Putting on a Fashionable Feedbag

By Mark Faithfull

From Prada’s Bar Luce in Milan to Burberry’s Thomas’s café in London, global luxury brands are increasingly recognizing the part food and drink have to play in enhancing the retail and brand experience. Ralph Lauren is the latest to follow suit in Europe, launching its new café adjacent to its Polo Ralph Lauren European flagship store in London’s West End.

The prayers of the capital’s best-dressed preppies have indeed been answered: London now has its own version of Manhattan’s celebrity-filled Polo Bar in the form of Ralph’s Coffee & Bar, now open alongside the Polo Ralph Lauren flagship on Regent Street. The intimate space, with just 24 seats and 12 places at the bar, builds on the success of Ralph Lauren’s existing restaurant portfolio, which began in 1999 with the RL Restaurant in Chicago (1999), followed by Ralph’s in Paris (2010) and 2015’s acclaimed The Polo Bar in New York, from which it takes its inspiration.

The London concept delivers everything fans of the RL lifestyle could wish for. Paying homage to the equestrian lifestyle long synonymous with Ralph Lauren in a club-like atmosphere, Ralph’s Coffee & Bar features saddle leather banquettes, a brass-topped bar, elegant dark wood paneling and green billiard baize decorating the walls with a collection of equestrian-themed artwork.

Conceived as an oasis away from the frantic pace of the shopping streets outside, the interior’s brown and green hues and heavy use of traditional styles and materials give the environment an instant heritage.

The classic setting is matched by an equally classic selection of coffee and cocktails with light fare that evokes Ralph Lauren’s American style and spirit with a European sense of quality and tradition.


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