The Light Bar, which is just a short walk from Charing Cross or Covent Garden Tube Stations, is a cocktail bar, lounge and, subject to demand and numbers, an occasional lively late-night club in St. Martin’s Lane Hotel. The only sign on the entire building that even hints at this site being any more than trendy media offices, is no bigger than my iPhone (I measured it) and it reads “45 Morgans Hotel Group London LTD”. It seems The Light Bar is not concerned with foot-fall, so is filled with those that know… here is what I found.
The Light Bar is split up into three distinctive sections but is not divided by partitions, use or style; but light. The first theme is orange. This included the furniture, tables, wallpaper and carpets. The light seems to evolve from the ground as it fades into a brighter more radiant orange as it ascends, until your gaze is almost forced up to the ceiling where you are met with portraits of Phillipe Starck and his nephew pulling faces (no joke). This set-up continues along the bar but with a different spectrum of light taking charge - from the aforementioned orange, to purple, then green and ending with a brighter orange.
Given the nature of light and colour, when you are sat in the orange section, your perception of the purple will be different from when you are sat in the green… and so on. It is like travelling through a three-dimensional rubix cube made entirely of light. The seating is almost exclusively arranged to accommodate couples and small groups made up of discerning and trendy Londoners. The music is lively yet not interruptive – it would seem that given The Light Bar’s ability to control sound so effectively, it could get away with being called ‘The Sound Bar’.
Having exhausted my knowledge of cocktails to the bartender, he made me my favourite drink – an old fashioned. A drink that had a lot in common with the Light Bar – simple but brilliantly executed. Though this was not on the menu, the staff will happily make you any drink regardless of what they have written down. There is a wide variety of premium bottled-beer, an impressive collection of spirits, and fine and accessible wines – most of which are available by the glass; and table service is efficient and not intrusive.
From the moment you enter the Light Bar, until you leave, there is a constant flow of simple yet exciting features. Whether it’s the design, the lights, the friendly staff, or the cosy close-knit yet intimate seating; The Light bar excites and impresses on all fronts. The Light Bar does set itself apart from the other bars and clubs in Leicester Square on offer; there is a fine line between being 'cool' and 'trying too hard' it remains that how little it seems to try, only adds to how impressive the venue really is.