One Aldwych has one of the best hotel lobby bars in London. It used to the offices of a newspaper that a young Winston Churchill wrote for. Built in 1907 by the same designers of the Ritz Hotels in both London and Paris, the lobby still retains some Edwardian elegance and period features, not least the huge windows looking out onto The Strand. It's hard to imagine it being the hectic hub of a newspaper's head office, because now it couldn't be any more serene if it tried. Stunning decor includes distinctive sculptures; I love 'The Boatman' who sits in a giant boat next to a table, listening in as he rows.
This is a really beautiful place to have some pre-dinner or pre-theatre drinks, but it's also open throughout the day for breakfast and afternoon tea. I went with Alexandra for a catch-up and to try some delicious limited edition cocktails that One Aldwych are serving in partnership with BLOOM Gin. There are four of these summery delights to choose from, each one uses BLOOM's delicate, floral blend with notes of honeysuckle, chamomile and pomelo. We should have tried all four, but Alexandra and I were both keen to try The Lavender Cloud (below) – a not-too-sweet mix of rhubarb and black raspberry liqueurs with lavender honey and topped with bergamot foam, and Almond Bouquet (top photo) – amaretto liqueur with fresh pineapple juice, fresh rocket and lemon juice. I loved the summer flavours, they both smelt like a meadow (loved the fresh lavender sprig pegged to the Lavender Cloud), and went down a treat on a particularly hot London afternoon.
I had such a great afternoon with Alexandra, chatting about everything from blogging to food (she works for Zomato), to America (where Alexandra is from). One of my best ever trips was four months I spent travelling round six cities in the States (and I really want to go back), so I loved chatting with a bonafide American. Is that weird! I think anyone would have a good time in One Aldwych's bar – how could you not when it's so comfortable and beautiful, the staff are an absolute dream, and the cocktails so heavenly?
The BLOOM limited edition cocktails will be served until the end of August. One Aldwych invited us to review them free of charge.