‘It’s so I don’t get malaria,’ I would sob after my 10th G&T on a Friday, to justify drinking great quantities of the stuff. Now I don’t need an excuse, heck, if anything you need to explain why you’ve not got an icy gin and tonic in your hand, with the spirit going from ruining mine and every mother’s life, to London’s most wanted. Bloom Kitchen and Bar is bang on trend; moments from King’s Cross, the bar is serving gin in more ways than I’ve embarrassed myself after a night on the sauce.
Venue and Atmosphere
It’s one of the hottest days of the years so far and I’m staggering through Clerkenwell, only the thought of a bitter cocktail keeping me going. At first I miss Bloom; as part of the Crowne Plaza, I hadn’t realised it was a hotel bar but once inside, it's stylishly done, if a little quiet. Inspired by The Bloomsbury Group who frequented the area in the ‘20s, the space is perfect for couples and business people alike, with long, purple sofas lining walls and egg-shaped chairs by the floor-to-ceiling windows, that look cosy enough to nap in. The front is dominated by long wooden tables; that look great for working, or if you're a large group, grabbing for a good natter.
Food and Drink
Bloom and I worship at the same temple; the temple of juniper. While I usually use a dash of value slimline, the bar have a long list of cocktails to work your way through, including a hefty Signatures selection. All paletes have been considered, with short sharp twists through to long, refreshing muddles. I started with a Tropical Quince (£8.50), which was a punchy summer mix that could be drunk on the beach, made using Whitley Neil Quince Gin, St Germain, sloe gin, and a cherry liqueur. Ferrari (£8.50) was similarly as easy, though slightly more bitter, with Hendrick’s, orange bitters, vermouth and cherry. If you can’t find something on the 20-stong list, bartenders will make you whatever your fussy heart desires.
In the evening, food comes from the neighbouring Belgo, the popular Belgian-inspired chain which knocks up beer-soaking comfort plates. Mussels make up the majority of the menu, and for such a simple dish, it’s done surprisingly well. Spanish style (£14 with bread) was a whopping bowl of mussels, chunks of chorizo, butter beans and a tomato sauce that I was spooning up well after the mussels had been eaten.
Hotel bars are a funny breed of animal, from soulless banqueting rooms of the dead-eyed suits through to uber exclusive. Bloom Kitchen and Bar is neither of these things and actually feels quite apart from the rest of the building, with plenty of room for walk-ins and a cocktail list that’s been carefully considered. Perfect if you’re near King’s Cross and looking for something a little calmer, this bar is a stylish getaway from the rest of the hubbub.