The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Blue Rose Bar

Blue Rose Bar: Gaudy Bar at the Dusit Thani Lakeview Cairo

reviewed by
Haisam Awad
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Blue Rose Bar: Gaudy Bar at the Dusit Thani Lakeview Cairo

Like some kind of abandoned
post-apocalyptic wilderness, Road 90 in Fifth Settlement isn’t the warmest area
in Cairo. Half-finished buildings and a distinct lack of foot traffic on the
roads might wane on the draw to visitors, but there are a few attractions that
out-of-towners, so to speak, should make the trip for.

One such place is the Dusit Thani Lakeview
Cairo. The Thai hotel group has several chains across Thailand and the
Philippines, and the Cairo branch hosts a number of impressive bars and
restaurants. We were very impressed with restaurant Ruen Thai, and so we were
excited by the sound of the Blue Rose Bar.

The lobby of the hotel is large, bright and
airy, and is accentuated by several pieces of peculiar post-modern sculptures. Taking
the corridor to the right of the entrance will lead you to both aforementioned

Stepping into the Blue Rose Bar is a little
bit of a shock; the subtle whites and beiges of the lobby and corridor are
blown out by the bar’s dark and aluminous colour theme. The space is anchored
in the middle by the square bar, which is surrounded by stools. Seating areas
are spaced out, and
flanked by giant glass panels featuring abstract rose-images, and almost-ceiling-high mirrors
and curtains.

At one end of the room, four small screens collectively show
scientifically questionable animations of the earth and
the moon shifting in space, in the company of twinkling and shooting stars. On the other wall is a much more impressive wall-instalation, where a giant carved rose dominates the whole space.

The long, thin menu opens up like an
accordion to reveal a whole host of options. Beer is available from 26LE
upwards; with Corona setting you back at 65LE and a glass of Heineken draught
at 32LE. A range of mocktails are available at 30LE, and every type of spirit
is available, although no wine is listed on the menu.

A rather strong helping of gin made the dry
martini (60LE) very strong – exactly how we like our drinks
while Carrie
Bradshaw’s favourite drink the Cosmopolitan (70LE) was pretty pedestrian and
had an unbalanced taste.

A cranberry margarita (70LE), while
completely unobjectionable, made the salt on the rim as dangerous to its
drinker as pretzels are to George Bush. There were some unpleasant choking fits,
and the salt also found its way to the bottom of the glass, which in turn led
to more choking. At the time of visit, the bar was completely
empty during an 11PM visit, and the hotel as a whole seemed pretty deserted.

After the initial shock of the decor, the
feel of the bar winds down to a pretty unexciting mood. There was little to
keep us there for longer than a few drinks, and we doubt that we would be
anymore infused at the idea of spending a whole night there if more
people had been there. The layout and feel of the whole place wouldn’t invite you to mingle;
you can’t really see more than featureless figures at a few metres away and
clumsily placed pillars in the middle of the room would make it difficult to be
the social butterfly you might want to be. This is much more of a place to
relax in than it is a hopping, happening nightspot.

It’s a
pretty psychedelic setting for a drink, and the slightly confused decor is a
charm; the warm orange/brown lighting of lamps is peculiar in the context of
the colour scheme, and the square-patterned carpet will look like a moving
optical-illusion if you stare at it after a few drinks.  Prices are generally reasonable, though; and
the hotel as a whole has a decent relaxed ambiance.

360 Tip

Ruen Thai is opposite, and the complimentary prawn crackers will soak up the alcohol nicely. 

Best Bit

No listed cocktail is over 70LE.

Worst Bit

The very eclectic music. From the Black Eyed Peas to a country song featuring a rap.

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