By Michelle Connolly Wednesday 26th Aug, 2015
The O2
Peninsula Square
SE10 0DX
0208 643 2367
Named for the flight path between the Big Apple and the Big Smoke, NY-LON doesn’t just take its name from the two stylish cities – their influences spread throughout, from the cocktail menu to the food. Lovechild of Virgin and Delta airlines, this bar takes the concept of the airport lounge to new heights – and locations. Specifically, The O2 in North Greenwich.
Greeted by the lovely hostess at the stylish reception, we were whisked upstairs and shown around. The airport-style ticker greeting guests as they enter was a very cute touch. The first thing that strikes you as you explore is that the style is very distinctive. This definitely isn’t a bar trying to fit in with the shabby-chic fashion. It is unashamedly glamorous, taking design cues from the heyday of flying with influences from the Atomic Age of the 1950’s – when it was still an occasion to board a plane. On arrival upstairs we’re shown the VIP area near the entrance, and secret doorway behind the bar that houses a beautiful Magic Carpet room for up to sixteen guests, ideal for business meetings that need a little panache.
Carrying on down the gangway, specially created to make you feel like you’re about to board, you’ll see other iconic destinations named on each of the pillars. Entering the main bar you’re welcomed with a dazzling curtain of metallic beads swirling around a central seating area, illuminated with downlighters. Inside are vintage style cream seats circling round mirror topped tables. The walls and the face of the bar itself have angled blades jutting out, reinforcing the name ‘The Propellar Bar’, which was a nice touch, while futuristic light fixtures hanging above represent clouds. Surrounding the walls are a series of rich red booths, each with their own ‘call’ button to summon service from one of the many staff – not that you would need to use them. The staff were fantastically attentive, almost anticipating our needs before we could ask at times.
Both the drinks and food menus are heavily influenced by the cities that make up NY-LON, with helpful descriptions of the cocktails, and a food menu split down the middle. Cocktails went from the classic to the unique, and with talented head barman Paul at the helm.
There’s no prizes for guessing which one caught DC’s eye – the 30,000 Feet, a variation on the Old Fashioned with hints of fruit, and consisting of Woodford Reserve bourbon, maraschino cherry and juice, Peychaud’s bitters, and gin barrel aged orange bitters. Their wine selection was also well executed, and we enjoyed a glass of both red and white during the meal.
While drinks and chat are the focus here at NY-LON, care has been taken to create a well-crafted food selection. Small plates are available, as are larger sharing platters. Not one to mess about, we set to work on the fabulous seafood platter, with a few side plates to keep it company. The meatballs were moist and tasty, the tomato avocado tartare fresh and zingy, but our favourite was the macaroni cheese – creamy and gooey, with perfectly done pasta. The Sea platter was more than enough for two, with generous helpings of crab salad, peppered mackerel, smoked salmon, prawn cocktail and heaps of moreish soda bread. We were pleasantly surprised to have the opportunity to try the Land platter as well, it would have been rather ungentlemanly to refuse. Salt beef, pastrami, wallies, sauerkraut and crusty rye bread with a side of delicious beetroot slaw went down a treat, and we lingered a few hours enjoying the food, the drinks and the atmosphere.
Once again I have to say how well the staff looked after everyone, observing the other tables its clear that they have selected some great people – everyone we spoke to was knowledgeable, friendly and genuinely enthused to chat with us.
So if you’re looking for a little bit of glamour pre or post-gig at the O2, you won’t go far wrong flying with NY-LON.