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GUILTY PLEASURE

Beach Blanket Babylon

11th Dec 2012

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Beach Blanket Babylon or BBB as its affectionately known was established in 1990 by Robert Newmark, the renowned entrepreneur as part of the Notting Hill revolution. Beach Blanket Babylon was the place to be and still is, that hosted numerous notorious parties attended by numerous international socialites and celebrities. It was during this era that London's restaurant and nightlife scene was really being established, for which Beach Blanket Babylon was a firm part of this.

Beach Blanket Babylon is definitely more than a restaurant and bar - it's a lifestyle. This club for the discerning is withoutmembership and occupies a prominent position in an old Georgian Mansion on Ledbury Road, in the heart of Notting Hill. Robert himself has always proclaimed as being one of Notting Hill's biggest admirers, even though born and raised in Hackney. "I first knew about the place as my dad used to come back home and tell me all about it. I like the area because of its affluence and because it’s where the beautiful people are. To me, it’s like a little pocket of Bel Air. Aside from this, Beach Blanket Babylon is of course famous for its unique interior design that blends boho chic with a French country chateau style. The Baroque, Roccoco, high maximalist feel never fails to inspire even the un-initiated, known the world over as a by-word for opulence and glamour.

The restaurant occupies various spaces, all of which are interconnected by walkways, tunnels, bridges and staircases, with names such as The Chapel, Gallery, Scullery and Crypt, aptly describing each space. Spoilt with choice, guests can dine for either brunch, lunch and dinner, with sumptuous and seasonal menus with decadent dishes such as caviar, foie gras and scallops riand. This is the perfect place to come on a weekend, after you've quite probably strolled the streets and boutiques of Westbourne Grove and the Ledbury Road, to pop in for one of their magnificent roasts or even afternoon tea. For something a bit fiercer, the bar offers a unique environment in itself for exceptional cocktails, fine wines and vintage champagnes, all under the period chandeliers and glow of the grand fireplaces. Or you may choose to crank things up a notch by a grand banquet in the ballroom, that is quite frankly fit for a King. This place epitomizes the very best of Cool Britannia in an environment of sheer unadulterated decadence.

Robert, clearly quite modest, simply puts his success down to good food at an affordable price, though we all know there's a bit more to the magic than that! With this success, Robert opened the sister branch in 2007, in what was then the very newly hip and fashionable Shoreditch. The East London branch occupies several floors and though as equally as glamorous as Notting Hill, the style is eclectic and a downtown New York warehouse feel – over the top, opulent and characteristically cool. Mid 2013 will see the opening of a third Beach Blanket Babylon in Hampstead. Where Notting Hill & Shoreditch will continue to evolve, the Beach Blanket Babylon empire and its international flavour is set to expand even further overseas in the US, Monaco, Ibiza and Paris.

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"With Beach Blanket Babylon, I’m not looking to educate people and the places that I’m looking to expand to, they will get what Beach Blanket Babylon is all about. For it’s the sense of fun, glamour and shiny, magpie glitz that keeps people coming back." - Robert Newark.