ou nailed Dry January, smashed Veganuary and are even still going to the gym four times a week. It’s safe to say you’ve earned yourself a good night out – and the capital is more than happy to oblige. From decadent restaurants from some of the biggest chefs in the business to glamorous new bars (and the salons and spas to help get you ready), here’s our guide to the best things to book, see, eat and do in London in February 2022.
The bars: Holy Bar, Silverleaf and La Goccia
Whether or not you opted to be abstemious throughout January, with Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day on the horizon, there are plenty of reasons to raise a toast in February. Knightsbridge regulars will be happy to know that the neighbourhood’s favourite vegan restaurant, Holy Carrot, will be launching its own drinking den this month. Holy Bar will serve botanical cocktails made with Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, alongside plant-based snacks and a series of experiential extras, including crystal therapy and tarot readings.
Over in east London, the City’s newest luxury hotel will be throwing open the doors to its second in-house bar. Located in an opulent space in the 144-year-old Devonshire House, Silverleaf at the Pan Pacific London features design and menu input by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio, as well as the London cocktail luminaries behind Milroy’s and Callooh Callay. Expect uncomplicated yet utterly exquisite drinks perfect for the most sophisticated first date.
If you happen to find yourself in central London, Petersham Nurseries’ Covent Garden outpost will also be welcoming guests into its new La Goccia cocktail bar. Perfectly located for pre- and post-theatre libations, the cosy space features walls lined with art by Spanish painter Jorge Galindo and American figurative artist Alex Katz, among others, while the debut winter-themed menu promises drinks showcasing warming spices and seasonal fruits.
The beauty treatments: Drybar, Duck & Dry and OTO CBD facials
Planning a big date-night for Valentine’s Day? You’re going to want a blow dry then and, happily, cult American brand Drybar has just opened its first UK location at Harrods. As the original blow-dry bar, there are eight cocktail-themed treatments on offer, from the straight-and-sleek Manhattan to the laidback-and-wavy Mai Tai to the big-and-bouncy Cosmo.
If you’re looking for something more all-encompassing, Duck & Dry’s two-week residency at the Four Seasons Park Lane will include a brand new treatment designed to take care of all your pampering needs. The Ultimate Glow & Go Experience begins with a Four Seasons 24ct gold facial and a nail shape and paint before the Duck & Dry team get to work on one of their signature blow dries. Skincare, nails and hair taken care of in 90 minutes? We call that time well spent.
For the full zen experience, meanwhile, head over to the Bokeh Spa at Shoreditch’s Montcalm East hotel, which has teamed up with CBD brand OTO to create a new Firming & Lifting facial. Combining OTO’s award-winning products with sculpting bamboo massage techniques, hot basalt and cool stones, sound therapy and clear quartz are also used to leave you relaxed, refreshed and with a rejuvenated complexion.
The Chinese New Year celebrations: The Gantry and Ting
London isn’t short of great Chinese fine dining restaurants at which to ring in the Year of the Tiger but, for something a little extra special, turn to the capital’s five-star hotels. Union Social at east London’s new The Gantry hotel is pushing the boat out with a special Chinese New Year menu featuring dishes such as ginger scallion sea bass, braised beef shin with glass noodles and nian gao cake. It’s also partnered with sparkling tea brand Saicho to create a menu designed to be paired with its new Eight Immortals tea from the Guangdong province in China, while all diners visiting on 1 February will be offered a free overnight stay in one of the hotel’s elegant rooms.
Ting, the Shangri-La at the Shard’s signature Chinese restaurant, will also be offering a special Lunar New Year menu drawing on traditional dishes from the hotel group’s Asian properties. Highlights include chicken and abalone fried rice with XO sauce, aromatic duck spring rolls and a chocolate and miso bar – all washed down with a limited edition Eye of the Tiger cocktail (Roku gin, yuzu sake, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, agave and aquafaba).
The pop-ups: Rosé Lumierè at Selfridges and Cartier at Harrods
Following its successful Le Tram pop-up last year, Veuve Clicquot is returning to Selfridges’ temporary bar and retail space this month, bringing with it some of its high-end Moet Hennessy stablemates to celebrate fine rosé wines. Offering champagne tastings, wine flights and cocktail masterclasses featuring bottles from the portfolios of Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon, Ruinart and Château d’Esclans, the space will be decked out in the style of a romantic Art Deco French theatre complete with six-seater sit-up bar and pink popcorn.
Over at Harrods, meanwhile, Cartier will be hosting a Tank Personalisation bar offering customers the chance to customise their watches. Available on both new purchases and for those who already own Cartier Tank watches, ready-to-purchase straps will be available in 30 colours while those looking for something really unique will be able to create a one-off strap with their choice of lining, stitching colour, strap shade and engraving.
The culture: Bob Marley: One Love Experience and A Fine Line in Fashion
February promises to be a great month for culture vultures. As well as a series of major exhibitions covering history, art and literature opening at London’s major cultural institutions, this month will also see exciting debuts at some of the capital’s smaller venues. First up, the Saatchi Gallery will be home to a landmark new experience exploring the life and work of Bob Marley. Promising never-before-seen archival photographs and memorabilia, the exhibition will be organised in six parts, including a silent disco, interactive street art room and a 'forest' within which to soak up some of Marley’s best-loved songs.
Elsewhere, South Kensington’s Gray M.C.A gallery will be celebrating London Fashion Week with a show dedicated to the works of fashion illustrator Gladys Perint Palmer. Known for her bold use of colour and expressive, playful way of capturing models on the catwalk, Perint Palmer’s works have featured in publications including Vogue, the New York Times, and L’Officiel. As part of the exhibition programme, she will be offering an in-person masterclass for budding illustrators and an evening in conversation with WWD bureau chief Sam Conti.
Finally, The Hari in Belgravia is showcasing a selection of candid works by Tom Hanley, one of few photographers who was given intimate access to The Beatles during the 1950s and '60s. The exhibit preludes the release of Hanley's upcoming memoir, With a Little Help from My Lens, which is published in April and includes rare and never-before-seen imagery of the band. This includes photographs of John Lennon, taken from Yoko Ono's private collection.
The restaurants: Richoux and Restaurant 1890
Rarely a month goes by without the capital welcoming a hip new eatery but it’s rare that London sees two openings of the calibre of Richoux and Restaurant 1890 in such quick succession. If the Richoux name sounds familiar, it’s because the restaurant boasts a century-long history on Piccadilly – which made it quite the blow when parent company Dining Street announced its closure at the end of 2021 due to the financial impact of the pandemic. Having found a new owner in Naveen Handa, Richoux will reopen with Jamie Butler and Lewis Spencer, previously of Moor Hall, L’Enclume and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, working the stoves. The menu promises impeccable seasonal produce and modern French cooking paying homage to Paris’ grand brasseries.
Restaurant 1890, which opens at the Savoy this month, takes inspiration from the same tradition – with its name referencing the year in which Georges Auguste Escoffier began cooking at the hotel. Appropriately, the Savoy has enlisted a suitably big-name chef in Gordon Ramsay to oversee the £110 per head tasting menu, adding to the two restaurants – the Savoy Grill and River Restaurant – he already boasts in the grand-dame venue. You’ll need to be quick to get yourself a table though: 1890 seats just 26 and will only be open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday.