Much like a bee container, Sea Containers is also a hive of activity.
Only it’s also a slick restaurant tucked into a boutique hotel on the Southbank, overlooking the romantic, sprawling vista of St. Paul’s and the London skyline.
Housed in the eponymous Southbank building (now the Sea Containers London Hotel), it’s an American-British restaurant drawing inspiration from the “Golden Age of transatlantic travel”. And no, that’s not Phileas Fogg (although there’s a place for that too), but more ‘retro cruise’, as referenced by Tom Dixon’s sleek copper walls, and mustard and burgundy leather seating. And pretty fortuitously, there’s a ready-made river right outside too, which you can enjoy from the floor-length windows or al fresco on the sizeable terrace.
Continuing the golden age theme is head chef Gus Crosby, who, having cut his teeth at Smith of Smithfield’s and Launceston Place, is now very much in his prime. Relying heavily on seasonal and locally-available ingredients, his menu is a constantly-shifting beast, where dishes are sorted into field, sea and land.
So you can expect delicately prepared dishes like raw scallops with sesame dressing, and a venison carpaccio to appear alongside bolder comfort food like the oven-roasted lamb meatballs with Moroccan-spiced vinaigrette, and salt-cod fritters with citrus aioli – but the real showstoppers here are the roasts, built for two and given what-for on the wood-fired oven that dominates the open kitchen.
And if you’re wondering what that is in the middle of the room, it’s merely a horseshoe-shaped, 18-seater, stainless steel bar that reflects both the American eatery theme, and the hefty yellow submarine suspended above it.
Because of course.
It’s here that they whip up faultlessly executed cocktails – like the Shaddock Daisy with tequila, Aperol, agave syrup, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce – besides stocking an immense number of spirits and high-end wines available by the glass.
Because if you’re dining like you’re at sea, well, you may as well drink like a fish.
NOTE: Sea Containers is open daily, with bottomless brunch on weekends. You can book a table on their website HERE.
Sea Containers | Sea Containers London, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD
Fancy an apertif? Head to Lyaness across the foyer…