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Jewel/Bar Blanca, Piccadilly Circus

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user reviews of Jewel/Bar Blanca, Piccadilly Circus

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

2.8/10 well over marked.
This place would not survive anywhere else other than the West End of London.
anonymous - 27 Sep 2012 15:39
I booked a VIP Party Package for my sister's birthday and it all seemed to go through fine with the man on the phone when it came to taking my money at the beginning but then I received a phone call from a lady a few days later saying that they had no booking so I told them I booked it and the lady said she would check and get back to me. She tried charging me again for my booking and I told her I'd already paid. The next day I received another phone call from a different lady who said that they needed payment and she knew nothing of the previous lady's phone call. I told her I'd paid and about the package that I'd booked and when she was running through the list of things that would be provided she said cupcakes instead of a cake and when I pointed this out she said they don't do cakes anymore, despite it still saying so on the website and when I spoke to the man on the phone he clearly said cake NOT cupcakes or I wouldn't have bothered booking it. The main reason I booked it was so that I wouldn't have to cut a cake at home before we went out or take one all that way. When I pointed that out she said she would ask her manager to sort that out and after having said that it was fine and they would provide a cake, they called back to say that they couldn't do so again!!

That was only the beginning, when I finally got to the venue the customer service was appalling. I arrived there and the staff didn't bother to ask me anything, I had to chase them up to ask them about our VIP table, which I could see opposite to where they told me to sit but I thought that maybe it wasn't ready. Then they told me my table was ready and they didn't know why I wasn't sitting at my table - no apologies. When we all sat down they didn't bring anything over for a long time and I had to go up to the bar and asked and again they shrugged their shoulders - no clue what I was talking about. After another long wait they brought over some cupcakes, (most of which were still frozen) and some drinks with sparklers. My package also included a bottle of champagne, 2 food platters and some fruit and again I had to ask them each time for each one that they didn't rush to bring out! They said they had no idea about the fresh fruit - I'm guessing something else they didn't do but didn't care to mention since they just wanted my money and didn't care what I got out of it. Also, when a glass was dropped on the floor and accidentally smashed, I asked for it to be cleaned up but again they took far too long to do so - a terrible health and safety hazard!! Will never be going back and it made me doubt booking any sort of package like this again in a club.
Lyndsay26 - 27 Sep 2012 15:11
Awful awful place for shallow types to hang out
kristianJ - 21 Apr 2012 16:23
I have to say that i normally avoid these "funky" type establishments, however the better half fancied a change, and a glass of vino, pronto ! So despite my misgivings we crossed the threshold. Whoever coined the phrase "style over substance" very much had this place in mind. Garish colours, lots of chandeliers and a shoddy selection of bottled eurofizz. Surely if you are in the heart of the west end, you can use a bit of imagination when stocking bottled lagers, however despite this, she who must be obeyed was eyeing the wines so, discretion being the better part of valour i sidled up to the bar. There were two other people being served, by two bar staff, one of whom i took to be the manager, so no long wait, you would think.
Well you would think WRONG, after five minutes of standing there, without any form of acknowledgement, not even eye contact, i got very bored with waiting.
Now 5 mins is not a long time in a busy pub, but in a pub with only a dozen people in it, and two serving (?) and being next in line, and being ignored its a very long time. After eight long minutes even the wrath of her indoors couldn't stop me from suggesting an alternative venue. Thankfully she agreed and we decamped to The Blue Posts, Rupert St for instant service and Summer Lightning.
Moral of the story, if you think its going to be bad, at least give them a chance to prove you right !
wellinformed - 26 Oct 2011 12:13
Over priced pretentious rubbish....£9 for a G&T! Bar staff and manager incredibly rude and stuck up. Avoid at all costs!
lesley_jc - 12 Dec 2008 16:44
Avoid this like the plague!

Witnessed one of the useless bouncers abusing two customers in front of everyone. He threatened to attack both of them and called them all the names under the sun. I nearly called the police. An absolute nutcase and totally unprofessional. I thought these so called security people were there to protect customers. Does anyone check the criminal backgrounds of these foreign bouncers (this 'man' was a short russian) when they come here? I bet they don't.

Inside expect to wait an age at the bar for an overpriced drink in pretentious surroundings.

I wont ever be going back to jewel after what I saw of the 'security'...and I'd advise everyone to do the same. Scary...
grifter110 - 16 Feb 2008 19:01
This was arguably one of the best nights of my life partying in London. The venue was superb. Everything I had hoped it would be and more. I hired Velvet Room 1 for a cocktail party and had 80 of my friends turn up. Everyone was suitably impressed. The decor was magnificently posh, romantic, yet chilled. The chandeliers, the candle lights - it was gorgeous! We even ran a cocktail competition during the evening. Well done Guy, Andre, Matt, Raza (aka The Booze Brothers) and Sarah, Kristina, Mandy, Liz (aka the Dolly Mixers). The staff were most polite...esp. Magda at the bar, the waiting staff, the doormen and Eric the manager. They were incredibly accommodating. The food was great. They allowed us to play our own music which was an added bonus. Would recommend it over and over and over again. It was the most perfectly, smoothly run evening I have had. No stress whatsoever. Everything just flowed and Jewel staff made it all so simple and uncomplicated. Could not recommend this place enough.
valrocks - 23 Oct 2006 18:37
I love the interior of this place, the staff are pretty attentive and the music is quite good. I used to enjoy coming here on a Friday when it first opened. However, the drinks are overpriced and the place has turned into Tiger Tiger mark 2. Full of tourists and a complete meat market. The last few times I have been in there with my friend it has taken less than 5 minutes before our table was swarming with men. I guess it's OK if you like that kind of thing but it's just a little OTT!

anonymous - 20 Apr 2006 17:23
Get the security at the door to run the place there the only people who are friendly and intelligent in the whole place!!!
Moon - 25 Mar 2006 16:03
I've always had a fantastic time at Bar Blanca - the atmospher is always great and it just feels very glam. I don't think I could ever tire of going there. If you can get there early and get a seat, the bar staff are great - very quixk, professioanl and friendly.
There should be more places like it!
anonymous - 23 Dec 2004 13:32
Went to Bar Blanca with an optimistic attitude and a large birthday party last Friday 1st of October.

Ended up insulted by the bar staff. Some chip on one of the barman's shoulders. He denied to serve me, for no reason, yes that is what he said no reason, to quote him, "just". He served everyone else, totally ignoring me. Yes, I was polite.

Oh, I'm barrister, but I wasnt wearing any identifiable garbs...does demand a certain respect sometimes (Hence, I mention this). So, I was incognito. Maybe he couldn't see passed my brown skin, I sort of got that impression. Strongly supported by another asian chap who also got the same treatment.

Bar manager didn't bother with having the bar man explain himself. He lacked any authority and tried to fob me off with drinks.

Yes, the location is great otherwise that attitude would put them out of business.

Many of my friends (multi cultural mix) were insulted in there too.

Owner needs to keep an eye on his business properly. Wont be going there with any friends or colleagues again.

I suggest find a bar run by professionals, making money, selling drinks...not their attitude.
Muz. A - 7 Oct 2004 14:41
One of my favourite places,the acoustic music on a friday night is magic!!
anonymous - 10 Sep 2004 15:18
Staff is fantastic! Tipping is advised, becouse they work hard for us!
Camila&Daniel - 10 Apr 2004 22:26
Stumbled on this gem on an early Saturday evening, i'll definitely be going back to see how it takes off later on in the evening. Very atmospheric.
anonymous - 1 Feb 2004 00:08
Spent my new year's eve at Jewel Bar, and I have to say a huge THANK YOU to the staff and everybody who was there, i had an amazing night, totally magic, exactly like it should be.
Johanna - 2 Jan 2004 22:05
I found Jewel bar a very nice friendly smooth bar to be in after attending the autin reed summer prty, especially the soft accoustc sound of the music.
Tim - 11 Dec 2003 21:39
Absolutely love the place. Hired the whole place out for a work party and it was the PERFECT venue. Staff and management are very friendly. It is by far the funkiest place in that part of the world, without being at all pretentious. Both bars downstairs are cool although upstairs are always good for a change as well. Recommend it to anyone.
Natalie - 12 Nov 2003 13:47
i completely, loved this bar. i went there on a thursday night, the door security, were very polite the bar service was really lovely and efficient, considering that it was relatively busy on that particular night.
Sandra - 2 Nov 2003 22:04
Loved it! Had a great time in Bar blanca - bar staff fantastic especially sexy Helen!! Totally recommend it! Get your drinks from her!
Kevin - 13 Oct 2003 02:28
Went there last night (a Thursday) and not impressed. Had no problems with the security who were polite. The place got very hot and had uncomfortable seating in the Bar Blanca area - little padded stools that are too low. Worst of all the music was suddenly turned up so loud it was the end of any conversations. And why do these places all play the same Jamiroquai-alike jazz funk. No draught beers to - always seems a bit of a cop out selling bottled only.
Tim - 5 Sep 2003 17:56
We visited on a Tuesday night so it was hardly busy. There was confusion over the booking, and we were left standing around for 10 minutes while they tried to sort out our table. Our waitress did not come to take the drink order for another 10 minutes, so we tried to order at the bar. Only to be told "you are sitting down so you have to order from a waitress". Eventually ½ hour later we had our drinks. Service was poor and not worth the service charge they automatically added. We ordered Champagne and had to send the glasses back 3 times as they were dirty. Not really up to the standard expected.
Sam - 3 Sep 2003 16:30
Curious to get such a mixed review of the same bar - I'm a big fan. The live music is great and usually features someone who can genuinely sing. Service at the bar is the same pace as any other decent bar in London and if you go mid week, as I prefer, you'll find the bar staff have time to chat to you and even mix cocktails of your choice not on the menu; plenty of seating too. Probably skip it on friday and saturday as it is heaving and looses much of its charm, but that whole area at the weekend is pretty damn average for a quality night out.
Ross - 29 Aug 2003 14:38
Pretentious. Bar staff not that flash. Having said this however, security were quite accommodating… For security.
Lance - 6 Aug 2003 17:06
I went to this bar last night (a Friday night) and I was pretty appalled by it. The atmosphere was ok, the music was ok, but it seemed quite crowded and almost claustrophobic with people standing around your table because there's nowhere to sit. Also, it took me and my friend 15 minutes to be served which I thought was awful. The decoration is very tacky,and the staff are unfriendly.
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Sarah - 26 Jul 2003 17:34
I love this Bar, it's a free house which are few and far btween in London that have a great personal feel with funky decor, nice people, and great music, I love the live singers that can actual single and what more would you like in the heart of London, TIP. Fab place to take a date!
Leilah - 22 Jul 2003 14:30
I had the worst evening ever at the jewel bar. I decided to visit this bar to celebrate my birthday after it was recommended to me by a friend and I read the reviews on this website. The evening started off badly when the bouncer on the front door became slightly aggressive due to a confusion over the table bookings. After that everything was fine until I was presented with the final bill for our drinks a second time and the waitress denied being given cash just 5mins earlier. When we tried to dispute this the bouncers proceed to assault my boyfriend. Please anybody visiting this bar beware.
A from N.London - 21 Jul 2003 13:05
Doesn't do pints, whats the point!
Dave - 8 Jul 2003 16:53
Great interior, friendly staff, tipping is advised if you want to be served quickly when busy, good atmosphere, West End bar prices!
Worth a visit.
Darian - 23 Jun 2003 11:59
Hmm. Used to be one of our favourites, but last night was really disappointing. Hopefully it was just a one off, because normally Jewel has been top.
Paul - 20 Jun 2003 12:05
Absolutely love it! Nice ambiance, relaxed, live music. People look smart but not stuck up. Can often find a place to sit and the cocktails are soooo delicious!! Always start the night off there with my girl friends.
Serina - 21 May 2003 13:20
It's Jewel Bar & Bar Blanca downstairs & 2 more bars upstairs. Great atmosphere. Don't do pints, though. Floor service in Bar Blanca. Haven't explored the 2 bars upstairs yet, having happily got sozzled downstairs a couple of times.
linda - 25 Mar 2003 09:10
Funky ethnic themed, candle-lit haven. Funky music but not so loud you can't hear yourself think. Wicked little alcoves and tables, food and drink, open late, nice barmen, not stupidly overpriced.
Emma Mills - 10 Mar 2003 11:37

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