A few weeks ago I was invited along to the launch of Belgo and Bloom’s collaborative space at the newly refurbished Crowne Plaza (previously the Holiday Inn) in Kings Cross. I brought along fellow Bangaranger, Ashleigh, as my +1 to check out the new bar and restaurants and sample some of what they have to offer.
We started the evening with cocktails and canapes in Bloom Kitchen & Bar. Bloom specialise in gin, a spirit that I don’t really like too much myself (I know, a blogger who doesn’t like gin?!), but that didn’t stop me from trying one of their gin based cocktails. I had The Bloomsbury, which was sweet & fruity. I’d definitely love to have a couple more on my next visit! Whilst we nibbled on canapes (the cheese topped garlic bread sticks were divine!) and sipped our cocktails, we were entertained with some music from a live jazz band, and a talk about the literary history of The Bloomsbury Group, as well as a recital from a Virginia Woolf impersonator. I love how the staff at Bloom dress in the style of the enigmatic members of this group. Think neck scarfs and cravats. It’s such a great touch. Bloom Kitchen & Bar is definitely a spot I can find myself coming back to and comfortably sharing cocktails with the girls. It’s modern but cosy.
Having whet our appetites with yummy snacks at Bloom, it was time to move next door to Belgo. I’ve visited Belgo previously, so was very excited for dinner! We were welcomed with a fresh beer, as well as a bucket full of even more on our table. Our menu also gave us tips of which beers tasted best with which dishes. First up was a mixture of sharer starters. We got to try the cheesy croquettes, king prawns in garlic butter and some of the Belgo potted pâté. The prawns were definitely my favourite. The flavouring was strong and wasn’t lost when the shell was peeled off. I was also a fan of the pâté which was smooth and creamy. The croquettes I wasn’t too fussed with as I found them to taste a bit sickly, however Ashleigh loved them, so might just be my taste buds.
Next up were the mains, starting with what Belgo is most well known for – moules and frites. This was the part I was most looking forward to, having fallen in love with this dish during my last visit. We were presented with 2 bowls of mussels, each with a different sauce. The Traditionelle with garlic & white wine was rich and creamy, definitely my favourite. We also tried the mussels in the Thai sauce which certainly had a kick to it! The double cooked frites were perfect for soaking up the leftover sauces. The 2nd main we got to sample was the sliced sirloin. Now, I’m going to tell you a pretty shocking fact about me; I had never had steak before… The thing is, before my operation on my jaw nearly 6 years ago, I couldn’t quite get to grips with eating chewy foods as only 2 of my teeth actually touched and I suppose I just got used to not eating tough meats and other things that required a lot of chewing. Anyway, this night I got to try my first ever steak, and well, it was alright, though I wasn’t quite blown away. It didn’t seem to have much flavour to it. Ashleigh, the avid steak muncher, devoured it pretty quickly though!
Just when we thought we couldn’t eat any more, they bring out the waffles! We’d made pretty great friends with our waiter, who very kindly brought us a sharing plate of waffles EACH! They both came with 2 different toppings. 1 half was salted caramel ice cream and crushed biscuits, the other was vanilla with cherries in a cherry coulis. Yet again Ashleigh & I didn’t agree on a favourite, but this was fine as it meant I got to eat most of the salted caramel, whilst she had the cherry. The waffles were fresh and soft, and not too heavy on top of everything else we’d eaten that night!
Well fed and watered, we headed home, passing under the extravagant lighting in the reception area of the hotel. A big thanks to Bloom Kitchen & Bar, Belgo, and the Crown Plaza for having us.
* I was invited to drink and dine at Bloom Kitchen & Bar, and Belgo for free, but rest assured, all words and opinions are my own 🙂