The Handbook
The Handbook

There are a few things that you might normally be expected to do when you’re awarded the accolade of best bar in the entire world. Maybe open a bottle of Champagne, utter a muted whoop for joy or help yourself to an extra Weetabix at breakfast, you know, that kind of thing. What you don’t expect is to shut the whole joint down.

Except, that’s exactly what Ryan Chetiyawardana did when his bar Dandelyan was lionised as the best in the world back in September. The shutters finally fell last month and now Lyaness has arisen from Dandelyan’s metaphorical ashes. And it’s even better.

The first thing you notice is that it’s in the same place. Although technically it isn’t because Mondrian Hotel, in which it sits, has also undergone a metamorphosis, re-branding as Sea Containers London. But either way, it remains in the Thames-side ground floor position it’s been in for the last few years. But everything inside is different. Named after Chetiyawardana’s 2018 International Women’s Day pop-up that ran at bar Super Lyan, the interior is a gorgeous palate of powder blue, greys and golds channeling a 1920s chic and a 1970s retro. The work of creative director Jacu Strauss, and the team at Lore Studio, who also created Amsterdam’s Super Lyan with Chetiyawardana’s, Jacu has come full circle given he was also instrumental in the design of the original Dandelyan, this time under the direction of Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio.

The twin focuses of the redesign is upon the dual theatres of the bar and the view across the Thames. The results are impressive, but that’s before we move onto the drinks.

As you’d expect from a menu created by arguably the greatest living mixologist, the cocktail menu is impressive despite not being intended as a menu at all. The new concept at Lyaness signals a move away from a traditional cocktail menu, and toward a more  “playful approach to the drinking experience”.

What that looks like is a menu sectioned around ingredients rather than cocktails. The idea is that you can then be ‘connected’ to your ideal drink. We’re excited about the flavours on offer, which include something called ‘infinite banana’, so we’re clearly in for a treat.

We can’t wait to test-fly Lyaness for you, but we’re already certain that it’s going to be top (infinite) banana, so let’s drink to that.