The London Look: Vitek Melichar

by Guest of A Guest · June 14, 2024

    What's old is new again in Mayfair, as Arlington has reimagined itself the Le Caprice for the modern day. The same space, the same menu, (one of) the same restauranteurs.  

    As it's never exactly a shame to know people in high places, might we introduce Vitek Melichar? A friendly face on the London restaurant scene since arriving from the Czech Republic in 2012, as Bar Manager of the most in-demand reservation in town he's just the man you want to know when the siren call of a cocktail is too loud to ignore.

    Curious where you'll find this Londoner out and about on a night off, where he'd never be caught dead or what he's reading at the moment?

    Where are you from originally?
    Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.

    What brought you to London?
    Gap year.

    How long have you been here?
    12 gap years.

    What neighborhood do you call home?
    South of the river, currently Earlsfield.

    What's your job?
    Managing the bar at Arlington.

    What do you actually do all day?
    At the moment Arlington has all my attention. We have been open for just over a month so it's all hands on deck. When everything settles I look forward to picking up sport again, music and devoting more time to be a better friend to those close to me.

    Social smoker?

    Go-to pint?
    Pilsner Urquell at Duck+Rice is a treat.

    Crisp of choice?
    Salt & vinegar.

    Preferred pub?
    I like old pubs, places where you wish the walls could talk.

    What's worth the wait?
    'Scotch that's old enough to order its own scotch.''

    Tube or Boris bike?
    Anything but tube!

    Tesco or Sainsbury's?
    Taste the Difference.

    Weekend getaway trip?
    Quick train down south to Kent or Dorset. Day spent in walking boots. Find a pub or inn with a cosy fireplace to end the day and worry not!

    Favorite restaurant?
    London is just a brilliant place to explore different cuisines, ways of cooking and hospitality. It would be unfair to choose one! Palomar stands out from the ones recently visited.

    Marmite or marmalade?
    Need I choose?

    British stereotype that rings true?
    Brits abroad - the lads can be a handful.

    How do you take your tea?
    Roots and honey.

    Most British thing about you?
    Dislike of confrontation.

    Least British thing about you?
    Who likes to queue?

    Remedy for a rainy day?
    I often use them as an excuse to put my feet up and not feel guilty about it. Rainy days can be great!

    First thing you miss when you leave London?
    Friends and feeling at home in familiar places around town. Maybe a local chippy? Heh.

    Private Members Clubs - yay or nay?

    Where in town are you almost always?
    West End.

    Where in town would you never be caught dead?

    Best place for a fun night out?
    El Camion. Nothing but love.

    How would you describe your style?
    My better half recently called me 'eclectic grandpa' and now I own it.

    Top shopping spots?
    Seven Dials / Covent Garden does the job for me.

    What's your greatest extravagance?
    Obsession with details to a point where it can be a little annoying to others. Especially at work.

    Cheap thrill?
    You hold a piece of rubbish in your hand and there is an open bin 10 feet away. Can you live with yourself if you don't take a shot?

    Who's your favorite person in town?
    A bar keep.

    What's your most overused Briticism?

    Reading anything good at the moment?
    Menu descriptions count?

    What are you most excited for next?
    Longer days and a first time surfing trip.

    [Photos by Kirk Truman]