Zoe Fryday visits Gazelle, Mayfair’s luxury cocktail and dining destination. Photography by James Mason
If you haven’t yet heard about Tony Conigliaro and Rob Roy Cameron’s latest collaboration, where have you been hiding? The pair, who are among the top names in the hospitality industry, have recently opened Gazelle, a stylish new venue in Mayfair, London, which aspires to provide a tailor-made experience of luxury, innovative drinks and fine dining.
Tony, who is behind some of London’s top bars, including Bar Termini and 69 Colebrooke Row, spent many months with the team at his experimental flavour consultancy The Drinks Factory fine-tuning the bar and wine lists for Gazelle, with a focus on champagne. The core bar menu includes a mixture of Tony’s signature drinks, bespoke Gazelle variations on the classics and champagne cocktails using Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV. Bar and restaurant manager Michael Carteus explains: “We wanted to create a cocktail menu which, in one way, feels very refined and exclusive, but at the same time also being very accessible. With a blend of new drinks and improved classics, we have created a selection of cocktails which comply with the Mayfair highlife yet stay true to what the Drink Factory stands for.”
Delicate and uncomplicated in their appearance, Gazelle currently offers 17 cocktails in total. A desired choice is the Coral Fizz, made with Tony’s brand new Woltz Rose Vodka, a pure grain vodka infused with rose petals, Peychaud bitters and champagne. “From my experience in the last few years, champagne cocktails have disappeared on the background,” says Michiel. “Being in Mayfair, we had to find a direction, making sure we would be fashionable in the area but also interesting enough to attract people from all over London. Champagne was the answer! We sought to bring back the forgotten glory and also use the fact that champagne’s delicate bubbles are one of the best products to bring certain flavours forward in cocktails.”
Although the primary focus is on champagne, Gazelle also offers a refined wine list, featuring everything from a Spanish Tempranillo to a Marborough Pinot Gris. Customers can even indulge in a glass of Lyrarakis, a unique Greek white wine made with the Assyrtiko grape variety, or try some of the beers, ciders, cold-brewed teas, natural juices and non-alcoholic drinks stocked behind the bar.
Gazelle’s modern interior is just as stunning as the cocktails. Spread across two floors, it has been developed in a characterful Edwardian building on Albemarle Street, an area that brings together luxury retailers, world-renowned fashion designers, eateries and notable art galleries in the heart of Mayfair. Accessed by a private lift, the restaurant forms the first floor, with a spiral staircase leading up to a dramatic cocktail bar and snug lounge upstairs.
Leading interior designer Shaun Clarkson has created a décor that breathes new life into the historic architecture of the building by using bold colour and texture. A selection of chic black and white prints by acclaimed New York fashion and portrait photographer Zachary Michael adorn the walls, both upstairs and downstairs, while plush velvet seating from Hossack & Grey provides the opulence and comfort patrons seek. The interior palette reflects the transition from day to night, with exposed brick walls, deep pinks and golds on the first floor, morphing into rich blues, purples and blacks as you venture upstairs.
The food and drink menus at Gazelle play with convention, reworking ingredients to break down the barrier between the bar and restaurant. The dining menu, created by acclaimed chef Rob, is a creative and exciting approach to modern European cuisine. With a mixture of sharing plates and snacks, the menu is designed to put the guest in control of how they dine, allowing them to create an experience based on their appetite and preferences. A range of light bar snacks offer the perfect accompaniment to cocktails. Rather than focussing on pairing types of flavours with each other, Tony and Rob have experimented more on what is behind the flavours, concentrating on the senses and palate.
Most recently, Gazelle has branched out even further by introducing a new breakfast menu, featuring the likes of Poached duck egg with smoked potato, Black pepper mackerel complemented by tomato and ricotta and lighter options such as Yoghurt, granola, carrot jam and a selection of Italian cheese and charcuterie. To enhance the breakfast offering, cocktails such as Grapefruit Bucks Fizz, Bloody Mary and Peach Bellini sit alongside an assortment of non-alcoholic alternatives.
Gazelle, 48 Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4DH
Behind the scenes
Interior designer: Shaun Clarkson
Main contractor: Target Shoplifters
Fixed seating: Hossack & Grey
Bespoke lighting: Northern Lights
Originally published in the October 2018 print edition of Bar magazine.