Ambar @ The Odeon, Swiss Cottage

Last September the art deco Odeon cinema at Swiss Cottage got an impressive top-to-toe refurbishment and something else into the bargain – a swish cocktail bar, which I visited last night!

The new Ambar offers very comfortable surroundings for a tipple before you’re ready for your movie, and is conveniently located right behind the cinema’s flagship IMAX-enabled main screen. There’s comfortable seating and intimate little boothes surrounded by movie cartoons and lots and lots and lots of  Odeon ‘O’s in deep oranges and purples… The Ambar offers a fantastic range of cocktails as well as very good wines and beers – we got our lips around a very nice tall Lynchburg Lemonade and a classic Daquiri (that’s Bacardi and lime juice to the uninitiated) and my movie buddy tried out an excellent South African red –  a 2007 ‘Firefinch Ripe Red’.

Now the idea of a cocktail bar inside a cinema might sound like a bit of  a mad idea, and it would be near home in Stratford for example, but Swiss Cottage is in rather a different league socio-economically, so I’m sure it will continue to be a success – a special offer they have on at the moment is  a glass of vintage 2002 Dom Perignon plus salmon bruschetta for, wait for it, £24.50 (which is down from an eye-watering £35 a glass on their regular menu). That rather proves my point I think!

Of course not everything on the menu is expensive – you can just have a bottle of beer or a coke  if you’re not a big spender, but whatever your chosen poison it beats standing in the queue for popcorn before the movie hands down. A very nice find, and when I’m at the Swiss Cottage Odeon again (which by the way is my joint favourite London cinema – the other one being the equally stylish Odeon Holloway) I’ll definitely be nipping into the Ambar before the movie…

You can see some other shots of the interior (and the cocktails) here online.

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About The Londoneer

Pete Stean is a keen blogger, amateur photographer, singer and ham radio enthusiast in his spare time...