Ocean of choice: 13 bars on board P&O Cruises’ Britannia

Britannia Blue Bar

From cocktails to beer, P&O Cruises’ new ship Britannia offers 13 places to enjoy a drink while at sea

With room for 3,647 passengers, the new £473million ship Britannia from P&O Cruises has everything, from a sports arena and theatre to shops and entertainment venues – plus a choice of 13 places to eat and 13 for drinks. For the interiors, P&O Cruises worked with leading practice Richmond International, which redesigned London’s Langham hotel, home to world-leading bar Artesian.

The three-tier Atrium is the social heart of the Southampton-based ship, with a sweeping staircase connecting all the decks, overhung by a spectacular Star Burst chandelier. Off the Atrium on the lower deck is the Blue Bar (pictured top), an elegant lounge specialising in fine wines, spirits and classic and contemporary cocktails, from a Cosmopolitan to a French 75.

Britannia Glass House

On another deck you find The Glass House (pictured above), offering a range of 40 wines including new labels from Japan, Greece and Croatia. It was developed with wine expert Olly Smith whose own The Bon Vivant premium range is also listed. With an outside terrace, it also serves food such as Morecambe Bay & Devon crab sliders and lobster buns.

Up on deck 16, is the Crow’s Nest observation bar (pictured below), offering spectacular views. It has a traditional, nautical décor with rich timber panelling and a mix of comfortable seating, such as high wingback chairs, plus P&O memorabilia. Described as a sophisticated cocktail lounge, it specialises in gin with a list of 20 led by The Botanist. Others include Blackdown, Tarquin’s, Darnley’s View, Silent Pool and Ely Dark Chocolate Gin alongside Hendrick’s, Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray. Signature cocktail The Blighty Mojito is a twist on the classic, substituting rum with Mason’s Yorkshire Gin and adding cucumber.

Britannia Crows Nest

On a lower deck, Brodie’s (pictured below) is the place for beer, with a 70-strong selection of bottled beers and ciders from across the UK, described as “the largest range of British beer available at sea”. They include Chocolate Tom from Robinsons, Wold Gold Blonde from Wold Top Brewery, and Ginger Hare from Bath Ales plus beers from brewers such as Marston’s, Greene King, Fuller’s, Theakston, Belhaven, BrewDog and Hall & Woodhouse. Brodie’s – named after P&O founder Brodie McGhie Willcox – also hosts quizzes, live music and karaoke and shows sport.

Along with other public spaces such as The Limelight Club (pictured bottom) and the cabins, the design is quintessentially British, according to Richmond International director Terry McGillicuddy. “British culture vastly influences the design of Britannia with a modern yet classic interior that reflects British elegance and incorporates nautical tradition,” he says.

Britannia Brodies

Behind the scenes
Design: Richmond International
Carpets: Brintons
Lighting: Maurice Brill Lighting Design, Kalmar, Chelsom Lighting, Tom Kirk
Furniture: Moroso, Tirolo, IFA

Britannia Limelight

Originally published in the May 2015 print edition of Bar magazine.

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