The Bloomsbury Club is a venue that sits effortlessly in time. Named after the famous group of writers, philosophers and intellects, it is nestled underneath one of London's finest hotels and offers guests an opulent experience, framed by exquisite cocktails and delectable dishes.
Sitting underneath the 4 star Bloomsbury Hotel, the cocktail bar was always going to be chic and stylish. Indeed, upon arrival, not one, not two but four members of staff opened the door for me. The cocktail bar itself has an attitude and character of its own. Elegantly decorated with dark mahogany tones, an impressive selection of memorabilia from other famous hotels and a smattering of quaint antiques related to the original Bloomsbury members, it's dressed as an American saloon from the roaring 1920s. Looking across the bar, I almost expected to see The Fitzgeralds, dressed in their best, sipping whiskey in crystal glasses and arguing, as they wonderfully did. And then of course, there's the Dalloway Terrace. Despite being only a few feet from the roadside, it manages to block everything else out and simply enchants its guest with its winding shrubbery and distinctive aura matching that of Europe's street-side cafes.
Food & Drink
The headliners at this venue are the impressive line-up of cocktails, each named after a founding member of the original Bloomsbury group. In tune with the venue's 1920s fascination, the bartenders pay tribute to what is generally considered the Golden Age of cocktails, using a number of forgotten recipes and techniques to delicately mix the ingredients together. The Duncan Grant (£10), composed primarily of 12 year-old Chivas Regal, Orange Bitters and Luxardo Maraschino, is delectable. Served in a rounded glass with a handful of ice, the citrus tones takes the sting out of the potent whiskey, producing a smooth beverage that could please anyone after one of London's hot summer days. Next was the tantalising First Word (£12). The Bullet Rye whiskey, Yellow Chartreuse and Lemon explode off the tongue as soon as they make contact and produce a brilliantly overwhelming sensation across the entire palette.
Rounding things off, a selection of small plates accompany the cocktails. In particular, the Salt and Pepper Squid (£6) is worth sampling. Piping hot on arrival and served with a potent teriyaki dip, it was light and the salt and pepper seasoning was beautifully balanced, with neither overpowering the other.
The atmosphere, let alone the cocktails, is intoxicating. Perhaps it's the timeless antiques, or perhaps it's the radiating sound of Cole Porter being played on what I picture is an aged gramophone; either way, it's difficult not to buy into everything this bar exudes. Everything seems to be heading in the same direction. From their crafted cocktails to the saloon bar's decorations, every tiny detail floods visitors with the same suave sensations of elegance and sophistication. The dark brown colours combine wonderfully with the dim lighting and sleek furnishings to provide the perfect little spot to escape London's sun-drenched streets; calming, almost serene, it's a sanctuary and a place that visitors will have no problem hiding away in.
Few cocktail bars in London can rival what The Bloomsbury Club has to offer. Of course, many similarly deliver amazing cocktails and many are decorated in equally stunning ways. But none succeed in rousing their guests quite like this bar. You're instantly drawn into the story this bar hopes to tell and are kept transfixed by both its stunning aura and its flavoursome cocktail concoctions.