The newly opened Coral Room in the heart of Bloomsbury and London’s theatreland is evocative of times gone by when life was a little more relaxed and laid back and people had time to enjoy an evening out with convivial conversation, rather than being glued to their smartphones and hardly communicating with one another.
I am also a big fan of art deco and the Coral Room has that art deco ambience to it, designed by Martin Brudnizki and created to give a ‘country-meets-city’ feeling as soon as you step through the door. I love the bright coral coloured walls and bespoke Murano glass chandeliers. The fused glass and marble topped bar is equally impressive and looks as if it belongs there and has been for many years. If you take a closer look at the walls, you will notice the wonderful 36 pieces of art that hang there, inspired by the ever-evolving Bloomsbury area and created by acclaimed British illustrator Luke Edward Hall.
The beautiful panelling made with natural materials, has been designed to transport you to a more relaxing country escape and it achieves that well. And for those of you who enjoy a cigar and glass of whisky, a stylish terrace covered with green foliage is just a few steps away.
If you frequented Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood Hotel in Holborn, you may remember Giovanni Spezziga, who is now General Manager of The Coral Room. Giovanni and his team have put together an extensive wine list of English sparkling wines and spritz-cocktails with some wonderfully creative names. In fact, the sparkling wines on the menu are one of the largest selection on offer in London and include the rather appropriately named Ridgeview Bloomsbury at £12.50 as the house sparkling wine. You will also find a Lyme Bay Winery Brut Reserve 2014 Devon at £9 and Digby Fine English Leander Pink NV West Sussex at £16. The Coral Room also offers a wide selection of premium spirits and bottled craft beers chosen by Bar Manager, Kevin Fry.
So, what can you expect to find on the cocktail menu? Well, Big Smoke is a mix of Ancho Reyes Tequila, Quiquiriqui Mezcal, Orange Chili Syrup, Chipotle Tincture and topped with Ginger Ale at £13, whilst Green Fingers is made with Stolichnaya Vodka, Kale Juice, Pineapple Juice, Ginger Syrup, Lime Juice and Agave Syrup and costs £12. Barbour and Barrel is created with Jim Beam Double Oak Bourbon, Honey, Ginger Syrup, Pineapple Juice, Lemon Juice and Egg White, priced at £12. Gin Lane is a mix of Hendricks Gin, Viognier White Wine, St Germain, Rose and Agave Syrup and comes in at £13. And finally, Midtown Swizzle is made with Havana Especial Rum, Lustau Sherry, Passion Fruit Puree, Lime Juice, Pineapple Syrup and topped with English Sparkling Wine, all for £15.
However, the versatile Coral Room is not just an evening cocktail bar, as it opens at 8:00am, serving breakfast until 10:30am and ideal for a business meeting or social get together. You will find Garden Pea and Feta Smash on Sourdough Toast and Sprouts on the breakfast menu, as well as Spiced Baked Eggs, Spinach and Tumeric Yoghurt and The Coral Room Omelette with Egg white, Spinach and Chia Seeds or you may prefer the healthy Acai Breakfast Bowl.
The Coral Room is also the perfect venue for a mid-morning coffee and light bite to eat at lunchtime before it transforms itself into a lively cocktail bar with live music in the evenings.
A selection of small plates are available throughout the day, starting from £11.00 and available from 11:00am through to 10:30pm. A few highlights from the menu include a Chicory Salad, Walnuts, Pear, Cashel Blue, Honey and Mustard Dressing; a Seared Tuna, Wasabi Mayo and a Lobster and Crayfish Mac’n’Cheese. And if you are looking for something sweet to go with your morning coffee, then how about a decadent Chocolate Eclair or rather indulgent chocolate truffles.
Therefore, if you are looking for a cocktail bar that’s a little bit different and versatile, where you can turn your smartphone off for a couple of hours and enjoy chatting with the bar team, who put on a great show and your date, then look no further than The Coral Room in Bloomsbury, and I hope you love it as much as I do.
Summer 2018 at The Coral Room
The Coral Room is taking full advantage of the hot summer we’re having here in London and its first summer season with a series of special events, which started with the celebration of Canada Day on Sunday 1st July when The Coral Room hosted some Canadian-inspired events, starting with a relaxing yoga session first thing in the morning – a great way to start the day and feel rejuvenated.
Having had a detox, guests enjoyed a ‘retox’ with a Bloody Mary Masterclass hosted by General Manager Giovanni Spezziga in collaboration with Crystal Head Vodka.
The masterclass was followed by a Canadian-style brunch, where there was a choice of three Crystal Head Vodka Caesar cocktails including the classic Bloody Caesar, a refreshing Morning Thyme combining Crystal Head Vodka, apple juice and ginger ale and finally an Elderflower Power which is a mix of Crystal Head Vodka, elderflower cordial, lemon juice, grapefruit juice and topped with grapefruit soda, all sure to quench your thirst on a hot summer’s day.
There were also some freshly baked pastries, fruit bowls, buttermilk pancakes served with Canadian bacon and maple syrup of course, or blueberries and lemon curd with background music during the day provided by Canadian born DJ Sam Frankl.
Al fresco screening of Wimbledon at The Coral Garden
Wimbledon is best watched outside, particularly in this lovely hot weather we have been enjoying here in London. So, with this in mind, The Coral Garden is screening all the day’s play on a big screen where you can relax with a glass of sparkling wine and delicious home-grown strawberries and watch the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in central London style if you are unable to make it to SW1 this year.
The Coral Room is also showcasing its extensive list of English sparkling wines during Wimbledon fortnight, all of which are available by the glass or bottle and offer the perfect accompaniment to the quintessentially good old British strawberries and cream!
And if you don’t know where The Coral Garden is, well there is a hidden lift in The Coral Room!
The Coral Room, 16-22 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3NN, England
Tel: +44 (0)20 7347 1221
The Coral Room is located on the ground floor level of The Bloomsbury Hotel in the heart of London’s Theatreland and just a stone’s throw from Tottenham Court Tube station on the Central and Northern lines. The bar is open for breakfast and small bites from 8:00am to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 8:00am to 1:00am Friday to Sunday.
Price Band: Medium to high
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of The Coral Room