The Rivoli Bar is the very epitomy of decadence… Almost TOO much so.
Rivoli Bar is certainly glamorous. However, it does look like the designer thought ‘hmm, what is glamour?’ and then set about ensuring every single opulent design feature ever conceived was included. That would be fine, but when it’s all sandwiched into a small space, it becomes a bit of a headache, albeit a beautiful one.
The bar positively sparkles as if covered in diamonds. The patterned marble floors shine as if polished a hundred times a day, contrasting with the darker brown but equally shiny walls. Chandelier-style lighting hangs from the ceilings, highlighting the period artwork on the walls and there’s even a sphinx lamp sat atop a white marble plinth. And that’s before you spy the overtly patterned chairs – including some in leopard print. Yup, what did we tell you? A giant headache. Although it is fun spotting all the cute little details, Rivoli Bar is a place that has definitely not heard of the saying ‘less is more’.
Tourists come to The Ritz just to say they’ve been, businesspeople come to The Ritz to show off to their clients, hotel guests come to The Ritz because ‘hello!’ it’s The Ritz, and trustafarians flock to The Ritz because they have money to burn. And this is a mix that’s reflected in the drinkers at Rivoli Bar. And the staff? Of course, the service here is like nowhere else. Prepare to be pampered.
This is The Ritz dahling and so caviar is a major part of the food offering at Rivoli Bar; although, you’ll need a spare couple of hundred pounds if you want to make the most of the caviar menu. And even if you just fancy a few nibbles there isn’t much below £20 a plate – and £24 for a sandwich and chips is steep in anyone’s book.
Of course, Rivoli Bar offers a selection of fine wine and champagne, but it’s the cocktail menu that really shines here. They even have a cocktail priced at £120, called the Cesar Ritz (Courvoisier l’Essence, Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV,
angostura bitters and brown sugar). Ouch. Luckily, that’s not the average. You can actually expect to pay £19-£20 a cocktail, and that covers a huge number of innovative mixes. For example, a lemon meringue martini packs the sharp hit of alcohol you’d expect from a martini with the delicate sweetness of Limoncello, lemon curd, lemon juice and sugar, all rounded up with cream. It should be enough to make you sick, but it’s so well balanced that it actually tastes light and refreshing. Alternatively, you can opt for their standard martini or go for something a little different. For what is really a dessert, try their frozen cocktails such as the royal pina colada, which mixes Bacardi rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream and strawberry puree for the world’s most expensive slushy. Albeit a slushy with an alcoholic kick.
The Last Word
Although the cocktails at Rivoli Bar are good and the setting suitably glamorous, it’s all a bit too much. Too much decadence, too much money, too OTT. It’s fun, but only if you don’t mind spending big.