We’re not averse to a bit of glamour here at Virgin Atlantic, so we’re counting down the days until the hit US drama series Mad Men returns for its fifth season next week.
The show, which depicts the tangled lives of Madison Avenue advertising execs, portrays a pitch-perfect early 60s Manhattan of smoky jazz clubs, long boozy lunches, pinched-in waists, Knoll sofas and vodka gimlets; a New York that exudes elegance at every turn. And while it may bear absolutely no resemblance to the mundanities of 21st century working life, the demand for Don Draper-style hangouts from visiting martini-sipping sophisticates is strong.
Drink like Don
To tie-in with the launch of the new series, two hotels that have already had a starring role in the show are offering special Mad Men-themed packages for lovers of vintage New York.
Begin your night at The Pierre, which has featured in three episodes – Room 435 became the temporary offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The hotel’s Two E Bar/Lounge bar will be serving classic cocktails from the early 1960s throughout season five, with fans invited to dress up in their finest Mad Men-inspired fashions for its weekly jazz evening on Tuesday 27th March, where the Bikini Martini has been designed with Christina Hendricks /Joan Holloway in mind.
When you’re ready for bed, head to the Roosevelt Hotel, on the corner of Madison Avenue and East 45th Street, in the heart of ad land. The home of Don’s makeshift bachelor pad after being kicked out by wife Betty is offering a ‘Mad Men in the City’ package which includes overnight accommodation, Mad Men Season 4 on DVD and a copy of the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook. More retro cocktails, including the Greyhound to Manhattan and Tom Collins, will be served in the Madison Club Lounge and the Mad46 rooftop bar.
Eat like Don
The Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant is the scene of many a lunchtime overindulgence by Don Draper and Roger Sterling, and has been serving tourists and suburban commuters at its red-and-white checked tables for nearly 100 years. Sardi’sis well-known as a pre- or post-theatre dinner destination, dishing up decent Italian and American cooking to hungry tourists and the Broadway set, and was the site of Don and Bobbie Barrett’s celebrations after the sale of their TV pilot.
P.J Clarke’s, a famous New York watering hole established in 1884, was where the Sterling Cooper crowd danced the twist and drank the night away in celebration of Peggy’s copy for the Belle Jolie campaign. It’s catered to a string of famous faces over the years, including Frank Sinatra, Jackie Kennedy and Nat King Cole, and serves up solid comfort food in the form of mac and cheese, shepherd’s pie and smokey back ribs.
Mad Men enthusiasts looking to explore more of Don Draper’s New York City will find a detailed slideshow of locations compiled by nycgo.com, including shops, bars, hotels and restaurants featured in the series, as well as a gallery where visitors can browse through vintage advertising posters from the 1890s to the early 1970s.
Virgin Atlantic operates five daily flights to New York from London Heathrow.