The Distillery is a real gem in this hotel and is Bankside’s destination bar, paying homage to its heritage an essence factory in the 19th century.
It attracts guests and non-guests alike into its vibrant, trendy and sophisticated setting which is kitted out with leather sofas and booth style seating. Propping ourselves on bar stools, we asked the barman’s opinion on what cocktail he recommended. With so much choice it was hard to decide upon a drink. We settled for an “Aviation” containing gin, lavender anise, sarsaparilla and orange peel, and a Few Barrel Gin which was infused with cloves, stem ginger and berries. Both were suitably refreshing on a summer evening.
Guests can enjoy sharing platters to go with their choice of drink which include hummus with warm garlic, khobez bread and five spice dusted crisp fried pork belly with chilli, lime and soy dressing.
Showcasing the area’s historic influences, OXBO Bankside serves dishes using fresh British ingredients including regionally sourced artisan meats, fish, herbs and vegetables. The dining space is large and has a real vibrant buzzing atmosphere to it which is great for a date or a group of friends catching up with each other. The open kitchen concept allows chefs to cook in front of guests enhancing the experience. You could describe it as having a theatrical feel to it.
After much deliberation, I opted for the grilled Bixham Qquid which came with a fennel salad, chilli, garlic, samphire, and lemon for a starter and the Josper Roasted Cod for the main. Both were cooked to perfection and plentiful. Still, that didn’t stop me from eating a fair amount of Harj’s Portobello Mushroom which was accompanied with courgette noodles, tofu and fried quinoa. Shamefully, having declined the offer of a dessert myself, I was happy to have a few spoonfuls of her Raspberry Crème brûlée. It simply melted in the mouth.
Breakfast is also served in OXBO where you can find hearty nutritious foods or a glutinous full English breakfast. And if you do feel like you have overindulged, there’s always those lovely tourist hotspots you can go around to burn it all off. Well, life is all about balance after all…
By Sabi Phagura
Hilton London Bankside – Where and How?
Hilton London Bankside is located at 2-8 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0UG. For more information, or to make a reservation, call 020 3667 5600 or visit www.londonbankside.hilton.com. Room-only rates start from £229.
CGI images ©Dexter Moren Associates and Twenty2Degrees