The Hilton London Bankside recently celebrated its inaugural anniversary, set in the heart of London’s Southbank. The contemporary style of the 292-room Hotel is in keeping with its surroundings, with The Shard, Borough Market and Tate Modern being a short leisurely walk away.
Designed to a high modern standard, the Hotel boasts executive rooms, suites and a luxury penthouse complete with roof terrace, entertainment area and views across the City. Rooms come complete with mini bar, tea making facilities, 42-inch HDTV, branded toiletries and large safe, in addition to the comfortable bed and furnishings – we particularly liked the built-in speakers in the bathroom. The Hotel boasts a large spacious reception area with an Autumnal colour scheme and stylish seating area lit with bespoke lighting. Off of the reception area are the Executive Lounge, The OXBO Bankside restaurant and the cool, sophisticated Distillery Bar. Due to its location, guest self- parking is not available; however, a valet service is on offer for a reasonable fee.
On arrival, we were made to feel most welcome, by the polite, friendly reception staff, which made the check-in very straight forward. After settling into our room, we decided to make use of the Executive lounge. Inside, was a stunningly- casual room consisting of large leather sofas, coffee tables, bespoke modern chairs and cushioned seating along the walls. The walls are adorned with mirrors of varying sizes, reflecting the light produced from both hanging and wall mounted spotlights. An open fire-place graces the centre of the room over which are mounted 2 large HDTV screens. In the lounge, hot, cold and alcoholic drinks were available from the complimentary bar together with snacks – which varied depending on the time of day, be it afternoon tea or evening hors d’oeuvres.
After relaxing in the Executive lounge before dinner, it was time to adjourn to the OXBO Bankside Restaurant – a large spacious area with open kitchen at one end. Replica animal heads stand out on the walls and there is a vibrant relaxed atmosphere. The menu has a very British feel to it, with ingredients being sourced from all 4 corners of the UK. Items on the starter menu cater for all palates, dishes range from scallops, mussels or squid, to Caesar salad or soup to beef tartar or snails. The smoked salmon, which we ordered, was fresh and light, oozing with flavour and the scallops were succulent and perfectly cooked. For main course, we selected from the grill menu. The fillet steak, cooked to medium rare, was tender and juicy with an impeccable taste. The Herb and Garlic chicken, enjoyed by my partner was simply superb. The only downside was the difficulty we had in trying to select a single dish from the menu! It was then onto dessert…again, how to select from such an array of sweet treats – lemon tart and crème brulee got the nod (with chocolate terrine and vanilla cheesecake providing stiff competition!). The portion sizes were spot on, the sweetness and zesty flavours from the lemon tart provided a fine conclusion to our meal. Executive Chef, Paul Bates, has constructed a menu full of traditional favourites but added an exotic twist to ensure a return visit is a must.
Following dinner, we took advantage of the Hotels location and enjoyed a walk along the South bank, taking in the sites of the river by night. On returning, we paid a visit to the Distillery Bar, just off of the Hotel lobby. Built on the site of an old fragrance factory, the bar continues the history of mixing on the site by having an extensive cocktail menu, plus many more bespoke drinks to the customers liking. The bar stocks over 50 types of gin for the true connoisseur and a selection of bar snacks and sharing platters which are ample to satisfy any appetite.
Following an extremely comfortable night’s sleep, it was time for breakfast, which was served in both the Executive lounge, for those eligible to use it, or in the main restaurant. There was a good selection for both Continental and English breakfast – eggs could be made to order and there was a wide choice of pastries and breads – a most satisfying way to start any day.
The Hilton London Bankside offers stylish comfort for both guests on business and pleasure. Beautifully designed, run and operated by polite friendly staff and ideally located, the Hotel offers everything a visitor to London could want from an overnight stay with a contemporary edge.