The Baltic review
The Baltic could’ve equally been named The Tardis because, rather like Doctor Who’s legendary time-travelling machine, two unassuming double doors open up into a completely different world. At the far end of the Cut, moments from Southwark tube station, the modest, white-walled exterior of The Baltic belies its more striking interiors. Beginning with a long bar which wouldn’t be out of place as an ‘it-bar’ in Soho, the space then suddenly opens up into a light-filled, barn-like vault. It’s truly staggering; the dark of the bar gives way first to the Amber Bar, a semi-private space overlooking the main room – an old coach house now painted white but with dark beams contrasting against the walls and overhead skylights. It’s almost magical, even in the daytime. It must be close to a whitewashed Hogwarts in the evening.
The Amber bar features a ‘chandelier’ made of the semi-precious stone and fitted with optic fibre lighting diffusing in the centre of each piece. A great space for drinks before a main dinner, it can fit 100 standing or 40 seated. The PDR is at the back and top of the building, like being in the eaves of a church. To get to it, guests walk through the main restaurant and upstairs past walls hung with framed Shakespearian play billboards, relating to the restaurant’s theatrical neighbours. The room is modern in feel with a slanting roof decorated variously in red, grey and concrete, but the space, while corporate, is also intimate. It seats 30 max on three long tables, or less on Ushapes and rectangles. The tables are decorated with paper table cloths and candles, while the chairs are grey and green in directors’ style. The room has access to its own toilet, its own music system and even an emergency call button for staff – although for every event there are always dedicated staff.
At the apex of the roof is another stunning amber creation, but this time a circular light adorned with rocks while opposite a full length window lets in light from the main restaurant below. The whole venue can be used – and often is – for exclusive use, both for private functions like wedding receptions and corporate events. The minimum spend is dependent on time of year and numbers.