What used to be a prison has been converted into a Champagne and cigar bar at the edge of the City. It's an ideal spot for post-work drinks – the private VIP vault areas can be reserved for groups while the bar offerings run from cocktails, starting at £9, to a range of Champagne, from £11 for a glass to £1,200 for a Cuvée Louise Brut 1990 Jeroboam. The food menu includes club sandwiches, somerset brie with spicey orange marmalade or Indian aloo tikki with mint and cucumber yogurt.
Crowne Plaza Hotel
|Transport:||Tube: Blackfriars; Rail: Blackfriars|
Average User Rating
2.8 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:2
So where to start?
The venue was amazing. Voltaire was a prison that turned into a chichi champagne, whiskey and cocktail bar... with gorgeous passage and vaults behind the bar.
But the #rum based cocktails for #rumweek was less than impressive. We tried the Lamb's Punch first - which was supposedly contemporary and created - according to the barman - in 36 hours by him and the manager. One sip and my #plus1 reaction was Omg this is SWEET. it was sweet and ladened with cherry. The second sip made you nostalgic for cherry flavoured cough syrup which I never did like anyway.
We paced ourselves and waited to order the second round - the more traditional Lamb's rum based martini-which was rumoured to be sour - but no it was sweet too. In fact it was more syrupy than the first one. It transported me straight to a wintery night in Bavaria, where the dink du jour would have been Schnapps except I was in London, in a gorgeous October evening and there were photos of the new James Bond movie everywhere and it makes me want a proper martini. This one just lacks in sophistication and finesse. In fact they might as well just call it Lamb;s Cherry Schnapps.
The service was Appalling with a capital A. The barman was sour - maybe that's what they meant by the more traditional concoction being sour - it was shaken by a surfaced barman. After the fabulous week that was London Cocktail Week - where all the barmen were brilliant, engaging, gorgeous and funny - this one came across like he either woke up at the wrong side of the bed or is still dealing with his Monday issues. The waitress I spoke to about the nachos was also rude.
And the other thing, do not order the nachos - it is terrible.
Will I come again? maybe but only for the novelty of the vault, the historical fact that it was once a prison BUT when I do, we will just be ordering champagne or whiskey because I do not want to be served by a precious barman or another rude waitress.
Fantastic bar - booked one of the vaults which are great for an intimate drinks venue! Staff were very attentive! Highly recommended!