As pop-ups go, the beach bar at the Montague on the Gardens is one of the most unlikely venues you will ever see. Situated next to the austere-looking British museum, it is on a street filled with pristine white Georgian townhouses. The hotel itself oozes elegant old-world charm as soon as you enter the doors. At such a formal and genteel establishment, the last thing you would expect is a beach bar at the back of the hotel.
As you enter the pop-up, the first thing you are greeted with is an exotic selection of pineapple and coconut cocktails on top of wooden crates. If I was ever going to be shipwrecked, this would be the island I want to land on. Who needs a fancy martini glass, when you have an alluring pineapple or coconut as your drinking receptacle. The pineapple Montague we tried is a very refreshing mixture of rum, pineapple juice and coconut milk.
The initial rooms with the artificial grass, lanson Champagne display and when we visited a delectable display of strawberries and cream reminded us of a day out at Wimbledon. The beach part of the visit is situated where I imagine would have been their outdoor terrace area. No expenses are spared here, as they have imported 4 tonnes of sand, palm trees and a beach-hut styled thatched roof. What you will absolutely appreciate is the amount of detail they go into, from the paddle boat to the beach shower down to the shells that surround your candle at your table.
The beach bar is perfect for corporate summer parties or if you just want to go along with a few friends, you can purchase their beach surf pass. At £35, it includes the welcome coconut or pineapple cocktail, an additional cocktail at the beach bar including heavenly options like Singapore Sling and Long Island Iced Tea and also an individual beach BBQ platter. When we visited on the launch night and tried out their event platters, the offerings were outstanding. The lamb kofte was particularly filling and well-marinated, whilst the meat skewer had a healthy injection of fresh vegetables interspersed between the cubes of meat.
There’s no better way of ending your beach escape then with a colourful scoop of homemade ice cream or sorbet served in a traditional cone.
You might not have time to travel down to Brighton or fly to Ibiza, but now you can have a brief beach break in the heart of our capital in Bloomsbury. However, book soon, as this pop-up will only be around until the end of July.