This Peruvian member’s club marks the beginning of a trend in London. A new vision from Arjun Waney, renowned restaurateur of Zuma, Roka, La Petite Maison and The Arts Club, the Latin American vibe is both infectious and authentic.
Housed in a Grade II-listed Georgian building that skims the borders of Mayfair, this place has seen a long process to acquire a drinks licence, having been a residential property for over twenty years. With the application having gone ahead, lengthy and painstaking journeys to Incan corners took place to find some beautiful artefacts and inspiration for the venue. Through the reception hall, stairs lead down to the restaurant, while a discreet, very tall and very thin bespoke door leads in to the member’s bar on the right. A huge chandelier with glass drops hangs from the ceiling as you enter, and adds a rich, colonial feel to Latino elements. The walls are distressed with a gold wash and a careful selection of paintings and mirrors grace them. The space is two rooms flowing into each other, the first with a lovely fireplace and a scattering of stately chairs and tables complete with a few woven cushions strewn about. The next room is similar, but holds a bar on one side. Gold, Incan, lattice-style ledges add decor behind the bar and wind lanterns with candles add a soft glow. There is an outdoor terrace with sofas and huge white parasols. One wall has a commissioned fresco graffiti-style piece by Brazilian street artist Loro Verz. Even the toilets have been decorated with original pieces from Lima, such as pottery figurines. The overall decor is subtle and feels both rich and homely as opposed to destructively overdone.
The crowd here is made up of members, so many customers already know one another. Having said that, members can bring up to five extra guests, pulling Coya away from the wrong side of cliquey. The staff are multicultural and seem extremely passionate about the heritage of this place, the drinks, the food and the artwork. Their simple grey uniforms have a tribal border in keeping with the Inca vibe.
Food is served in the member’s bar in the evening and matches the menu of the restaurant below. Members can expect ceviches, tiraditos – a raw seafood dish similar to ceviche - and a selection of other Peruvian delights. Specials appear on a blackboard in colourful, chalk writing and if you wish to eat downstairs in the restaurant, members have access to their own area and a separate small ‘smoking’ terrace, if they so wish.
Primarily a pisco bar, rare and fine tequila is the other order of the day. Large, potion-like bottles on the bartop hold mixers that experienced mixologists match to form a long list of cocktails. The Margaritas are sublime, fresh and innovative and there is even a green jalapeno one - but beware; they are extremely potent. Beer and wine are available too, but it would be a shame not to sample the tequila choices.
The Last Word
A lovely bar to sample some amazing cocktails and a selection of freshly prepared Peruvian classics. The subtle decor feels well placed too, it just seems a shame it’s only available to a select few.