It was time for another Ms Mitchell meet-up and of course a luxury hotel on the Southbank was the natural choice for our summer dining. We were both yet to experience the nautical delights of the Mondrian Hotel located in the famous 1970s Sea Containers building. Our final destination would be the hotel’s flagship restaurant named after its predecessor – Sea Containers, but not before a couple of pre-dinner drinks (obvs).
The shipping theme carries through to the hotel’s reception, bars and restaurant in the most glamorous Tom Dixon style. I’m talking floor to ceiling beaten copper panels alluding to a ships hull, ground lights and black marbled floor. A very impressive luxe entrance.
With a private function in the Rumpus Room we were disappointed we wouldn’t be able to experience the fabulous views over the Thames, so headed to the ground floor bar Dandelyan.
The bar was alive and kicking and on entry we were told there was ‘no room at the inn’. The Pixie, not one to take no for an answer, insisted we were dining at the hotel. It promptly led us to being ushered to the bar and hey presto stools became available. Top tip – make sure you reserve a table, especially for after work drinks!
The drinks menu is a delight. Revolving around a botanical theme using fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs along with some inventive techniques. My first choice was a Fairchild’s Mule – Hendricks Gin, lime pink clove, green cardamom, ginger and Perrier- Jouet Champagne. The warming spice tones and fizz were the perfect combination.
Ms Mitchell went for her usual – but this was no ordinary Negroni. It was a BC3 Negroni – Beefeater London garden gin, Dandelyan pollen vermouth, propolis, Ceylon Arrack, Campari and aged honey. One sip and she declared ‘this is the best Negroni EVER’.
Apparently it was the aged honey which made it into a taste sensation. Catching up was thirsty work and we were soon on round two. For the Pixie, a Peach in a Pine Cone – Mr Lyan Gin, fermented peach, pine cone, citrus, soda. It was such a beautiful looking drink I almost felt bad drinking it (well not that bad). My partner in crime stayed on BC3s – I guess they were pretty damn good…
After an hour and a half of putting the world to rights, dinner called. Led through the open plan dining room of floor to ceiling windows, bright sunshine semicircle sofas and fabulous views of St Paul’s, we arrived at our table.
Upset is putting it mildly on how we felt of our corner spot with no view of the Thames. Instead we had the back-end of a black cupboard to admire. Shrugging off our disappointment when told they had no other tables we opened the menus with the hope that things could only get better.
The Sea Containers menu offers a mix of english and transatlantic dishes, with a focus on healthy dishes using authentic and local ingredients. We kicked off with blistered padron peppers (£7) and freshly baked sourdough bread (£4). The padrons were perfectly cooked with the right crunch factor. The bread although delicious, would have been better served warm.
My main of gnocchi with peas, asparagus, wild garlic and parmesan cheese (£18) was creamy, velvety and melt-in-your-mouth. A dream to eat.
Ms Mitchell’s clay oven roasted cod came with crushed Jersey Royal potatoes, tomato fondue and asparagus (£22). Equally delicious, both plates were scraped clean.
Our accompaniments of Sea Co triple cooked chips (£5) and tenderstem broccoli with toasted almonds (£5) were yummy too.
Skipping dessert we had our eyes on sitting at the bar that took centre stage in the restaurant with a suspended yellow submarine. The plan was to sip some espresso martinis and be rid of our glum view.
It was worth the move as the drinks were sublime
And the view much better.
Apart from our initial hiccups with the unfriendly welcome at the bar and missing out on breathtaking views over dinner. There is no denying that the food and drinks were of a very high standard. Will I be back? Maybe. Perhaps next time with my little ladies as I spied a special kids menu too.
On the other hand I totally fell in love with the stunning design and interiors of the Mondrian hotel.
So much so that I’m hatching a plan on how to convince Mr S we spend a night in a hotel that is literally 15 minutes from home – hmmmmm….
Have you been to the Mondrian Hotel? What’s your favourite place on the Southbank or in London? Let me know in the comments box below.
Sea Containers at the Mondrian Hotel | 20 Upper Ground | London | SE1 9PD
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