Design mixology distinguishes Bar Roc, an exclusive new evening oasis at Ellerman House. As user experiences go, hotel bars have a very subtle yet certain job to do. It’s not a lobby’s job – too much to and fro – nor a lounge’s – too much tea and newspapers. Their purpose is to incline you to the possible more than the practical, to unplug and reconnect you, solo or socially. Providing a space with that pull calls for design with emotive power and a transportive narrative, because let’s face it, if you just wanted a drink there are in-room minibars for that.
At Bar Roc, recently reinvented by Okha Interiors from a dreary, dated tavern on Ellerman House’s IMAX-like lawned and parasoled pool terrace, the pull proved to be a proficient blend of two polar opposite design directions rather than a straight-up flaming highball of a single style.
‘Japanese minimalism and post-war Italian Baroque were my cues’, explains Okha director Adam Court. ‘I was after a naked maximalism that felt fresh, elegant, unformulaic, but also lustrous and sophisticated. Bar Roc had to be seductive in sunshine and candlelight, work a serene and sophisticated mood, and although reloading the vibe of a classic continental hotel bar was tempting, the space – long and narrow with a boulder in the middle of it – needed a more evolved interpretation.’
A deft blend of classic glam finishes applied in a modern, measured way solved the paradox. Creamy nougat terrazzo floors inlaid with random strokes of brass bring on an offhand luxe that’s amped up by cute squads of curvy cocktail chairs in Adriatic blue and a rakish swoop of sofa in vintage verdigris velvet. Swathes of brass at the bar counter, sommelier station and ceiling lights syncopate a rhythm of alluring gloss whilst biscuit blonde stone-clad walls allude to establishment mystique. Add to this an edit of contemporary abstract art from the hotel’s covetable collection and the result riffs an identity of high octane incognito that doesn’t dictate a mood so much as provide a platform on which to express yours.
For a taste of what to expect at Bar Roc, take inspiration from these signature cocktail recipes – or book your stay at Ellerman House at 180 Kloof Road, Bantry Bay, Cape Town for an exclusive visit. Contact ellerman.co.za for bookings.
Bubbles Pick Me Up!
As first served at the Ritz Bar in Paris, circa 1936, mix Hennessy VS Cognac with freshly squeezed orange juice and L’Ormarins Methode Cap Classique in a champagne flute.
Campari, Bloedlemoen handcrafted Gin, Sweet Vermouth equal part garnished with an orange wedge or burned orange disk, served on the rocks or straight up in a cocktail glass or tumbler.
Ellerman’s Pepper Mary
Try a classic eye-opener try the signature Ellerman House Pepper Mary, made with Ketel One Vodka and our own special house recipe
Photography Mickey Hoyle