Circo was cool. Now it’s hot.
Until Friday night it was a boutique bar nestled underneath The Halcyon hotel which in warmer weather spilled out on to the pavement outside to create a charmingly Continental style atmosphere. But now it has burst through its boundaries, stretching into the space next door once occupied by the Celsius ice bar and sweaty night clubs.
The same chic, understated décor has been continued into the extension, seamlessly melding the old with the new. And the change is remarkable. Clever use has been made of the space – it can be difficult to make Bath’s underground areas feel warm and welcoming but soft lighting has been installed in the walls to bathe the vaults and archways in a golden glow, and the addition of sumptuous sofas and elegant wing back chairs have transformed areas that were once dark and dingy into cosy, corners. The twists and turns create intimate little snugs (there’s even plans to install a luxurious Chesterfield style bed in one of them) so that even when Circo is packed with people, as it is sure to be on a regular basis, you still feel like you can find your own bit of space.
The cocktails at Circo have always been fantastic and thankfully, while other things may have changed, that has not. Unlike in many bars, the staff at Circo actually know that there’s an art to creating the perfect cocktail and that it’s not simply matter of throwing ingredients into a glass any old how. Earlier in the summer the cocktail menu expanded and it goes far and beyond the well known classics to include plenty of more unusual, but equally tempting creations.
There’s been a gap in the market in Bath for some time. What the city has been crying out for is a late night venue for grown ups. Not a nightclub where to carry a conversation you have to compete with a pounding bass line so you will almost inevitably end up with a sore throat the next morning, but somewhere that plays great music, has enough space to dance if you want to, but also where you can sit and relax and talk into the early hours.
And I think Circo may have just filled that gap.
It’s sophisticated, but not pretentious. Chic, but still with a sense of fun. It may have expanded but it’s kept the friendly atmosphere with personal touches.
Small may be beautiful, but in the case of Circo, bigger is most certainly better.
Find Circo at 2/3 North Parade, Bath, BA2 4AA.
Thanks to Emma Dance for this feature.