The bar and restaurant at the Trafalgar hotel has had a botanically themed makeover and while the foliage may be fake, the food and drinks are very much real.
If you choose to sit at the bar you’ll be treated to quite the performance, as attentive barkeeps shake, stir and flair their way through making all kinds of concoctions. The drinks menu is split into four sections which take you through various strengths and serves. Fish in Flight, a Rinomato-based cocktail, tasted like bright strawberry sherbet and was peachy pink in the glass.
Elsewhere, an Amaretto Sour had a thick layer of egg white foam on top, which was torched for a caramelised finish before being handed over, while a gin cocktail was presented in a tiny Alice-In-Wonderland-style bottle to be self-poured into a frozen glass.
While you sip you’ll also be able to snack, with a small bowl of complimentary crunchy broad beans mysteriously refilling themselves every time you’re not looking. A dangerous but welcome pattern.
For heartier fare, the food is a predictable line up of crowd pleasers – brioche sliders, tacos, salt and pepper squid, and chips. While there was nothing wrong with what was served up, there was nothing memorable about it either. Everything was a little over seasoned, but did the job of providing stomach lining for the drinks. If you’re here for a cocktail before dinner, we’d advise skipping food and saving yourself for the main event elsewhere instead.
The botanical theme is backed up by an art deco feel, with fringed low-hanging lamps and petrol blue stools lining the bar. As the evening progressed and the space emptied out, Rockwell felt increasingly like a hotel bar (rather than a destination in its own right), but salvation was found in the form of Paloma Faith, who flounced past with a posse of pals in tow. If it’s good enough for Paloma, it’s good enough for us.