Inspired by the Café Royal Cocktail Book compiled in 1937, The Bar at Café Royal is a vibrant cocktail destination for contemporary Londoners and hotel guests. A peacock green den with dark seductive neon lighting!
Celebrating the diverse history of the location, the cocktail list features heritage cocktails alongside classic concoctions and a selection of small dining plates. If you are into non-alcoholics then the bar offers a refreshing menu called ‘SOMETHING LIGHT,’ my favourite discovery was Bonjours, a green infusion of Granny smith apple, baby spinach, lime, lemon, cucumber and parsley, topped with soda water. If your not on a health regime then your lucky enough to be able to engulf their generous drinks menu which specialises in champagne and absinthe-inspired cocktails!
‘Absinthe at the Bar’ is an iconic offering from The Bar. Expert bartenders mix cocktails and serve shots straight up traditionally, from the steady drizzle of the Absinthe fountain. As the spirit of Café Royal is revived, so too is the ritual of drinking Absinthe, the favoured tipple of the bohemian intellects who notoriously frequented Café Royal throughout its history. I got stuck on their dedicated absinthe page in their menu, standing out from the rest of the menu pages in a matte green colour, this section is called ‘ABSINTHE JOURNEY;‘ Here you can learn about the history of absinthe and read quotes such as “I want to drink absithe, which changes colour like jade in sunlight and takes the senses thrall.” I tried Le Jardin, a mix of La Fée Absinthe, Sipsmith London Dry gin, Lillet Blanc, fresh lemon, Maraschino Luxardo. Served in ice gold glasses, prepare to be inspired with breeds of absinthe from all over the world.
The bar menu has a luscious list of small plates that are not only divine in taste but through presentation. Don’t expect ordinary bar snacks, these beauties are mini peices of artwork served in different forms such as their bespoke handblown glass bowls. The dishes are split un into four sections; Plates, Sandwiches, Hot & Desserts. We were recommended the Tuna Tartar, a delicate and delicious dish with an asian-inspired twist of Tom Yum flavours, a definite must. The Salmon Royal was a careful compliment of large chunked smoked salmon with a citrus sauce and fresh grapefruit, refreshing and hearty at the same time and finally my favourite, The Spicy Crab Salad with quail egg– the dish had spicy soft threads of crab and asian-inspired spices, cooked to perfection!
If your feeling naughty then you can dip into their desserts they do a Seasonal Cheesecake and a Chocolate “Royale” amougst others! I would skip the cheesecake and share the Chocolate “Royale,” which lives up to it’s name; It’s decadent and divine!