Don't let the Mayfair reputation put you off. It has a relaxed vibe. Novikov isn't the straight-backs, no slouching kind of venue you'd expect to find in Mayfair, but it is very swish with marble flooring, pillars and mood lighting giving it an air of luxury-but-let's-not-shout-about-it.
That said, the lobster is on ice are the fresh vegetables. Dining here is certainly an experience as you pick out what vegetables you'd like with your meal. Alas I've yet to enjoy a meal at Novikov because I was only meeting a friend for drinks, but it was still wonderful.
We hasn't booked a table, but my friend is a regular and as she led me down the marble stairs to the bar below, members of staff smiled and nodded, which was surprisingly comforting and not-creepy.
The downstairs bar has a club-like vibe, with few lights strategically placed, low tables and low seating for an easy, sheesha-bar quality, giving it a relaxed air. We were seated immediately by the bar front of house and as we were seated I looked around, finding myself taking it all in and likening this dark underneath to a cave of wonders. Think Disney's Aladdin meets a darker, grown-up take on things.
The drinks menu was well-stocked with a number of favourites, including my friend's vanilla martini, peach belinis and Cote du Rhone.
Being teetotal I bypassed the alcoholic drinks and ordered a grapefruit juice, which was served in a tall glass and garnished with a wedge of lime.