Oval is a typical hotel bar in an unremarkable setting; however, it does provide a decent drink in a part of London without much choice.
Situated in the lobby of the Ramada Hotel, the Oval Bar is comfortable but undistinguished. Wood veneer walls, circle patterned carpet, and low slung sofas surround the oval-shaped bar from which its name must derive. Definitely corporate, but also clean and sophisticated.
Populated with travelling business types (on decent expense accounts, no doubt) the clientele at Oval Bar varies wildly according to what is on at the local Excel Centre. With specialisations ranging from motor shows to toy fairs and golf conventions, the businesses these people deal in are hugely varied, adding a nice dimension to the usual staid clientele of bars further into Canary Wharf and the surrounding areas.
The bar menu offers up nibbles and quick bites. Eight variations on pizza (at an average of £10 a pop), paninis and finger snacks cater to those who don't want a full meal in the restaurant next door.
Budvar, the Czech lager from Budweiser, is crisp and cool - refreshing on a hot day and priced at around three quid a pint. Draught beer includes Boddingtons, Stella, Guinness, Carling and there is a selection of bottled beers, spirits and wines by the glass or bottle - including two well-priced Cavas at just under £20 a bottle.
The Last Word
Oval Bar is a not a destination in its own right; however, it does provide a decent setting for a drink whether you’re a guest at the hotel or are using the local City Airport or Excel Centre.