Food& Drink: The Coral Room – The Italian Touch. Interview with Giovanni Spezziga

After beginning his career at the luxurious Bar IL Portico, Porto Cervo in his native Italy, Giovanni Spezziaga has, for the last 15 years been perfecting cocktails and fine-tuning some of London’s most very splendid nightspots.

He’s worked at the award winning One Aldwych, launched the Arch London Hotel’s bar, Hunter468. He’s been the bar manager at Michelin starred restaurant Benares in Mayfair and more recently made Scarfes Bar the Holborn cocktail destination.

Giovanni latest adventure is a role as General Manager at the spectacular Coral Room at the Bloomsbury hotel. We caught up with him to find out more…

Have you seen any new trends with regards the type of cocktails people are ordering these days? Are we becoming more sophisticated?

Sustainability is perhaps the most important cocktail trend of 2018, because it’s literally about saving the world. The cocktail market, it never stops; once you believe you are catching up there is something new coming up. The challenge is to make your own style and engage with the guests. We are focused on exceeding guest expectations through our service and choices. It is not just about drinking a cocktail anymore; it’s about an experience. So all the touch points of service standards, product, space, and entertainment have to be ticked.

Is there a typical ‘coral room’ clientele? If not what kind of people visit?

The Coral Room provides the perfect setting during the day for guests wishing to meet for breakfast, coffee or a light bite, transforming itself into a lively cocktail bar with occasional live music sets in the evenings which attract a young and fashionable crowd.

What is the best night of the week to visit The Coral Room?

Thursday night as it brings a great mix of locals and regulars from Dalloway Terrace.

The Coral Room is also a great place to try English wines, how do you think they have developed over the past 5 years and what is your favourite ?

The Coral Room’s mission is to highlight the quality and value of English fizz. The bar is dedicated togiving London an ideal location in order to experience and appreciate ‘English Sparkling Wine’. We have a total of 29 different English Sparkling Wines to choose from with well-known loved brands to include Bolney Estate, Exton Park Vineyard and Greyfriars etc. For me it’s probably Bloomsbury’ Cuvée 2014 from RIDGEVIEW wine estate, I like the texture and the sophisticated bubbles. It is refreshing with an elegant fruity aroma. Our aim is to educate people and for them to enjoy an amazing experience at The Coral Room.

What is your fav Italian Italian Wine?

Sabbia Vermentino – Viticoltori della Romangia

 How does it feel to be the manager of such an iconic location in London?

I feel honoured to work at The Bloomsbury, it’s an inspirational place where so many stories are created. From the first party at the Dalloway Terrace to the celebrations for the opening of The Coral Room, every day is different for the team and our guests.

There’s a certain pride attached to working in a building that is such an iconic landmark to the city. Being able to look out across the area inspires creativity every day and the setting provides a fantastic pull for our guests.

I love nibbles and Aperitivos, do you have a perfect combination of cocktail and small plate(s) at the Coral Room?

Bloomer Welsh Rarebit and our house Negroni does the job for me.

 If you could sum up the Coral Room in one or 2 words how would you do it?

Refined and Funky.

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