While it may have opened way back in 1898, the Kimpton Fitzroy only came to my attention when it was revamped last year. Now home to seafood restaurant Neptune and cocktail bar Fitz’s, this is a destination hotel for those really looking to make a statement. So with the boyfriend's birthday on the way (and my thirst for winning in the bday stakes), I booked us a spot for drinks.
Housed in a grand Grade II listed building, the hotel boasts an old school façade – the type that would make you feel unprepared turning up in trainers. Inside at Fitz’s, though, it’s a more modern story; with gigantic disco balls and plush velvet banquettes sitting pretty alongside a silky tented ceiling and an opulent back bar that’s almost neon-lit. Elsewhere, this could be tacky… but here it really works.
Arriving just after opening, we were first at the bar, which meant dibs on the stunning seating. Holed up in a cosy corner, we eyed up the menu; think revamped classics, dessert-type drinks and a few spritzes splashes about. Even the bar uniforms were on the contemporary side, with bartenders ditching the stuffy white coats seen nearby in favour of jazzy floral shirts.
Diving into a Forty Footstep Fizz (£14), I was off to a great start. A sweet take on the traditional fizz, this frothy pink number combined scotch with cider brandy, lemon, cream and egg whites before topping with plum soda. On the bartender’s recommendation, the birthday boy opted for the Orlando: A Daiquiri (£14), which saw the classic enhanced with Plantation Pineapple Rum, bay leaf, cucumber, pastis and a slick of IPA.
Switching up the usual bar snacks with a bowl of ever-replenished Twiglets, Fitz’s seemed to be hitting all the right notes until the second round of cocktails. I can’t remember the last time I couldn't finish a drink, but the Baby Babel (£14) got me. Unbalanced, boozy and sickly sweet, it was a heavy combination of gin, port, cherry dessert wine, cream sherry and coffee tincture. Meanwhile, fusing vodka with Hackney Wild bread, Becherovka and Champagne, the Colonnade (£17) was also off the mark – somehow too sharp and too sweet at the same time.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Is Fitz’s absolutely stunning? You bet. When it comes to the interiors, this Bloomsbury favourite is flamboyant in all the right ways, though perhaps some of the drinks are little too rich for our tastebuds. There’s no doubt that this is a gorgeous date night spot, but fine-tuning the tipples could make it the perfect one.