Review: English-Themed Cocktails At Instagram-Friendly Coral Room

The Coral Room ★★★☆☆

Review: English-Themed Cocktails At Instagram-Friendly Coral Room The Coral Room 3
The Coral Room lounge
Instagram friendly, yes, but The Coral Room is a treat in real life too

Imagine drinking inside a giant art deco pink wafer, and you start to picture The Coral Room.

On paper screen it's another cynical Peggy Porschen-esque wheeze to clock up Instagram cache, but the Bloomsbury Hotel's flagship bar is more than a just pretty blushing face. Soft loungey sofas, sputtering log fires, 70s disco piped out of the speakers (slathered in coral, naturally); it's anything but stuffy, and somewhere you could happily shelter from the elements for an hour or three.

Spires and Shires cocktail
The Spires and Shires - an ode to Worcestershire apparently

It falls on every cocktail bar now to churn out one seasonal cocktail menu after the next, and A Sip of England [pdf] is the catchall theme of The Coral Room's latest (think Bronte’s moors, the Cornish Riviera). It's hardly groundbreaking — we remember something similar at the Savoy a few years ago — but the proof's in the pudding.

The tricky thing, it turns out, is finding the cocktail you want. There's a lot of fizz and summer fruit going on — from the Bloomsbury Blush to the pear cider-topped Play the Pyramid. The first is delicious, the second strangely vinegary — but at least the cider/Glastonbury link makes sense.

The bar at The Coral Room
A throughly unstuffy cocktail bar

Other ingredients are more tenuous. We ask what links a concoction of bourbon, creme de cacao and coffee tonic, with the county of Worcestershire. There's a pause. "They drink a lot of bourbon in Worcestershire," comes the reply.

The Windermere cocktail at The Coral Room
The One, aka The Windermere

Though it's not always easy to figure out which drinks are short, long, citrusy, viscous etc (a key would be handy), The One will hopefully manifest itself eventually. For us, this transpires to be the Windermere — which taste like a spiced cough tincture stirred into Coca-Cola syrup, scotch and rum — cooled with a mini iceberg-sized lump of Coral Room branded ice. It's an exquisite winter warmer, and we congratulate ourselves our girlfriend on finding it.

Still, if you swerve the seasonal menu for a Corpse Reviver or Aviation, you're utterly justified. The setting's the real winner here.

The Coral Room, 16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3NN

Last Updated 29 October 2019