Our Barwell glasses are back, baby!
Discover the story behind Soho Home’s bestselling glassware, which has been restocked just in time for the holidays
Monday 17 October 2022 By Anastasiia Fedorova
Barwell cut-crystal glassware is one of the ultimate Soho House signatures. Satisfyingly heavy crystal rocks glasses, Champagne coupes and elegant wine glasses are used to serve drinks in our Houses around the world and can be found in all of the bedrooms – for a quick cocktail while you’re changing for dinner. From the subtle shimmer in the dim light to raising a Barwell glass on the rooftop, it’s no surprise that the iconic Picante Barwell glass is rumoured to be the most frequently stolen item from the Houses. The good news is that there’s no need to pilfer anymore, as our Barwell glassware is back at Soho Home just in time for you to restock your home bar for the holidays.
Named after Marcus Barwell, Managing Director of Soho House Design, the glassware was one of the first products that Soho Home launched in 2016. ‘It was originally created to give members a great drinking experience in the Houses – we serve most cocktails and Champagne in Barwell glasses. In fact, it’s so iconic that it was the model for the inaugural Soho House Award, The Golden Picante,’ says Barwell.
You can explore the full Barwell range here. Below, Marcus Barwell shares the full story behind the iconic glassware.
How did the story of Barwell start and how did it inherit your name?
‘When I was working on Soho House West Hollywood and Soho Beach House Miami projects, Nick Jones really wanted both Houses to have a feeling of old-school glamour, and cut crystal really fitted this brief. But there was none available on the market that was affordable for commercial use. I ended up finding a crystal glass factory in a small town in Belarus, which had just turned off its furnaces due to lack of orders. I went out there, met the owner and we managed to develop the glasses with their artisans and place an order big enough that they could fire up the furnaces again and fulfil our requirements.’
Would you say it’s one of Soho Home’s most popular products?
‘Barwell was our number-one bestseller from the day we launched the website and it has been up there ever since. Unfortunately, during the pandemic our new supplier wasn’t able to keep up with our customers’ demand and it wasn’t available. I’m confident that now it’s back it’s going to shoot right up the chart again.’
Why do you think members and customers love Barwell?
‘Well, number one, it’s beautiful. And number two, drinks taste better out of it, right? It’s totally synonymous with the Houses – a really familiar product that reminds members of all the good times they’ve had. And did you know it’s dishwasher safe? We ran extensive tests to make sure it could withstand five runs through the dishwashers in the Houses each day – as a result it’s incredibly practical for such a beautiful glass.’
What’s your favourite drink to enjoy from a Barwell glass?
‘A Dirty Vodka Martini on the rocks.’
Shop the full Barwell range at Soho Home.