If you work in Central London then this is one of those places that you’ve probably either heard about in conversation or have ended up in at some point in time. However, I think it’s rather underestimated. It isn’t really somewhere that springs to mind straight away for me as a meeting spot, but I think I’ve been missing a trick. It’s sophisticated but welcoming, with cosy corners and a large dance-floor – basically catering to most moods or requirements. Top that off with some stunning cocktails and some truly fabulous live music and we’re on to a winner.
Forget the food, it’s all about the cocktails!
In a word
Situated on Wardour Street, this is a great location for meeting people that are coming in from every direction, five minutes or so walk from Piccadilly Circus or Tottenham Court Road. Floridita shares a building with Indian restaurant Carom, once inside the door, head straight ahead to the check-in desk and the host will point you down the stairs.
The whole venue is very chic, with lots of blacks, whites and reds, oozing glamour and warmth. There are different sections decorated slightly differently and they change throughout the year too, for example when we visited in February, there was a Patagonian ski chalet theme in one area of the bar, with lots of fake fur and skiing paraphernalia . Check out the website and social media to keep updated on what’s happening. Oh and don’t forget that there’s also a restaurant area if you want the full sit down meal experience.
There was a great buzz in here. Yes there were a few City-types flashing the cash to impress what was clearly an Internet date, but there were so many other types – friends meeting after work, a sassy and passionate couple set out to rule the dance floor and several groups of colleagues working their way through the cocktail lists. For a trendy place in Soho, you really don’t feel like you are being judged in here, you feel welcomed in as part of the family.
We only tried a couple of the cocktails here, but the menu is very extensive, ranging from the classics to totally out there combinations and classic single serves to buckets for sharing.
We started off with the signature mojito. Now I’m not the biggest fan of these, but the waitress told us we had to try them and I’m glad she did. Whereas I normally find mojitos far too mint-laden, this mix had a fantastic balance of mint, sugar syrup, lime and soda, which mixes in your palette to create a sharp/sweet/fizzy and fresh combination. Definitely one to check out and also one that will make you feel right at home while you listen to the salsa music booming out.
I then moved on to another classic- the Pina Colada. Yes I know they are a bit kitsch and something you usually have if you aren’t sure about real alcoholic drinks … but it was served in a real pineapple and I just couldn’t help myself! It delivered everything I was hoping for too. Sweet, creamy, cool and fresh. Hello Caribbean! Go for this if you haven’t been on holiday for a while and want a little bit of escapism.
In total opposite to my drink selection, Alex went for one of the special on offer as part of the Rum Chalet, Ski Break, plantation rum mixed with hot chocolate and cinnamon. Wow, you needed to be a fan of thick, dark chocolate for this! It was something that looked like it belonged in a dessert bowl with some ice cream. I found this too much and the extreme opposite from the refreshing beverages I was enjoying, but Alex enjoyed it (well, about half of it until she felt sick) and felt it fitted well with the decor and the fur throws. I’ve been told I have to include a description I used with my colleagues, in that you get a punch in the face by the bitter chocolate followed by a slap from the rum – a real assault on the taste buds. Maybe not one to keep on the long-term menu … there are so many things the team does SO much better.
We also sampled some of the Patagonian tapas dishes on offer. I have no idea what traditional Patagonian food looks like, but these dishes were a mix of flavours I’ve seen across Spanish, Mexican and Caribbean menus mainly. We tried:
Pork belly with green mojo – these were pretty awesome, especially for me (a big pork fan). They were small and easy to eat with toothpicks, crispy on the outside but still really soft in the middle and so juicy! The salsa was light, fresh and not too spicy. A great bite to go with cocktails.
Chilli squid rings – the batter on the calamari was really really light, so they weren’t as filling as usual (in a good way). They were also very seasoned with pepper, which meant they played on the palette.
Thyme-infused sweet potato skinny fries – big chunky chips, which were great to dip and very good at soaking up some of the booze we had consumed. The herbs weren’t a strong flavour, so don’t let that put you off. Would be great if they came out with a big pot of aioli (something we requested).
The dishes were on an offer of 3 for £9, and with decent sized portions, I’d say this was pretty good value and the perfect style of food for helping to soak up some of the alcohol without needing to stop gossiping with your friends to eat a full on meal.
100 Wardour Street, London W1F 0TN
020 7314 4000