Browsing Tag

cocktails

Blog, Drink, Eat, London

Samarkand, Fitzrovia

August 31, 2016
Samarkand, Fitzrovia

An Uzbek restaurant might not be your first choice on Charlotte Street, where you have a vast array of excellent international – and British – restaurants to choose from.  But I was curious, no less because of the promise of craft vodka and a dish called Jizbiz (I know…).

I rarely write bad reviews, mainly because I don’t want to waste my time writing about places I would simply not recommend.  The only negative one I wrote was about Restaurant Ours, because there was a hype for no reason, the prices were inflated and the service was appalling.  The problem with Samarkand is that I genuinely quite liked the restaurant (and bar), I thought the interiors were appealing and – most importantly – the service was really good.  So I feel for them a little, writing this review.

Samarkand, Fitzrovia

But there is one big problem with Samarkand, and that is, very unfortunately, the food.  Arguably we enjoyed the 50% soft launch offer, which made for a very affordable and fun dinner.  However, the prices of the food cannot be justified without it.

To start with we ordered the beef and lamb ‘Manti’, Uzbek dumplings.  I’m always a bit of a fan of dumplings, but not of these.  Soggy, falling apart and bland, even the sauce which accompanied it resembled a Dolmio tomato sauce.  Maybe that’s the Uzbek way, but if it is, I wouldn’t put it on the menu.

Samarkand, Fitzrovia

Next came the Shashlik (grilled skewered meat).  We ordered the Wagyu Beef with Truffle and a Buttermilk Lamb one.  Bearing in mind that the beef shashlik (one skewer – albeit 100g) costs £24, you’d expect some seriously good meat.  But it just didn’t do it for us (though the lamb was better than the beef).  The biggest mystery of all was the truffle clearly resembled truffle shavings but tasted of, well, nothing.  Nor did it smell of truffle.  It just looked like it.  When questioned if it was perhaps Uzbek truffle (if that exists) our very charming waiter said he’d check with the kitchen, and returned adamant it was Tuscan.

For the main course we decided to order the JizBiz, since a dish with a name like that surely can’t be ignored.  This was a rack of lamb with a potato cake.  It was fine, but not more than this – and just could have been so much better if they had properly grilled the lamb so the fat was crispy rather than soft.

Samarkand, Fitzrovia

We moved to the bar area (which I really liked) after dinner to try some of their vodka.  They recommended two kinds: a sugar beet and a malt vodka – both completely new to us.  We couldn’t dine at an Uzbek restaurant and not have a vodka.  But then to our complete surprise we were served British vodka, two types of craft vodka made in London in fact.  I just couldn’t understand why a restaurant from an area famed for its vodka would serve British vodka.  Totally bizarre (I did like the Uzbek tea cups the vodka was served in).

Samarkand, Fitzrovia

Samarkand’s not all bad, as I said above.  I really liked the staff, who were attentive, enthusiastic and clearly proud to be working at there.  The head barman could talk for hours about the vodka we were drinking.  Some of the cocktails we had afterwards were good too (though the Whisky Sour could do with more whiskey).

This is not a place for a summer’s day (it’s underground), and should be better in the winter, where the British vodka can warm you, though the truffle with still mystify.  So in conclusion, I’d grab a pre or post-dinner cocktail here, but choose one of the plethora of other excellent restaurants on Charlotte Street (Roka, the Ninth, Barn Yard) or Bao around the corner for actual dinner.  If Uzbek cuisine wants to make its mark in London, it’s going to have to improve dramatically at Samarkand.

Samarkand

33 Charlotte St,

London W1T 1RR

Photo credit: Samarkand

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, Eat, London

Bronte, The Strand

August 19, 2016
Bronte, the Strand

I’ve found my new favourite post-work drink place.  And it’s not just because it’s about 2 minutes’ walk from my office.

Bronte opened a few weeks ago, right by Trafalgar Square.  An odd location, you might think. A place which will probably attract a lot of tourists, was my first thought. But actually, no.  Either tourists haven’t clocked on yet that there is this rather glamorous (yet still very welcoming) bar and restaurant a moment’s walk from London’s highlights. Or perhaps they just prefer Pizza Hut and Garfunkels (fine by me). Because Bronte seems to be full with mostly locals and people like me, who head here for a welcome glass of wine after a long day’s work.
Bronte, the StrandBronte, the Strand
Tom Dixon – famous for doing the interiors of the wonderful Sea Containers – has also done the design here.  His style is recognisable: bright colours in the form of a stand out pink granite bar (love it), and green banquettes.  Quirky but attractive lamps hang from the ceiling and large pot plants add a slightly exotic feel to the place.  My favourite though, is to sit on their spacious colonnaded terrace – which feels remarkably calm, despite the busy Strand happening all around you.

Bronte, the StrandBronte, the Strand
But this is not just a bar. The food is good too. Admittedly I’ve only tried their snack menu (their crab summer rolls are very good), but if it’s anything to go by, the rest of their menu should be delicious.  And pricing is reasonable too.

Some praise must also go to their staff. Every time I’ve been there the waiters have all been exceptionally friendly and helpful, mostly Italian and very upbeat gentlemen.

Bronte, the Strand
I’m not one to keep returning to places, especially in a city like London, where new places open every day and I get serious FOMO if I don’t jump on a soft launch or new opening. However, I might make the exception for Bronte, which, with its good looks, convenient location and (usually) free tables, is the perfect place for a mid-week drink and a bite.

Bronte

Grand Buildings,

1-3 Strand,

London WC2N 5EJ

Photo credit: Bronte

Blog, Date Spot, Eat, London

Oklava, Shoreditch

August 15, 2016
Oklava, Shoreditch

While Istanbul and in fact, Turkey in general, are massively struggling at the moment, Turkish food in London seems to be flourishing.

The very popular Babaji Pide opened in 2015 (another one of Alan Yau’s venture), and then Le Bab (serving gourmet kebabs – what’s not to like) opened earlier this year to rave reviews.

But perhaps the most talked about opening has to be Oklava (modern Turkish food), by Selim Kiazin – a young, hungry and exceptionally talented Turkish chef.  She wowed throughout her stint at Carousel, and was so loved that she set up on her own in a quiet Shoreditch side street.

Oklava, Shoreditch

The result is rather satisfactory.  It is a lovely little restaurant, with a busy open kitchen (and a kitchen counter to watch the chefs at work), large windows which open widely and a few seats outside too.

We arrived early and grabbed some of the outside seats to enjoy the warm Friday evening (and later moved inside to their kitchen counter).  I tried their sumac and pomegranate Martini – am always a fan of a vodka cocktail –  especially if they keep it quite simple.  Sumac might not be your cocktail ingredient of choice, but it’s actually quite sweet and worked really well.  We then moved onto the wine – all Turkish – which originally we (mainly Rob) were sceptical about.  Until we tried the wine the lovely waitress recommended, and that shut us up.

Oklava, Shoreditch

The menu is quite succinct, with everything sounding as mouth-watering as the dishes looked as they were prepared in front of us.  A must try is of course their ‘pide’ (flat bread), prepared in their special wood fire.  We went for the ‘traditional’ lamb one (Lahmacun), but their potato, leek, mozzarella, tulum cheese and fresh truffle one looked incredible too.

Oklava, Shoreditch

Our culinary journey here started with fresh Baharat bread and date butter – superb.  They were followed by whipped feta and pumpkin crostinis which were slightly disappointing, not taste-wise, but size-wise (and at £2.50 a pop, not worth it in my opinion). The courgette, feta and mint fritters came next, and while they also looked quite small, they were wonderfully filling and one of my favourite bites of the night.

Oklava, Shoreditch

After the pide we were suddenly feeling quite full, but then came Rob’s beef short rib which was melt in the mouth delicious, followed by my pomegranate glazed lamb breast with yoghurt. Both excellent.

Oklava, Shoreditch

In a city where restaurants are competing for attention, to properly ‘stand out’, Oklava does.  The price can add up (as tends to be the case with sharing plates) but it is totally worth it.

Oklava

74 Luke St,

London EC2A 4PY

Photo credit: Oklava (and the Instagram ones are mine)

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, London

Oriole, Farringdon

August 14, 2016
Oriole, Farringdon

Unfortunately for us, we chose possibly one of the warmest, sunniest Friday early evenings for a drink at Oriole.  While everyone was basking in the London sun on heaving terraces, we were under ground (under Smithfield), very much out of the sunshine, sipping cocktails.  This is clearly a night time haunt, preferably in the winter, when you don’t feel guilty for being inside.  And while we were quietly wishing we were outside, it didn’t take away from how stunning this bar really is.

Oriole, FarringdonOriole, Farringdon

I totally adored the interiors, all green leather banquettes, leafy wall paper, with a beautiful bar.  It screams exotic, sexy, alluring.  It is the ultimate date place, and if you like jazz, then all the better but they have live music performances seven nights a week.  It is the sister property of the award-winning Nightjar bar (which is always fully booked), and it’s gone for a similar vibe.  Booking a table is highly recommended (unless it’s a 30 degree Friday evening..).

Oriole, FarringdonOriole, Farringdon

The cocktails are sublime, even if the list is somewhat overwhelming.  Divided into Old World, New World and The Orient, these are not your run of the mill cocktails.  They are concocted with thought, and care, and the result is wonderful.   I opted for the Karachi Sour (Cana Brava Rum, sweet ume paste, yellow courgette, lemon and fresh sea herbs), leaning, as always, towards a fresh and citrusy drink.  It was also served in the prettiest glass (shaped as a fish).  Rob had an ‘Anchor Steam’ beer from California, which he really enjoyed.

Oriole, FarringdonOriole, Farringdon

They also had a very good food menu, and we really enjoyed an Asian version of padron peppers, and the most moorish black truffle croquettes.

We left after a drink, in search of sunnier places, however I loved this place and will definitely return when it’s raining outside.

Oriole

East Poultry Avenue,

London Central Markets,

London, EC1A 9LH

Photo credit: Oriole

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, Eat, London

Restaurant Ours, South Kensington

July 10, 2016
Restaurant Ours, South Kensington

There are certain restaurants which live up to the hype, and some which don’t.  To be fair, Restaurant Ours hasn’t had much time to get hyped up (it’s fairly new) – but with a celebrity launch party and being the sister restaurant to Michelin star (and very much liked) Restaurant Story, let’s just say I had high expectations for Tom Sellers’ new venture.

It started well.  I tried booking a table for a Friday night on a Wednesday, was promptly told they were full (fair enough) and was told I would be put on a waiting list.  Then Friday came and Brexit happened (that’s not the good part) and I thought I’d call again to see if there had been any cancellations.  And luck had it, there had been a cancellation, and the table was mine at 7:30pm.

I thought I’d take my Dad to treat him.  But then walked in and realised pretty quickly this was not really his ‘scene’.  There’s no denying the place looks good – it’s taken over the impressive space which used to be the Pan-Asian restaurant Collection – and so everything, from the Japanese style walk way to the olive trees mid-restaurant, to the rest of the décor, is rather beautiful.  But then you get the super loud music, which makes it feel like you’re in some sort of ‘lounge bar’ (to be fair, there is a cocktail area upstairs to which the music is more suited), rather than an exclusive restaurant.  I didn’t have the guts to ask them to turn it down, I knew what the response would be.

Restaurant Ours, South KensingtonRestaurant Ours, South Kensington

Don’t get me wrong, I think this would be the ideal place for a weekend cocktail.  It’s fun and it’s great for people watching.  David Schwimmer came and sat next to us (I clarify: not with us), and it seems to be popular with girls who don’t really feel like wearing any clothes at all (much to my father’s amazement).  The clientele are a complete mixture of local rahs, Euro trash, semi celebs and high end escort girls.  Entertaining, there’s no denying that.

I also couldn’t really fault the food.  It was good, but not outstanding.  The (purple) vichy carrots were the only real let down.  The scallop (£12) and tuna for starters were delicious, but the portions so minute it was gone in seconds.  I think they had literally put one scallop on my plate and sliced it as thinly as possible to make it look like an actual portion.  My salmon for mains was good, as was my father’s lamb.  I was most excited about ‘Our’ chips, with pecorino and fois gras.  They were most definitely edible, but, like the rest of the menu, not memorable.

Restaurant Ours, South KensingtonRestaurant Ours, South KensingtonRestaurant Ours, South KensingtonRestaurant Ours, South Kensington

So now you’re probably wondering what’s so wrong with this place?  Sadly, the most important thing about a restaurant: the service.  I noticed the minute we arrived how many staff they had, and at first I was impressed.  Then I quickly noticed how inefficient and incompetent the staff actually were (and their uniforms are exceptionally bad too). When you’re at a good restaurant you usually have one or two people serving your table.  Here we had – no joke, I counted – 8 people.  They were all perfectly sweet and well-meaning but were also pretty useless.  One couldn’t open a bottle of wine, so my father did it.  The other didn’t know what a ‘carpaccio’ was.  Another didn’t speak any English at all really.  There was no communication or coordination between the staff.  It was a big mess.

Such a shame.  Perhaps if they sorted this the place would be worth the (extremely expensive) bill.  But, apart from perhaps a fun cocktail on a Friday night, I won’t be running back here any time soon.

Restaurant Ours

264 Brompton Road

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, London

The Victorian Bath House, City of London

April 21, 2016
The Victorian Bath House, City of London

It’s not often that you find a hidden cocktail bar in a churchyard, let alone in the City of London.  But London is full of surprises, as is this new venue from Camm & Hoopers (known for Tanner & Co, and various other event spaces in the City).  If I hadn’t googled images, I would never have found this wonderful little bar.

The Victorian Bath House, City of London

Why did I like it?  Firstly, you can book a table.  Ideal.  There’s nothing worse than being turned away from a bar on a Friday night.  It is therefore the perfect date place, and great to combine with dinner at the new Pitt Cue around the corner, or ‘posh fish & chips’ at Des McDonald’s The Fish & Chip shop, or, if you get a table, fantastic Thai food at the newly opened Som Saa.  It’s all happening in and around the City these day.

The Victorian Bath House, City of London

Secondly, the interiors are quite spectacular, and unexpected.  It feels like you’ve walked into Alhambra (a slightly kitsch version perhaps!).  It’s dark and hushed, but not in a sterile way.  There’s a lot to look at – both decor and people wise.  The cocktail menu is quite unusual, with a number of quite over-complicated sounding cocktails, and lots of different versions of G&Ts.  I had the lavender and rosemary one which was delicious.

The Victorian Bath House, City of London

They also have a lovely terrace, which will be ideal for post work drinks in the summer.  I love the contrast between the Grade II listed building, and the modern, tall glass skyscrapers it is surrounded by.   You can even rent out the whole space for what would certainly be a dinner to remember.

The Victorian Bath House

7 – 8 Bishopsgate

London EC2M 3TJ

Photo credit: The Victorian Bath House

Blog, Italy, Rome

Etabli, Rome – DRINK

February 14, 2016
Etabli, Rome

It’s unusual that I find a place I love while on a city break which I have not researched in advance. I’m not very good at being spontaneous, and am also quite bad at giving places I don’t know or have not heard of ‘a chance’.

But when we passed Etabli and I had a look inside, it looked so appealing, so welcoming with a fire place in the corner and a sitting room-esque vibe that we decided to try it for pre-dinner drinks. My sister Jo ended up loving it so much she wanted to return at every opportunity.

Etabli, Rome
This lovely place is perfect for afternoon drinks, or cocktails or even dinner. It’s quite a large open space, with distressed decor, and sofas and comfy armchairs in the corners.  The seats by the fireplace are unsurprisingly the most popular. The bar is spacious and the cocktail list diverse (the Espresso Martini was excellent).  During the day it’s very laid back, it’s ideal to come here after a day of sightseeing in the late afternoon to relax with a book and a cappuccino (or glass of wine).

Etabli, Rome
It definitely livens up in the evening. As we were leaving they were preparing all the tables for dinner. A DJ was also getting ready.  As we didn’t have dinner here, I’m not sure how good the food is.  We did order a platter of antipasti which we enjoyed: a bulgar wheat salad, bruschetta and cold meats.  They offer brunch on the weekends too.

What’s close? Bar del Fico and Cafe Della Pace are around the corner, as is Piazza Navona.  But if you want a place to sit and chat in relative peace and quiet, Etabli certainly gives you that option.

Etabli

Vicolo delle Vacche, 9/9A,

00186 Rome

Photo credit: Etabli

Blog, Cape Town, South Africa

Bree Street’s best cocktail bars, Cape Town

January 17, 2016
Bree Street, Cape Town

Bree Street has transformed over the past decade, and is now, along with Kloof Street, one of Cape Town’s hottest culinary streets.  I found the further down the street you walked (away from the Waterfront), the more restaurants, bars and cafes popped up.  They all looked super appealing, but we settled for a little stretch with a number of cocktail bars all in a row, in different coloured houses.  So cute.  It’s as hipster as Cape Town gets here.

Bree Street, Cape Town

These were my favourite bars on Bree:

DOOR 221

This tiny bar is relatively new on Bree street, and it’s where we spent most of our afternoon, sitting in the warm sun at one of their few tables on the street, watching Cape Town go by.  Their whisky sours are wonderful (and about £2 a pop), and Rob enjoyed their various beers.  Apparently they serve great tacos too.

Door 221, Cape TownDoor 221, Cape Town

GIN BAR MOTHER’S RUIN

If you’re a gin lover this is the place for you.  Serving various types of gin and tonics, with fun interiors and a friendly vibe, this is one of the most populars bars on Bree Street.

Mother's Ruin, Cape Town

ORPHANAGE COCKTAIL EMPORIUM

Annoyingly this was shut when we went (but it was the reason we discovered Door 221 and Mother’s Ruin).  This speakeasy bar apparently mixes some of the best cocktails in town.  The interiors are vintage in style, and they offer sharing platters too if you get hungry.

Orphanage Cocktail Emporium, Cape Town

In terms of restaurants, for coffee I’d recommend the Hard Pressed Cafe, for breakfast Jason Bakery (incredibly pastries) and Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room (I love the look of the interiors here), for lunch Chefs Warehouse (with a wonderful tapas menu), for dinner Bistro Bizerca (blog to follow).  For beer lovers the Brewers & Union, with a lovely outside terrace, is the place to be.

For a comprehensive list of all the incredible dining and drinking venues on Bree Street, Eat Out have written a fantastic article.

Blog, Cape Town, South Africa

The Pot Luck Club, Cape Town – EAT + DRINK

January 5, 2016
The Pot Luck Club, Cape Town

I often find the Potluck Club somewhat overshadowed by its more prominent and more famous sister restaurant, the Test Kitchen.  They sit side by side within the the Old Biscuit Mill, a complex filled with charming boutiques, restaurants and bars, in an otherwise fairly dodgy part of Cape Town.  Side by side isn’t perhaps so accurate – while the Test Kitchen is on ground level, part of the unique charm of the Potluck Club is that it is elevated, on the 6th floor of the factory tower.  This means wonderful views of Cape Town, Table Mountain and beyond.

Potluck Club, Cape Town

We came here for a cocktail before dinner at the Test Kitchen, and even if you can’t get a table booking at either of them (the Potluck club is also notoriously difficult), I would recommend coming here for a drink.  Arrive early and getting a seat at the bar shouldn’t be a problem.  For me there were three highlights:

  1. The aforementioned views (the city looks so beautiful at sunset, but also very cool in the dark) and aesthetics of the place itself.  I preferred the interiors and the setting here to the Test Kitchen.  It’s a little more casual here but still is clearly a place to come for a special occasion. It had a great buzz.
  2. The bar staff were phenomenal. So friendly, so skilled and so enthusiastic.  They gave us tasters to help us make our choices, they explained how they been through proper training courses and how much they loved working there.
  3. The cocktails. Until arriving in Cape Town I’d struggled to find a bar in South Africa which served good cocktails, even at some of the five star hotels we stayed. So I stuck to wine.  At the Potluck Club the Martini menu was so good I wanted to try a whole range of them. I struck gold with the rosemary and elderflower vodka martini, and then was recommended the thai curry martini. I was hesitant but loved it – the chilli and the lemongrass were a wonderful addition to the citrus and vodka. And the best bit?  They were no more than £2.50 a cocktail. Too good to be true.

The Pot Luck Club, Cape Town

We could have sat by the bar all evening, sipping martinis and talking about Cape Town, but had to head down to the Test Kitchen for dinner (it’s a tough life).  So this is a place I have to return to, because the food that came by looked wonderful.  And I really need to have one of their rosemary elderflower martinis again.

The Pot Luck Club, Cape Town

The Potluck Club

6, The Silo,

The Old Biscuit Mill,

373-375 Albert Rd,

Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915,

Photo credit: the Potluck Club

Argentina, Blog

Pony Line Lounge at the Four Seasons, Buenos Aires – DRINK

November 10, 2015
Pony Line Lounge, Four Seasons

If you’re looking for the hang out to see and be seen, then make a bee line for the Pony Line Lounge at the newly renovated Four Seasons.

Expect the style to be clearly reflecting its name: yes, the horsey theme is apparent, but no, it’s not naff.  And anyway, this is Argentina, where horses and Polo are a big deal. A big, glamorous deal.  And so I love the booths which are meant to be old stables, and the tan chests doubling as tables.  Yet it has a modern, polished feel, and it’s understandable that this hotel bar attracts all the trendy locals.

Pony Line Lounge, Four SeasonsPony Line Lounge, Four Seasons

The drinks menu varies from my favourite vodka drinks to more elaborate, original cocktails.  If you get peckish they also offer a casual dining menu – apparently their burgers are fantastic.  If you’re looking for more serious food however, try Elena next door.  I had one of the best steaks ever there (and their cheese soufflé and truffle mash was incredible too).

Pony Line Lounge, Four Seasons

Apart from their F&B, the Four Seasons was one of the best hotels I saw in BA.  The horse theme continues throughout (apart from the in Mansion, which maintains its more traditional interiors).  But all the rooms are wonderfully light and spacious. And the outdoor pool is a real (rare) treat considering it can get well over 30 degrees in the summer months.

Pony Line Lounge, Four SeasonsPony Line Lounge, Four SeasonsPony Line Lounge, Four Seasons

Yes, chain hotels are perhaps not where you want to hang out a lot in a new city, but the Four Seasons offers a very special, Argentine experience – well worth your time.

Pony Line Lounge

Four Seasons

Posadas 1086/88,

C1011ABB Buenos Aires

Amsterdam, Blog, Drink, The Netherlands

Hiding in Plain Sight, Amsterdam

October 18, 2015
Hiding in Plain Sight, Amsterdam
I was always of the impression that Amsterdam lacked cocktail bars.  With three English girls over for the weekend, I wanted to start the night with a quiet cocktail, before heading to the more obvious bars (Cafe Cox, Weber Lux) where I always seem to end up when out late in Amsterdam.
Having been to Door 74 (a New York style speakeasy) I was in search of something similar.  A friend recommended the secret speakeasy at the Butcher, but it proved so difficult to get a ‘password’ and I didn’t want to risk not getting in, that I had two other options in mind: Hiding in Plain Sight (HPS) or Tales and Spirits.  In the end we opted for HPS, mainly because I liked the name so much.
Hiding in plain sight, Amsterdam
 i
It’s a bit of a bike ride if you’re staying in West, but if you’re close to the station (or staying on the grand canals) it’s very easy to get to.  It is not perhaps in the most bustling of areas, but it is very local. And local is good in a city which does get a bad rep for its touristy areas.  We arrived around midnight and the bar, which looks very unassuming from the outside, was close to empty.  I think it’s busier early in the evening, if you’re looking for more of a buzz, but it was perfect for us as we could chat and enjoy the (truly excellent) cocktails in peace.  It’s also open until 3am on the weekends, so ideal if you don’t feel like clubbing but want to stay out drinking.
 i
Hiding in plain sight, Amsterdam
 i
The bar is dark and ambient, with a small upstairs area with more seating (big sunken sofas, Chesterfield armchairs).  The bar men are skilled and concoct fabulous drinks.  We asked for ours to be fresh rather than sweet, and a bit spicy – and were then served a range of unique and original drinks.
i
Hiding in Plain Sight, Amsterdam
 i
One word of warning, they are expensive (15 euros a cocktail); this is not your typical Dutch bar where you pay 3 euros for a beer.  That aside, this is a sophisticated, intimate place, where a pre or post dinner drink will go down very well.
 i
They also offer brunch.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Rapenburg 18,
1011 TX Amsterdam
 i
Photo credit: Hiding in Plain Sight, Instagram shot mine.
Barcelona, Blog, Spain

Terraza del Pulitzer, Barcelona – DRINK

September 14, 2015
Pulitzer Terrace, Barcelona

There’s something special about roof top bars.  For some reason they tend to have that slightly more exclusive feel to them.   Height has its advantages of course: usually they have views worth seeing, of they offer the perfect place to catch some rays, as well as a breeze.  While hotels do frequently have great roof top bars (the Four Seasons’ Aer bar in Mumbai, the Boundary Rooftop in London and the Peninsula’s Sir Elly’s Terrace in Shanghai are some of my favourites), during European weekend breaks I tend to avoid hotel bars in search of more local places.  But the Pulitzer’s Terraza is an exception.  I’d read about it numerous times and thought it looked fun and attractive, with no airs or graces as hotels can have.

Terraza del Pulitzer, Barcelona

Terraza del Pulitzer is one of those places where your mood lifts when you arrive.  Yes its busy, but not heaving.  Loud, but not noisy.  Full enough to create a vibe, with lots of locals to give it that all important authentic feel.  In fact, I don’t think I heard a word of English (apart from from the bar man when speaking to us).  We were there on a Friday evening and you could tell everyone was in a good mood; people were unwinding on the dance floor after a long week at work, dancing as only the Spanish can to upbeat music.  People were sipping cocktails, many the ever-popular ‘Gin-Tonic’, and we almost felt part of the local, trendy Catalonian crowd.  Bar the language and the dance moves of course.

Terraza del Pulitzer, Barcelona

You’re not here for the views (below average), but it’s a beautiful, leafy space where you can easily spend the whole day.  It is the ideal place for pre-dinner drinks (their cocktails are fantastic, the prices sadly what you’d expect from a hotel).  We didn’t really want to leave, but dinner was calling (Llamber in El Born).  It was certainly one of my favourite places of the weekend.

Other rooftop bars like La Terrassa at Hotel Villa Emilia and the Sky Bar are apparently also worth going to.

Terraza del Pulitzer

Hotel Pulizter

Calle Bergara, 8
08002 – Barcelona

Open from May to September

Photos Hotel Pulitzer’s own

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