Sometimes I’m stuck for where to head in Kensington for a fun post-work drink other than one of the many great but not glitzy local pubs.
But after stepping into Bloom on High Street Kensington, I feel like this dilemma has been solved.
This bar, eatery and club ticks all the boxes when it comes to having a bit of grown-up fun with no fuss.
There is no dress code and no guest list at Bloom, unlike when it operated as the Swiss-themed venue Bodo’s Schloss and the Polynesian-themed club Mahiki.
The party spot, nestled under the Royal Garden Hotel, was snapped up by the Incipio Group, the same team behind Pergola Paddington and Olympia, as well as The Prince pub in West Brompton and the results are pretty impressive.
On stepping into Bloom, there’s a great atmosphere with sultry lighting, stripped brickwork and large velvet-covered booths which offer a spot of intimacy.
When it comes to the colour scheme, think emerald greens, dusty reds and flashes of neon pink.
I visited the place on a Wednesday evening after finishing work and it wasn’t busy but the general manager reassured me that come 8pm the place gets pretty buzzing with people flocking in to have a dance in the club concealed behind giant mirrored sliding doors.
Relishing in the peace for a while, I settled into one of the booths to catch up with a friend.
Our waiter was one of the chirpiest fellows I’d encountered in a while, and he helped us order some tipples and nibbles.
Bloom boasts a nice concise cocktail menu. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, I recommend the Bloomtini which features a heady blend of Ciroc French vanilla vodka, passion fruit, lime and a side shot of Prosecco.
If you’re looking for something a little punchier Between the Sheets guarantees to get you in a good mood, with a mix of 12 Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, Cognac, Triple Sec and lemon.
If it’s something fresh you’re hunting for, try the Bramble which contains Tanqueray No 10, crème de mure, lemon and honey.
Then, for traditionalists, Bloom serves up all of the classic concoctions – the margaritas come recommended! – and there is a range of wine on offer, from New Zealand Pinot Noir to Sicilian Pinot Grigio.
Don’t forget to line your stomach when feasting on these libations!
Bloom’s food menu was apparently ‘inspired by nights on the town’, with a good spread of treats available to order until 10pm.
We indulged in a mix of skewers including some very long lamb kebabs and another stack of sticks decked out with chunks of chicken.
A dinky bowl of truffle ‘Mac ‘n’ fromage’ kept us quiet, as did an exceedingly large plate of vegetable crudities framing a pot of hummus-anchovy dipping sauce.
Our jolly waiter returned and said we must try the Tagliata, and before we could argue he speedily returned with a plate of juicy 28 day aged beef accompanied by rocket, parmesan, balsamic and shoestring fries.
There is a small dessert list at Bloom featuring gelato and doughnuts but we were feeling pretty defeated by our decadent feast.
I’m not sure I’d ever had aged steak and anchovy dipping sauce after a night on the town, but we were in Kensington after all…
Our ‘one drink’ at Bloom had descended into quite a fiesta. We rolled out of the venue in a slight haze. A neon sign on my way out caught my eye: ‘This tequila tastes like I’m not going to work tomorrow.’
Enter this party liar at your peril. It certainly gets you into the high spirited swing of things.
Bloom is located at 2a Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 4PT
To make a reservation or to find out more visit www.bloomkensington.com