Coral in the City, The Coral Room, Bloomsbury

05 Jun 2018

The Greatest Showman is a film that divided opinion. The critics didn’t rate it. One journalist called it a “shrill blast of nothing”, another, “magnificently idiotic.” And yet, it’s one of the highest grossing live-action musical films to date, raking in over £429 million (on an £89m budget). Why is that? In a word: escapism. Today, we battle with political unrest, mass refugee movements, burgeoning war, the threat of nuclear arms (the list goes on). Can we be blamed for wanting to slip into pure, unadulterated fantasy from time to time?

So, asked to attend The Coral Room launch, described as a “vibrant grand salon bar that reflects an exquisite country house transported to the city”, I didn’t need cajoling. It was a Tuesday evening, a day of the week I’m more likely to be found in the gym. Entering through one of the towering entrances of The Bloomsbury Hotel, my eyes were assaulted with magnificence. Bloomsbury has always been a bit drab and grey. This was a kaleidoscope of peach, opulence and glamour. Designed by the acclaimed Martin Brudnizki, it’s a wine and cocktail bar built on the stuff of dreams. It’s like the love child of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Allesandro Michele. Its beauty is breathtaking. Put it this way – it didn’t feel like the sort of place you find 2 minutes from Tottenham Court Road. I was transported, alongside all the other suitably stunned patrons.

Ridgeview Bloomsbury bubbles did flow. Perhaps I’m biased, but I truly adore English sparkling wine and this bar boasts on of the most extensive offerings of the stuff in London. An array of signature cocktails followed. One was gin-based, another vodka. Forgive me for being vague – I was too dazzled by the atmosphere to take note. All you need to know is this: they work.

Once a mere lobby space in the Grade II-listed hotel, The Coral Room is now available as an all-day dining restaurant and bar. Kitted out with an exquisite marble counter, plush velvet bar stools and spilling chandeliers, it’s open from 8am daily for breakfast, and a selection of small plates crafted by Executive Chef Byron Moussouris are available throughout the day.

In the evening, it transforms, magic ensues; anything feels possible. Towards the latter end of each week, vintage funk and soul will sooth as you sip the poison of your choice.

Stop the cavalry, call off the search. Alice has found her Wonderland, and it’s named The Coral Room.

Hope to see you escape there soon.

Elisse

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