Address: 70 City Road, London, EC1Y 2BJ, UK
Address: 19 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6DB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7438 8059
Hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-12am
Type: Hotel bar
The signature features of this basement site near Blackfriars Station are the nine below-pavement vaults, each uniquely decorated with digital wallpaper depicting the cellars of Champagne and kitted out with iPod docks. They seat between two and eight - ideal for everything from intimate first dates to raucous after-work office outings. Plus you can smoke. The separate main space serves as the bar for the Crown Plaza hotel above: you'll find a long bar and large banquettes in a contemporary designed space. A DJ spins the decks at all times.
The reference to Voltaire reminds that this is predominantly a champagne bar, with the full range of Pommery accompanied by just a few other bins from other houses. Prices range from the affordable (£55 per bottle of non-vintage brut, £11 per glass) up to the stratospheric (£1,200 for a bottle of Cuvee Louise 1990). There's also a range of classic and original, full-flavoured cocktails which come in extravagant glassware. A range of 'spa' cocktails come with little cosmetic gifts (face-masks, lip balms etc).
An excellent vibe and a superb welcome mark this out from a glut of City watering holes, though the suited/booted crowd remain the target clientele. 3.5/5