It may be a cliché, but Jewel Covent Garden is a true gem away from the tourist trauma of the piazza. With this in mind, I headed down to see whether Jewel could charm me with its sparkle.
Jewel is a sophisticated venue with a lively edge; you can expect a mix of gothic looking staircases, dark wood panels, giant statues, comfy lounge seating, expensive looking chandeliers and candles - a lot of candles.
With four separate bar areas on three different floors, it’s much bigger than you anticipate. There’s the relaxed Bacchus Bar up front, the Crystal Bar upstairs complete with a giant chandelier, high ceilings, and group seating; plus the more intimate Long Bar tucked round the corner, stocked to the brim with Champage. But where the fun really begins is downstairs at Blancha Bar, decked out with DJ booth and dance floor.
We spent most of our time at Crystal Bar as it’s the most spacious, before heading downstairs for a boogie. Needless to say, it would be easy to spend an entire night hopping from bar to bar at Jewel without realising you’re still in the same venue.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
The brilliant thing about Jewel is it can cater for any night you want, but it is the kind of bar where “just one drink” after work often turns into dancing in the basement till gone 2am.
The clientele are a mix of after-work professionals, cosy looking couples, and younger, bigger groups of party people. All in all, a great mix. The bar staff are also attentive, friendly and more than willing to find you your perfect cocktail from their extensive list.
But like I said, it’s 10pm before Jewel really comes into its element. In it’s heyday this place used to host celebrity parties to rival Hugh Hefner… you get the picture.
The Food and Drinks
Although Mojitos tend to turn-off cocktail connoisseurs, their selection of Mojitos all made with fresh fruit and Bacardi Superior rum are excellent. But as always, my eyes immediately ran to their martinis. I opted for a classic Gin Martini, which was one of the best I’ve had in a while. Next, on the recommendation of the bar staff, a Pornstar Martini and though a cheesy choice, it was a delicious one.
The cocktails aren’t the only thing worth shouting about here however. A sharing plate at a bar normally means the food is not going to be the height of culinary excellence. However, the sharing plate at Jewel was delicious. We opted for the ‘East is East’ platter with tempura prawns, duck rolls and edamame beans sprinkled with rock salt and chilli. No exaggeration, I could have eaten those beans everyday for the rest of my life.
There are three other plates, a selection of sliders and other nibbles. There’s also a fantastic cocktail hour running from 5pm-8pm Monday to Friday.
The only answer to the tourist trauma of Covent Garden is a good, strong drink and Jewel Covent Garden has plenty of those. Flash? Maybe a little. Forgivably so? You bet’cha.