An institute in itself, Ralph Lauren’s ability to provide luxury to the masses (who isn’t familiar with the brand’s logo and iconic preppy American design?) is not something to be sniffed at. The irresistibly seductive smell of organic roasted coffee beans and fresh oysters drifting from the door at 169 Regent Street however, most certainly is, as the store opens Ralph’s Coffee & Bar later this week; the musical clinking of ice and a seductively lit mahogany interior represents a siren call for superior tastemakers.
The remarkably sophisticated establishment is part of Ralph Lauren’s growing hospitality group. Chicago boasts RL Restaurant, Paris is home to Ralph’s, The Polo Bar has been a popular spot for New Yorkers since 2015, and now London has stepped up to the (monogrammed china) plate with Ralph’s Coffee & Bar, nestled in the three-storey flagship store on Regent Street.
A gentleman’s-club-come-coffee-bar, the designer’s heritage is carefully woven into the intimate space, with leather saddle banquettes and equestrian artwork, a subtle but signature nod to the RL logo and house’s affinity with polo which is as welcoming as is it stylish. The brass-topped bar and dark wood panels create an atmosphere of warmth, nostalgia and exclusivity that is a veritable haven amid one of London’s busiest streets. But Ralph’s Coffee & Bar is more than just a pretty space; personality and substance come in the form of top quality food, custom blend coffee, and rakish cocktails like Old Fashioneds and the Ridgway Margarita (a best seller in The Polo Bar) that will whet your appetite for the delicious bar snacks and sharing plates on offer.
The store itself represents an exciting moment in Regent’s Street history, but the unusual move to bring customers both one of their favourite brands and a space to take the weight off and recharge presents an experience few others can provide; ‘shop til you drop’ no longer sounds like a mild threat when dropping into Ralph’s is such a restorative experience.
Ralph's Coffee & Bar, 173 Regent Street, Mayfair, London W1B 4JQ.