Hotel bar heaven at The Coral Room
Walking into The Coral Room in Bloomsbury feels a little like stepping onto the set of The Great Gatsby. Floor-to-ceiling wooden panelled walls are painted in a juicy shade of coral (natch), bespoke bubble chandeliers hang proudly from the high ceilings, and the central bar is topped with marble. And don’t even get me started on the original illustrations adorning the walls, and the plush art deco shell chairs…
A twist of fate (slash prior planning) meant I’d dressed to coordinate, so immediately felt right at home circulating the grand salon bar like a chameleon in my blush-coloured palazzo pants. But I was even more familiar when I discovered the cocktail list – namely the bubbly blend named after my native county of Wiltshire. Apparently a tribute to the owner of this delightful place. Fate, surely?
Much like their surroundings, the drinks in The Coral Room ooze with unpretentious glamour. Highlights include a blend of vodka, lime, agave and sparkling wine with melon balls delicately balanced on top, and the “Gin Lane” – a pack-a-punch combo of Hendrick’s, elderflower, Viognier white wine and rose syrup.
But the real show stopper? “Gertrude’s Spritz”, crafted from Tanqueray gin, chamomile and lavender liqueur, orange bitters and sparkling wine (naturally). Served with a globe of ice in the centre, and the deliciously inevitable prospect of ordering a second. Gertrude, I salute you.
ART DECO GLAMOUR
Attending The Coral Room’s opening party meant that I was even treated to a live 1920s style band – the perfect soundtrack to the roaring atmosphere. A sleight of hand magician wove around the room, wooing us with clever card tricks. Not that I needed any more convincing of the venue’s magical personality.
But it’s not all cocktails and Charlsetons – this candy-coloured paradise opens daily from 8am, so if late night debauchery isn’t for you, there’s a delicious shakshuka that probably is. And that’s the real beauty of the place. By night, it’s about throwing caution to the wind in stylish surroundings – but when morning breaks it’ll still be there for you with a plate of eggs and a plush padded sofa.
I may not have managed to find Leonardo DiCaprio or indeed Gatsby himself during my night in The Coral Room, and my efforts to channel Daisy Buchanan almost fell flat (literally) thanks to the dangerous combo of wide leg trousers and one too many Gertrudes.
But I can’t express how much I enjoyed travelling to the Roaring Twenties for one night only, in this spectacular, luxurious salon. I hope they’ll still have me the next time I decide to paint the town coral.
16-22 Great Russel St, Bloomsbury WC1B 3NN.
020 7347 1221 http://www.thecoralroom.co.uk/