A new participant in the British dining renaissance has burst onto the scene south of the river. Southwark Rooms offers both a brilliant British restaurant space and a cocktail lounge reminiscent of a members-only club, all leather armchairs and warm, glowing ambience. In terms of the food on offer, a Southwark Rooms special is the inventive British tapas menu. Follow that up with traditional mains given a modern twist and a triumvirate of martini, highball, and on-the-rocks and classic cocktails and you have a luxuriant evening on your hands down London’s Southwark Street.
Starting in Southwark Rooms basement-level cocktail lounge, you’ve got three lists to choose from. Classic cocktails and spirits on the rocks are simple choices, while the highball selection moves into more experimental territory with creations like the Floradora, with Beefeater gin, St Germain, lime, gome, raspberries, and a charge of ginger ale. Then there’s the Martini selection, with signature remixes on the classic including The Szaboo, the Manhattan Martini, the Red Lotus, and the essential Espresso Patron Martini. This last is a good pick-me-up before or after you head upstairs to Southwark Street’s latest British dining sensation. There’s something of a revival of British cuisine going on in London, and Southwark Rooms are a welcome addition to this trend south of the river.
Without a doubt, Southwark Rooms most creative offering is its British tapas menu. This London restaurant and cocktail lounge along Southwark Street have taken the popular Spanish small-plate format and laid on hand-picked British ingredients from farms and suppliers from across the nation that share Southwark Rooms passion for quality and sustainability. British artisanal breads with rapeseed oil and Aspalls apple balsamic vinegar, Bingley Dell pigs’ head croquettes with Bramley apple puree, black pudding and crackling, and Scottish salmon cured in Hendrick’s gin are just some of the delights on offer here. Hearty mains like a Home Counties hand-cut ribeye steak, slow-cooked Gressingham duck or a classic (but sustainably-sourced) fish and chips are stars of the show when you have a bigger appetite.