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Minute on the clock: Giovanni Spezziga, general manager of the Coral Room and Dalloway Terrace at the Bloomsbury hotel

26 July 2018 by

Having overseen the launch of Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London, Giovanni Spezziga is now at the helm as general manager of both the Bloomsbury hotel's new Coral Room bar, which opened in November 2017, and its Dalloway Terrace. He talks to Katherine Price about English sparkling wine and reveals his own drinks order

What makes the Coral Room stand out?

The Coral Room is a fun, lively, good-looking room designed by the acclaimed Martin Brudnizki. The vibrant grand salon bar reflects an exquisite country house transported to the city, with a secluded cigar terrace and stylish, inimitable cocktail list.

What kind of guests does it attract?

What attracted you to the bar?

The stunning property and the vision that the Doyle Collection has for the hotel have been two of the main reasons. Taking on the position is a new challenge, but one I'm very excited about. I'm hoping I will be able to contribute to the bar being recognised for the great space it is and hopefully winning some awards.

What are your plans for it?

I am looking forward to cementing the Coral Room as one of the top drinking destinations in London. I believe it's going to be the new place to see and be seen in.

The wine list focuses on English sparkling wine and local vineyards - tell us more about the vineyards you work with

To see two or more English spark­ling wines on a menu is fairly unusual, but here at the Coral Room we have torn up the rulebook and decided to offer a 30-bottle list from across the country. The Coral Room has English sparkling wines from Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Surrey, West Sussex and Worcestershire on the menu, with each wine being listed in an easy to understand 'by county' format.

Is English sparkling wine gaining popularity?

I think it is becoming more popular. Lots of people are not very familiar with it, but are often happy and intrigued to see that a wine comes from a vineyard close to an area they are familiar with or live near. Guests always like to see something different on a wine list.

You've been living and working in London for 15 years. What is it about the London hospitality environment that attracted you?

I have been very lucky to work at some of the finest establishments across Europe and I have found London the best place in the world for bars, restaurants and hotels.

What drink do you order at the bar?

A good negroni. The nice thing about this cocktail is that the sweet vermouth offsets some of the bitterness of the Italian spirit. This also makes the negroni a nice drink for training your taste buds to enjoy bitter aperitifs.

What would you recommend to a guest looking for something new?

Our rotating wine menu of English sparkling wines! There is also the opportunity to enjoy them in cocktails - our house drop Ridge­view Bloomsbury is a must-try.

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