The candlelit bar and lounge evokes an old world (but, thankfully, not colonial) vibe with a live jazz singer and piano accompaniment—the sort of place you'd imagine Hercule Poirot would be meeting an old constable friend for a brandy, musing over going into retirement before the police officer convinces him to get back into the game to solve an incredible caper. But I digress...
But more importantly: does the food and beverage program match the ambiance in both quality and price? Well, starting with the latter, the place certainly isn't cheap. Not only was I staying at the Rosewood, but I would have traveled here anyway on personal recommendations.
Unfortunately, plainly put, the £24 Manhattan didn't cut it. It was pretty, sure, as were the other cocktails delivered to our table. Not to mention the cocktail book with cheeky illustrations of the Queen and her corgis with lipstick stained receipts was fun to peruse while waiting for our drinks. (The menu is breathtakingly up-to-date, too, given pages dedicated to the very recent Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.)
Nevertheless, once again, champs saved the day—in this case, the Ruinart champagne, which was on full ornate display elsewhere in the hotel in the Rosewood's Mirror Room (pictured top).
Also, THE FOOD. I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed the pizza and fries. Excuse me, the "Caprese Flatbread" and the "Masala Chips." The crust on the doughier than I would have expected for a bar pizza, let alone pizza in Europe, which veers toward flat crust only. It was almost American! I would have gone back a second night just for this alone if I didn't have plans elsewhere. (In another post, soon.)
As for the chips, the masala spice was barely a footnote but just enough for it to register. I don't mind a kick of flavor, but perhaps this is where the hotel bar mindset really sets in, not wanting to be off-putting to any guests' flatter palettes.
Oh, and one last tip: do get the bar nuts. Astoundingly, they're free, not to mention delicious.