The Langham in London ‘re-imagines the Great British pub’ at The Wigmore, reports Mark Ludmon. Pictures by James McDonald
When the team behind the world-leading Artesian bar at The Langham hotel in London said they were going to open a pub, it was bound to be something special. The result is The Wigmore, a modern British tavern specialising in craft beers and cocktails with “British pub fare” overseen by leading chef Michel Roux Jr.
Accessed from the street, it has been created in a former Barclays banking hall that was more recently the hotel’s spa. Drawing on the 1930 building’s original features, the interior has been created by hospitality specialist Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, with a high-gloss palette of green, painted across walls and wood panels plus spots of red and yellow leather and fabric panelling. The main bar at the front is furnished with high tables, upholstered stools and banquettes in green mohair velvet with silk-cushioned detailing around a classic-style timber bar counter with marble top and blue patterned fabric panelling on the front.
At the back, with a curtain for separating it for events, are the “snugs”, with a mix of antique and bespoke furniture such as armchairs and mohair sofas along with silk cushions, loose rugs and books. Here, the colour palette is softer with high-gloss blue and coral.
Heritage lighting specialist Dernier & Hamlyn has created wall lights with hand-blown ribbed glass globes on individually cast and finished back plates. Globes also feature in the main bar’s spectacular 27-arm chandelier, two metres high and two metres across, hand-cast in brass and hand-finished in antique bronze.
Like any good pub, it has a strong line-up of keg and cask ales – cask options included Thornbridge’s Lord Marples bitter, Moor Beer Company’s Raw best bitter and Siren Craft Brew’s Yu Lu loose leaf pale ale on my visit – with more in bottles and cans from around the world. The Wigmore has its own 5.5% ABV Saison beer on keg, made by Brew by Numbers in Bermondsey, London. Complementing these is a list of “hoptails” such as The Saison of the Witch with Bathtub Sloe Gin, spiced cyser mead, mango, grapefruit, fresh raspberries and The Wigmore Saison.
Other cocktails include vintage and modern classics, from a Hanky Panky through to a Colada Nueva made with three rums, passion fruit, mango, coconut and pineapple – created by Michael Butt at London’s Trailer Happiness in 2002, according to the menu. Punches include the moreish Modern Wassail, with Somerset cider brandy, Pusser’s Gunpowder Rum, mead, apple, Bob’s Liquorice Bitters and a blackberry and rosemary sherbet. The menu also recommends G&Ts with different tonics and a range of Tavern Lemonades, based on recipes in 1869’s Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, including grapefruit, ginger, and blackberry and rosemary – to drink straight or with a shot of gin.
The “pub fare” is no less impressive such as masala-spiced scotch egg with dahl relish and stovetop cheese toastie through to ox-cheek and ale pie in a suet crust and paprika-glazed shortrib with bone marrow and thyme crumb. The Wigmore has many of the features of a classic pub but with an inventive, luxury twist.
The Wigmore, 15 Langham Place, London W18 1JA
Tel: 020 7965 0198
Originally published in the October 2017 print edition of Bar magazine.