If you’re looking for the overt glamour of some of London’s better-known hotel bars then Nabuco may disappoint; however, if you prefer something a little more chilled but with a focus on quality then you can’t go wrong with this bar.
Nabuco may not express the OTT glamour of other London hotel bars but it still makes an effort. The warm red and yellow colourscheme is cosy and welcoming and a huge piece of modern art in a bold canary colour is eye-catching and somewhat decadent. Otherwise, the aesthetic here veers towards the more businessy side of hotel bars with small round wooden tables surrounded by comfortable seating and a few sofas thrown in for when you have some serious time to kill. The wooden flooring is simple and acts in contrast to the vibrant red walls and the bar is a nice centrepiece without demanding too much attention. In all, they have pitched it right.
The staff at Nabuco are incredibly friendly with an efficiency to their service you only really ever get in hotel bars. And the clientele seem to warm to them as the drinks flow. The mix focuses on hotel guests and walk-ins and seems to veer towards business types and tourists and so the overall ambience here is laid-back - if you don’t usually like the pomp of hotel bars you may feel more at ease in this venue.
There’s a very scaled back food menu at Nabuco that does seem a little uninspiring perhaps, offering everything from soup to curry and a cheese and pickle sandwich. Still, it is quite refreshing to see the pomp stripped away and when you do get the munchies after a few cocktails you won’t be stung by the price as no dish tops the £15 mark.
The drink menu at Nabuco is good with a decent selection of spirits that don’t veer into the obscene heights of the £1000 a shot – you won’t pay more than £35 for a shot of Johnnie Walker Blue. The cocktail menu focuses on a fine array of martinis priced at £9.50 (£10 if you want it made with a premium spirit) and they’re on the girlier side of martinis, focusing on sweet and pleasant flavours rather than a big hit of alcohol. For example, the espresso martini is made with a homemade vanilla syrup and Kahlua for a creamy undertone and hint of sweetness. It’s a shame that sugar syrup makes such a large appearance on the menu, though, as fresh fruits and liqueurs can achieve a better effect. Still, they are hard to say no to.
The Last Word
Nabuco is a good example of a laid-back hotel bar where you won’t need to max out the credit just to enjoy a drink.