take on brunch.
Clubs? The Wellington Club is a favourite (it’s also Mickey Rourke’s); it’s all about fun and doesn’t take itself seriously. The Baja Room at El Camion isn’t really a club, but there’s a DJ and everyone goes a little crazy. Dalston Superstore is awesome, too, and there is a brand new clubhouse/venue hidden in Shoreditch called Five and Nine. It’s the ultimate party place, but it’s private-hire only.
Cafes? The Milk Bar makes awesome coffees and the food is always good. Drink.Shop.Do is really fun and you can do things like Dot to Dot to Disco, or play with clay ’80s style.
Shops? Village Bicycle is about to open on Ledbury Road, it’s going to be insane and unlike anywhere else in the city; think Colette in Paris but with a rockier/London feel. I love Selfridges, especially when it’s not too busy – you can spend hours in there.
Spas? Space NK has a spa above its Westbourne Grove store, which I love but it’s impossible not to spend money if you go in.
Cultural must-sees? Climb Big Ben’s Clock Tower; you have to write to your local MP to ask, though! It’s free for anyone, but you have to wait 3-6 months.
Architectural landmarks? My sister likes to stand underneath the Gherkin as she says it looks like it’s falling over – not sure if this is for everyone, though. The bridges at night, especially Tower bridge. Sitting on the lions in Trafalgar Square, although I did see someone fall off them once. It was hilarious until we realised they had broken their arm,
What’s next for you? We’ve just launched BarChick.com. It took a while to master the art of going to nine bars in one night and remembering it all, but moderation is the secret. It is a lot of fun – a big improvement on my last job in structured finance!