Did you know its Rum Experience Week in London right now?! Don’t feel bad, I didn’t realise either, until I got tickets to Lamb’s Rum Week launch party at Voltaire. Having never heard of Voltaire before, I checked out their website and the bar sounded awesome – a grade II listed building converted from a bank that was converted from a prison with VIP areas set up in old stone vaults. Even though it was a Monday evening, I was excited to see it in the flesh and taste lots of rum!
I arrived with a friend to find the bar was actually inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel, probably not the most glamourous entrance, but we headed in and straight to the bar. The barmen were all waistcoated –up, smiley, welcoming and they mixed us up and expertly garnished some rum cocktails (one sweet & one sour). The sour one really packed a rum PUNCH, so we stuck with sweet for the rest of the evening and ordered a dim sum platter to line the stomach. They arrived authentically presented in a bamboo steamer, supersized with some welcomed twists on traditional recipes like scallop topped siu mai (pork dumplings)! Delicious!
The seating areas were arranged cosily with plenty of cushions, surrounded by fairy light, however, the main lights were never dimmed to fully appreciate them. The cocktails were pleasant enough and the bar food was tasty, but as expected for so early in the week, the bar wasn’t very busy and this may have made for a different experience. Perhaps it would be better on a Thursday or Friday night…though I’d worry that the cocktail service couldn’t handle a larger crowd and no-one enjoys a long wait at the bar!
Rating: 2.5 / 5.0