Isis was the Egyptian goddess of motherhood and fertility. What this has to do with a luxe bar and lounge on the fringes of The City is anyone's guess. Despite this apparent misnomer, Isis Bar and Lounge, which is about as masculine an environment as you could ask for, is a suitable place to nurse a highball or two.
Isis Bar and Lounge is part of The Grange Hotel - a 5-star hotel just behind Tower Gateway tube. The bar is a class act, fitted to a very high specification. Polished marble floors, wall panelling and gold leafed light fixtures fill the space.
The room is split in half with the bar in the middle. One side offers seating for meals and the opposite comprises low sofas and chairs for unwinding with a drink at the end of the day. Although a lot of people traffic flows past the wall of windows, there are few cars to spoil the mood. A couple of discretely placed flat screen televisions are muted so as not to disturb.
During the day, a suited and booted business crowd gather for lunch at Isis Bar and Lounge, while evenings enjoy a mix of post work punters and hotel guests (most of whom are business travellers). The uniformed staff are gracious and management appear to run a tight ship. It all feels polished and professional.
By day, the food is varied and light, including a well-priced daily lunch special. Other options include salads, paninis, risottos, pasta and meat dishes – all of which are a step up from typical bar food. Evening throws in some nice looking sharing platters. Or perhaps drop by for afternoon tea complete with sandwiches, tarts, scones and cakes.
The sophisticated wine list at Isis Bar and Lounge has a selection of well-chosen wines - both old and new world. Prices are mid range and not all are available by the glass. Premium spirits are served at non premium mark-ups, making it a choice place for your favourite tipple or a trip through their cocktail list. Die hard lager lovers still have several draught selections to choose from, including Stella, Fosters, John Smith, Guinness and Budvar, although you do pay a premium on your pint for the upmarket environs.
The Last Word
Isis Bar and Lounge avoids the bland neutrality that plagues so many hotel bars. They have a clear understanding of their clientele – the business traveller – and do a very good job of satisfying that niche.