The Handbook
The Handbook
By | 23rd March 2009

Opening in early May this year on the former site of Umbaba in the West End, Alto will represent a complete departure from other high-end nightspots in both design and sensibility. This new lounge bar/nightclub will offer a much needed, light-hearted, carefree and quirky attitude against a backdrop of resplendent surroundings to counteract the gloom of the day.

Alto’s interior has been inspired by the Art Nouveau movement of the turn of the 20th century (1890-1905), credited for bridging neoclassicism and modernism in design. Elegance, true sophistication and upholstered luxury will be showcased in this remarkable space, transporting patrons to a bygone age of decorative splendour.

The 500 capacity venue will be reminiscent of visiting a “Grand Palais” drawing room, offering a variety of areas in which to recline, each boasting an individual

design trademark inspired by the celebrated artists and designers of the day such as Gustav Klimt, Rene Lalique and Antoni Gaudi. The “nest” of tables created at this time alongside the Berger Chair have inspired many individual pieces in Alto.

The West End of London is sadly lacking in sophisticated and independent lounge bars so Alto should be a welcome addition to that scene. As well as the interiors, their live pianist playing Ragtime and Blues “a la Jelly Roll” from 6.00pm combined with classic Jazz occasionally accompanied by sax or a vocal performance will also enhance the new attitude of Alto. As the night draws on Alto will cater to the more decadent reveller providing a superior nightclub experience overseen by Yacine Bouaoni who ran Chinawhite for over 5 years. The operations director will be Fraser Donaldson who most recently founded Crystal nightclub.

The cocktail list will offer drinks that emerged at the turn of the 20th century when the fine art of making cocktails really hit its stride and that have now become classics. Most notably, the Martini and the Manhattan will be served innovative in their time as they highlighted the high quality of the spirit used rather than the garnish or variety of ingredients that could be put into a single drink.

A selection of food platters will be available from 6.00pm until late to satisfy all palettes. Designed to share the platters will range from Modern European to Pan Asian.

Open from 6.00pm until late Alto will add sophistication with a splash of elegant decadence currently craved by those who frequent The West End of London.