Christmas seems to come earlier every year and for Jeremy Webb, it has done this year. He visited the Hilton London Bankside to sample their build-up to the big day and shared his findings with Luxurious Magazine.
Arriving at the Hilton London Bankside my partner and I saw the lovely Christmas trees and snow scenes outside the building and immediately felt good. This was followed up when being greeted by the smartly dressed Doormen and Receptionist. She was very friendly and efficient. I felt like a VIP when the General Manager was introduced to me as I was checking in.
James the General Manager was very welcoming and took care of my guest and I. We were offered a coffee on arrival and sat in the very pleasant surroundings of the Distillery room. This is the bar and cocktail room for the hotel also offering food.
The Distillery has a vast array of gins including one blended specifically for the hotel. The mixologists can make you any drink you want, but they do have a good menu to select from which they have blended especially. A live DJ will be doing their thing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights through December.
Nicely decorated for Christmas, melodies played in the background. Mulled wine and mince pies were available in the lobby which was decorated superbly with snowy forest scenes.
We were shown to the room which was large and had a great double bed, large screen tv and all the facilities you could wish for.
Feeling peckish the food in the Distillery beckoned us and we ordered from the delicious sounding menu. The bar manager then suggested we could have this delivered to our room which was great.
A lovely tray of food arrived promptly with some added drinks and fruit bowl. Very nice touches which make the stay all that more special.
After I had eaten and rested, I took a visit to the Spa in the basement which is compact but has a Gym, good size swimming pool and two treatment rooms. Towels are provided and you have robes to wear from the room. The pool is heated so there is none of that dipping your toe in and then going back to the loungers without getting in.
Dinner was served in the OxBO restaurant which has changed its menu for the festive season to sharing dishes on a Tapas theme. This is a great concept as it allows you to experiment with different foods you may not normally opt for.
The restaurant is doing a few events for Christmas and New Year, with traditional Christmas Day lunch, and a special NYE menu which will run the course of the evening.
On the first day of 2019, they have their Epic Brunch. You don’t have to be staying at the hotel to enjoy the restaurant events.
The staff were very professional and knowledgeable about drinks and the ingredients going into each dish. We had a love Spanish gentleman Adolpho, serve us through the evening. He advised on selections and asked when we would like dishes served.
Live music was played while we enjoyed a delicious selection of food including steak tartar, scotch egg and red mullet. A superb experience.
Breakfast is taken in the same restaurant consisting of an extensive buffet, with various dishes such as pancakes and omelettes cooked to order. Huge cold selection with pastries too. Spoilt for choice we both ate a bit too much, but it was all so nice.
Ideally located in south-east London near Borough Market, London Bridge and the Shard, you can use public transport easily to get around the rest of the city.
I really enjoyed my stay at Hilton Bankside as did my partner. We loved the Christmassy feel with decorations externally and internally bringing a true sense of the season.
Walking in and being able to indulge in some mulled wine and mince pies is a real treat. You automatically feel happy and nostalgic, this is enhanced with Christmas music playing.
Later in the month the hotel has Carol Singers perform in the lobby area. Bankside is already serving a special Christmas cocktail which we were happy to taste, just for research purposes. It consists of infused Vermouth, Cherry liquor, Champagne with red berries adorning the glass dusted with icing sugar.
I would recommend it as a place to stay, where you will have a lovely Christmas experience and can get to anywhere in the City with ease. If you do go say hello to James and have a Merry Christmas and happy New Year.
Hilton London Bankside – Where and how
2-8 Great Suffolk Street, London, SE1 0UG, United Kingdom TEL: +44-20-36675600 FAX:
This article was contributed by freelance writer, Jeremy Webb.