Grosvenor Square is one of the most expensive addresses in the country for a reason. There is the distinguished beauty of the Oval Gardens and just enough buffer between here and Oxford Street. If more quintessential heritage hedonism is required, some of London’s great institutions are discreetly dotted around the place – Scott’s, Le Gavroche, Annabel’s and the others.
Probably the most impressive thing about The Twenty Two. Everyone seems to be in possession of easy charm and the right kind of CV, with GM Darius Namdar poaching an eclectic group from Chiltern Firehouse in particular. Take Darvin, one of the doormen, who has worked at Dukes, Beaumont and Mandarin Oriental, but likes the privacy here and has never been asked before whether he prefers to wear a beanie or a cap. flat at work (it went with a flat cap). Like everyone here, he clearly understands that good service doesn’t have to mean stuffy formality. The little touches are on point and straddle generational divides cleverly – like being offered a large format at breakfast, Viennese style, but then being served a standard Melbourne white dish.
Who comes here?
In the restaurant, there were a few tables of fabulous luvvies, and a few art dealers that sounded like conspiratorial conversations. Heading to the members-only area, we spotted a new breed of rich youngsters: far more global than the Sloanes, and with more MBAs. Also, the kind of sparkly, glittery types you might find at Chiltern Firehouse. Relationships difficult to discern. Excellent people-watching, in other words.
God no. This is a place to escape the family; literally an adult club.
We couldn’t spy on many single-use plastics – but, like many here, it’s hinted rather than shouted.
Accessibility for people with reduced mobility
This still has the bones of the original building, with narrow (and heavy) doors, narrow hallways, and plush carpets. The staff is surely pretty good at finding workarounds, but it’s not ideal.
Is it worth it?
Some of the prices are chilling, but this is Mayfair, and The Twenty Two offers something different – something sexier and more fun, which just might be a marker for the area’s future. So if you can afford it, it’s probably worth it.