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“Enjoyable”
Review of Rockwell

Rockwell
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2
Mon, 9/23
8:00 PM
Ranked #12,270 of 28,485 Restaurants in London
Price range: $19 - $31
Description: Darwin meets Dali in brand new cocktail bar, Rockwell - a destination that is sure to indulge the escapist in all of us, transporting guests from the mayhem of central London to a sanctuary of the surreal and unfamiliar. A plant-filled hideaway to sip on botanical cocktails and escape reality with fantasy.
Restaurant details
Description: Darwin meets Dali in brand new cocktail bar, Rockwell - a destination that is sure to indulge the escapist in all of us, transporting guests from the mayhem of central London to a sanctuary of the surreal and unfamiliar. A plant-filled hideaway to sip on botanical cocktails and escape reality with fantasy.
Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

Out with friends in London and found ourselves in Trafalgar Square and hungry.
We arrived with no reservation and were welcomed in and ordered mains and drinks- our waitress was friendly and helpful, the atmosphere chilled and we could have happily spent the afternoon there enjoying the cocktails if we didn’t have show tickets.
Will go back.

Date of visit: August 2019
Thank Sunseaholidayaddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheTrafalgarStJames, General Manager at Rockwell, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Sunseaholidayaddict

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review. I am delighted to hear you had a great time at Rockwell and will certainly pass your comments to the team who will be happy to hear them too.

We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Kind Regards
Federico Ciampi
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3 - 7 of 7 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2019

We went to the Rockwell as part of a birthday celebration in London. We were very pleased to have been treated to 4 cocktails and a two course dinner for 2 as a gift through a recent TravelZoo offer.

After we arrived at the restaurant there were a few minutes wait while the waitress who was pottering around the front of house and seemed to be ignoring us; then we were greeted in a rather dismissive manner.
Unfortunately there was no room at the rooftop bar (which is understandable as we hadn't pre-booked and it was a lovely hot day), so we were shown to our seats and given the cocktail menu to peruse while we waited for a table.

The Rockwell has an incredibly bizarre storyline that runs through the menu, with the theme of the restaurant seeming to be "traipsing through the rainforest after a tab of LSD". This leads to there being a somewhat confused crossover between an upmarket Central London restaurant and the Rainforest Cafe. It's not displeasing, just a bit bloody weird.

After approximately 15 minutes and several failed attempts to get our servers attention we managed to catch the eye of a different waiter with a significantly more sociable attitude. We were also provided with some tepid water for the table. Unfortunately it was 25+degrees outside, so "tepid" in this instance means "really warm". We requested the water be refreshed with something a little colder and had our warm glasses topped up with more warm H2O. Okay so no cold water then, fair enough.

The cocktails turned up after a while and were served by a different (more pleasant) waitress to our initial server. The cocktails were unusual (Tangerine Capybara and British Boxwood) but quite tasty. We asked if there was any room up on the rooftop bar yet but were told we had to go and check with someone else at the front of house as it wasn't possible for the serving staff to ask.
It was still a fair amount of time before our dinner reservation so we asked for a different drink each off of the menu (Wolf's Foxglove and Fish in Flight). These ones turned up in good time but were served by our initial miserable waitress and left on the table without a word.
Thankfully the drinks were Delicious so we quickly forgave the attitude.

It came time for our meal reservations and we were a little curious as to what would happen. As we had been rather unceremoniously dropped at a table in the bar when we arrived, we weren't clear on whether there was a separate dining area. The only food menu available appeared to be the bar menu and our voucher was for the "all day menu". We managed to get a hold of our waitress and asked if there was somewhere different we had to go to eat, or if we could see a menu. This resulted in a rather lengthy conversation where we discussed the vouchers we had for the meal and the cocktail.

We were advised that the cocktails had been charged at full price and we couldn't use the voucher, as we had to tell them before we ordered the drinks. We explained that we hadn't really been given an opportunity to ask this and asked if there was any way they could accept the voucher as we didn't really want another four cocktails. This was not well received. We were told that our waitress would need to refer to the manager because as far as she knew it was impossible to process the voucher after the fact.

(As an aside, we never actually got an answer to this but the cocktails weren't on the final bill when we left so I'm assuming it went through okay?)

In the interim a "birthday platter" arrived at our table, as our meal had been booked with the annotation that it was a birthday celebration. This was a nice touch and involved a little lemony biscuit, a few berries and some lemon and chocolate sauce (dainty but tasty). It was a little strange that this came before we'd even seen a food menu, but it was cute.

We were then allowed sight of the all-day menu and advised of the voucher restrictions. A couple of additional costs for certain choices, nothing unusual for these kind of deals and not particularly exorbitant (£3 for salmon starter, £10 for steak main, £3 for side dishes). It's worth noting that the menu is a single page for all three courses, with no cohesive theme running; you can choose salmon with lemon oil and bread, various types of fish tacos, or hummus as a starter, then follow this with a burger, fish and chips or chicken paillard as a main. Again, this wasn't necessarily a bad thing but it's just a bit weird. There are a lot of fish dishes, which seemed unusual given the apparent rainforest theme.

We ordered our food and the starters, a salmon platter and the hummus, were dropped off at our table with no eye contact or communication. Oh, and for the purpose of clarity, having a plate that's rectangular does not make it a "platter"... The ongoing attitude was starting to wear a bit thin by this point but we thoroughly enjoyed the starters, which were beautiful and tasted fantastic.

We were unable to order any further drinks from our waitress as she refused to stop at our table, so we had to collar a different person to take our order. This gentleman was very pleasant and polite and was generally a huge improvement on the service we'd had thus far. We began to realise we'd just been unlucky with our original waitress, who had consistently exuded an air of arrogance that made us feel thoroughly unwelcome. Our drink (a lovely 15yr whiskey) arrived quickly and was served with a smile.

Then the main meal turned up and was plumped on our table and our waitress sashayed off before we could ask about condiments. This time the food (burger and fish and chips) was far less enjoyable. There was a distinct lack of seasoning throughout both dishes and although presented nicely, there was just nothing particularly flavoursome about either meal. Maybe a bit of salt and pepper would have made the difference? This was a real shame as the starters had been great!

We were not asked at any point if our food was okay, or if there was anything we needed, at any point throughout the entire experience, and it felt like we constantly had to chase down random staff whenever we needed anything. The bill was dropped off without any communication (again) and we weren't able to pay by card as that would have meant getting our waitress back to the table! Thankfully we had cash so we left the correct change on the table and left.

I feel like we would have enjoyed this far more if we had been served by ANYONE other than our initial waitress, and the ongoing attitude we received throughout out a real downer on the whole experience. (The couple on the table next to us had the same experience, so it's not just us being awkward!).

So the theme is confused and a bit weird, the food is hit and miss, and the service is entirely dependent on who you meet at the door.

It feels like the Rockwell has the potential to be truly incredible, but there's just too much going wrong to recommend this to anyone until it's all settled down.

Date of visit: August 2019
Thank admwd1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheTrafalgarStJames, General Manager at Rockwell, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2019

Dear admwd1984

Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback. I am sorry to hear that your most recent experience at Rockwell fell short of your expectations.

As the General Manager I would very much like to discuss this further, please drop me an email at generalmanager@trafalgarstjames.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks
Federico
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2019

Bar tenders are great to watch making amazing cocktails. Atmosphere lovely. Food good quality. Decor is modern but very inviting.

Date of visit: July 2019
Thank jtnicholson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheTrafalgarStJames, General Manager at Rockwell, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2019

Dear jtnicholson

Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. I am delighted to hear you had a great time at Rockwell. I will pass your comments to the team who will be pleased to hear them too.

We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Kind Regards
Federico Ciampi
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2019

Newly refurbished bar . Very smart and well presented cocktails. Limited food offerings but good quality.

Date of visit: July 2019
Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheTrafalgarStJames, General Manager at Rockwell, responded to this reviewResponded July 19, 2019

Dear John G

Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. I am happy to hear you enjoyed your experience at Rockwell. I will pass your comments to the team who will be pleased to hear them too.

We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Kind Regards
Federico Ciampi
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2019

We found this beautiful bar by accident, but we will be back. Stunning decor, excellent table service. Pricey but worth every penny. Lovely bottle of wine shared by old friends who sat and put the world to rights in a gorgeous bar. We cant wait to go back :)

Date of visit: June 2019
    • Value
    • Service
Thank 744lisaF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheTrafalgarStJames, General Manager at Rockwell, responded to this reviewResponded June 12, 2019

Dear 744lisaF

Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback. I am delighted to hear you had a great time at Rockwell. I will pass your comments to the team who will be happy to hear them too.

We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Kind Regards
Federico Ciampi
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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