So we popped along for a taste…
We started our evening in Bloom Kitchen and Bar which opened on 21 February. The bar and kitchen is inspired by a love of gin and passion for food and pays homage to the famous artistic set, The Bloomsbury Group, and the locality. The aim at Bloom Kitchen and Bar is to provide a destination for people who enjoy great food, good drinks, a cosy setting and timeless fun.
We were greeted by Bloom’s General Manager, Joel Lawrence, who showed us to our table and talked us through the menu and the concept of Bloom. Joel explained that the staff all wear clothing such as neck scarves and cravats featuring Bloomsbury prints. These uniforms reflect the styles of The Bloomsbury Group, a collective of bohemian writers, poets and intellectuals including Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, who worked together, studied together and were renowned for their influential, private and exclusive rendezvous.
We were served a bowl of the most delicious seaweed tempura crackers and risotto rice chilly cakes which we demolished within seconds, so fast that we were offered a second bowl but decided we didn’t want to ruin our appetite for Belgo!
The cocktail list features 12 cocktails, each mixed with a different gin. You can view the menu on their website. We ordered a cocktail each – a Passage to India (£10.50) for Karl which was a blend of Bombay Sapphire, Cointreau, Creme de Mure, Vanilla Gomme, and Cranberry Juice and for me – a Cucumber Basil Sour (£10.50), a concoction of Tanqueray, Basil Sugar, Cucumber Slice, Fresh Lemon & Lime, and Egg White. Both equally tasty and vibrant in flavour and colour. We sat back and relaxed in Bloom before heading next door to Belgo.
Bloom is casual bar with a relaxed vibe, it is cosy but glamorous as it is dimly lit and has a chilled, romantic feel to it. I absolutely adored it there and could definitely see myself returning for more cocktails.
Soon it was time for us to venture over to Belgo. Belgo is renowned for its 52 Belgium beers and its fresh mussels which are rope grown, grit free and fully sustainable from the Shetland Islands . Beer isn’t always my drink of choice but Belgo has really changed my perception of beer and since this visit I’ve been trying more beers when out and about.
On arrival we were presented with a Fruit beer mojito each. A wonderful concoction of a strawberry fruit beer with lime and mint to create the mojito flavours.
Our table was filled with buckets of beers and lots of glasses which ensured we were in for a great beer tasting session as well as trying some of Belgo’s famed dishes.
The latest restaurant of the group seats 140 and features quirky lighting, big banquette seating, reclaimed wood booths and eclectic artwork. There is floor to ceiling stained glass screens which break up the restaurant creating smaller intimate dining areas. Belgo originally launched in Chalk Farm in 1992 and now has an iconic chain of five London restaurants called Belgo Noord, Belgo Centraal, Belgo Holborn, Belgo Bromley and Belgo Soho, plus Belgo Nottingham – which all specialise in moules, frites and bieres.
We shared a fantastic selection of starters including Cheesy croquettes, King prawns in garlic butter and Belgo potted pate. Each dish so tasty and perfectly complemented by our matching beer – Lindemans Faro. The staff at Belgo told us that candy sugar is added to the beer before bottling to give the beer the perfect balance between sweetness and lambic tartness.
The beer was very sweet and fizzy – absolutely perfect for me and for those who have a sweet tooth and may not always go to beer for their choice of alcoholic beverage. This was our favourite beer of the night.
For the main affair we were served two bowls of Belgo’s iconic moules served two different ways (there are 12 moules flavours to choose from, you can view the menu here). We were served traditional moules (garlic) and Thai moules (Green thai sauce with coconut cream, fresh ginger, lemon grass, lime leaf, chilli and coriander). Both were fantastic, the Thai moules had the perfect amount of spice and went down well with our beer pairing of Delirium Tremens, an 8.5% beer.
Despite the beers high percentage, surprisingly it didn’t taste too strong and we both loved it (I made sure I didn’t leave a drop). The pink elephant is the logo of Delirium as after too many beers or Delirium Tremens it is said that you will start seeing pink elephants!
As well as the moules, we also enjoyed sumptuous sliced sirloin and doubled cooked frites. The steak was perfectly cooked at medium-rare and the chips were crispy with a delicious fluffy inside.
Belgo was the first time Karl had tried pate and mussels and he was incredibly impressed. Between us, we devoured each dish within minutes.
Our table was filled with a variety of beers and delicious food – it was my dream come true! The restaurant was so relaxing so after our mains we just sat and chilled out and played catch up on our beer pairings and had a little break before moving onto dessert.
For dessert we shared homemade waffles and ice cream, one waffle with chocolate and honeycomb ice cream (my favourite) and one waffle with vanilla ice cream smothered in strawberry sauce. The dessert was paired with a deliciously fruity beer – strawberry Fruli beer which is made from pure strawberry juice and Belgian white beer. The perfect beer to end our gastronomic experience.
With satisfied and full bellies and feeling pretty merry, we managed to waddle back over to Bloom for our dessert cocktail.
I went for the Hedgerow Sling (£9.50) which seemed the perfect dessert cocktail with it’s mix of Sipsmith, Sipsmith Sloe, Creme De Mure, Muddled Blackberries, Fresh Lemon and Chocolate Syrup. The elegant cocktail was perfectly sweet and just right to end the night and cleanse the palette.
We both left in agreement that our visit to Bloom and Belgo was one of our favourite dining experiences and we cannot wait to return. It is the perfect hub for cocktail and beer lovers and somewhere you are guaranteed you can get top notch grub at a decent price.
Bloom Bar and Kitchen and Belgo are both located at:
1 King’s Cross Rd