Friday, 19 March 2010

Rafayel's Crystal Bar reviewed on View London

The View London Review by Tim Crane, 17/03/2010

"The Crystal Bar is a new and exciting venue on the banks of the river Thames at the newly christened Left Bank, Battersea. Here you can enjoy the wizardry and expertise of mixologists who create cocktails and Martinis to order. The experience is intimate, fun and memorable with a chic coolness and laidback style to stimulate the senses. The notion of 5-star treatment at affordable prices is alive and well in SW11....

"The bar has been specially designed to offer a panoramic view of the river Thames and its glass frontage ensures an enviable vantage point. Inside, low ceilings, cool purple and green lighting, halogen candles, a long flowing bar and exquisite floral displays create a warm, relaxed environment which is stirred but not shaken by the sounds of Motown and other soulful classics. The summer months provide plenty of alfresco drinking opportunities for hotel guests, locals and passers-by looking to enjoy a chilled glass of wine or something more adventurous. The bar is ideal setting for celebrations of all occasions....

"The cocktails are fantastic. The strawberry and vanilla Champagne is carefully prepared with fresh strawberries simmered for about 10-minutes with vodka, sugar and vanilla liqueur. This mixture is then left for 48-hours before being served. It certainly provides a quirky alternative to the standard Kir Royale and the £9.50 price tag sends the right message to the Chelsea set paying considerably more.

"The Rafayel Special Cocktail consists of raspberry vodka, lychee liquer, pomegranate juice and fresh raspberries. The sprig of mint completes the resplendence and it is served over a stack of crushed ice. It is the visual representation of the word refreshing. Priced at £8.50, the Special is dangerously good and a non-alcoholic time out is on hand in the form of the Virgin Cocktails, priced at £5.95, where various fruit-based creations steady the pace.....

"The Hotel Rafayel’s Crystal Bar has the potential to become a mecca for cocktail lovers. The spectre of Chelsea Harbour need not be an intimidating one as The Crystal is not at all out of place in terms of style and sophistication. Indeed, you can imagine James Bond dropping out of a helicopter and landing effortlessly into the throng, a glass of Martini in one hand and a dazzling Martina wrapped around him. It certainly deserves to create a Battersea set at the forefront of a stylish new social setting on London’s Left Bank and could easily develop into the place to be seen."

To read the full review please click here

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