Ancient Greek hedonism inspires London's new extravagance

Experience the fantasy land of operatic escapism and Greco-Roman opulence at London's newest restaurant, Bacchanalia. Explore Singapore's budding rave scene and the surge in revenge experiences fueled by a thirst for newness and authentic experiences.

Ancient Greek hedonism inspires London's new extravagance

New openings in London are evoking the hedonistic abandon and unrestrained extravagance of ancient Greece. Bacchanalia, a restaurant that opened in Mayfair in December 2022, is a Greco-Roman ode to opulence.

With floor-to-ceiling marble, mirrored tables, velvet bar stools and bespoke wine glasses from Murano, this space is a fantasy land of operatic escapism. Waiters dressed in togas serve diners five-hundred-dollar pasta dishes under larger-than-life statues of winged lions, unicorns and Greek gods. A floor-to-ceiling painting reimagines Thomas Couture’s “The Romans in Their Decadence,” making for a shameless display of debaucherous decadence.

Behind Bacchanalia is a new members' club called Apollo's Muse. The exclusive club, which opened in April 2023, is billed as the 'most private of private members' clubs' with velvet-rope access that mirrors the lavish aesthetic. The space is a master class in 'more-is-more' design, characterized by overstated magnificence. The club also houses a collection of priceless Greco-Roman antiquities from the first and second centuries AD, rivalling some of the world's top museums and galleries.

In Singapore, a budding rave scene is giving people an escape from the strict Covid policies enforced for the last two years. Revenge experiences are on the rise, driven by a thirst for new and authentic experiences, and spaces that transport them away and take them on an adventure, says design agency Sybarite's cofounders, Torquil McIntosh and Simon Mitchell.

According to Kenneth Carter, Interim Dean of Oxford College and Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology at Emory University, people are looking for a sense of discovery and escapism from the everyday. Revenge experiences are the new way to find it.