The weather was stifling, the day had finished and the weekend was almost in sight, the perfect reason for a cocktail. So The Handbook headed to The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz. A glorious gem of a bar giving a nod to the art deco era, think dark woods, gold leaf and Lalique glass. You would be mistaken for thinking it was a product of the era itself, but in fact it was redesigned in 2001 by Tessa Kennedy.
But whilst we loved the decor, and the atmosphere: comfortable, relaxed and yet intimate and definitely not stuffy (this isn’t an old boys, member’s only bar), we weren’t there for that, we were there for the cocktails. And with their bartender Waltus Pintus having recently won the award for the best bartender at the recent London Club and Bar Awards, we knew we were in for something good.
And these cocktails were good, brilliant in fact. Firstly the menu was vast and constantly changing with new additions, such as the Duchess of Cambridge, the only problem we had was choosing, and at £20 -£90 you need to choose well. But when I spotted the ‘Sparkle and Shine’ a mix of cider and champagne, I knew it was perfect for a Cotswolds girl now living in London and who knew they mixed so well?
Secondly, the presentation was beautiful, dustings of gold leaf, balls of ice the size of oranges, dried fruits and flowers and the absolute winner, a cocktail served in a golden goose egg on a nest made from sugar sitting in a sugar bowl. The days of an olive on a cocktail stick as a garnish, being the height of fashion are well and truly over…as they should be.
We also had to sample some food, well it would be rude not to. We opted for the sharing platter of artisan sausages and cheeses, which was easily enough for the three of us as a meal, if you are after just sharing something light before supper later perhaps opt for one – they are generous with their portions! The white pudding was sublime as were the cheese pastries. Then there was of course pudding, the Eton Mess was a classic served in a margarita glass, it was more cream than meringue (always a winner) and the strawberries we were sweet and juicy. It was however completely outshone by the Bramley apple soufflé, it had all the taste of a comforting apple crumble without the added stodge, perfect.
So if you are going for pudding or cocktails, (we recommend having both) then after our visit to The Rivoli bar we definitely say you can’t go wrong with a little trip to The Ritz.