28 May 2013

Sunday on the South Bank

Sunday was one of the best days I've had in a long while. The morning was spent lazing in the garden, soaking up the best weather of the year so far, before heading out mid-afternoon to brave the South Bank.

We headed to the Aquarium - one of those touristy things us Londoners just don't do, and judging by the queues, for good reason. But us Brits are made for standing in line fairly politely and it wasn't long until we were in, marvelling at and anthropomorphising all the species (so many fish holding hands and jellyfish questioning their existential lives).

We emerged into the still baking hot early evening in search of food. Heading along the South Bank, past the various pop ups (from a Wahaca bar to The National Theatre's Propstore) and buskers, we happily ended up at Brindisa, on the edge of Borough Market. A tapas bar opposite one of my favourite pubs (The Southwark Tavern), Brindisa was bustling with diners inside and out. We had a short wait so grabbed a bottle of wine at the bar and browsed the menu, before being taken to out our sunny table and given complimentary iberico ham. We opted for a few dishes (naturally) including: esclavida (toast with salted sardines, roasted aubergine, red pepper, onion and tomatoes), gambas al ajillo (chilli garlic prawns), deep fried monte enebro (handmade goats cheese with orange blossom honey and crispy beetroot) and the pan fried seabass (with mashed potatoes, garlic and pepper refrito). Brilliant food coupled with brilliant service, it's easy to see how Brindisa has grown from one location to four plus a shop in the market and an online store.

From there, we headed back along with the river and nipped in to the Oxo Tower Bar for a mojito. Not the cheapest of venues but the incredible view from the balcony bar on the eighth floor is perfect for watching the sun set. And then, we found ourselves snaking through the BFI to The Drawing Room... 'Tucked behind an inconspicuous bookcase, you'll find a secret entrance to the recently opened cocktail bar. Not quite Narnia, you won't find fur coats or fictitious fawns, but it could be a room taken straight from the country manor that famous wardrobe was found in. The bar is filled with handpicked and just as precious curiosities and curios.'

We drank red wine and blueberry caiprinhas and played Trivial Pursuit to varying degrees of success. Cosy, comfy and tucked away in the back of one of London's most brilliant venues, The Drawing Room was a great place to discover. We tried to stop off for one at Gordon's on the way home but they'd just closed (Sunday after all, Bank Holiday or no) so called it a night - a very successful, exploratory night. 

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