As with many London boroughs the lines are often pretty blurred when it comes to where on starts and the other ends. This time around though, we’re having a plug at Southwark, or that inconspicuous bit by Waterloo, as it might be more commonly known. However, this part of London does in fact house some of our greatest landmarks; The Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and The Shard being just three, and, alongside these, there are also some pretty awesome places to eat. Our favourites restaurants to eat out in Southwark are as follows…
Seductive and striking, Sea Containers London brings a bold new energy to London, blending the style and sophistication of the boutique brand with South Bank’s eclectic vibe. Located on the banks of the River Thames in the famed Sea Containers building and having worked with Design Research Studio under the creative direction of renowned British designer Tom Dixon, guests will witness stunning river views, experience underwater tranquility at agua Spa, sample delicious food using locally sourced ingredients at Sea Containers restaurant and enjoy innovative cocktails at the re-opening and award-winning Lyaness bar.
At the very top you’ll find 12th Knot, situated on the 12th floor, with #viewgoals galore. For delicious food and post-work drinks with a view, it’s the place to head.
Great for: Views, cocktails and a brimming menu upstairs and down.
For those who daydream of sunnier climes whilst sat at the work desk with the Monday blues and an overflowing inbox, try Caravan’s globally-inspired menus, also known as their ‘food well-travelled’ options. Caravan boasts talked about brunches, wide open spaces that are perfect for a hot-desk or meeting and they’re also incredibly planet aware, having banned plastic straws and introducing their new reusable lunchbox and coffee cup.
Great for: Coffee, coffee and more coffee… oh, and a ton of other things.
Standing majestically above London’s iconic Borough Market, Roast Restaurant uses the finest seasonal and quintessentially British ingredients to create classic dishes that both supports and celebrates Britain’s farmers and producers. Since opening in 2005, Roast has quickly become synonymous with British cuisine and is popular for breakfast meetings, weekend family lunches, pre-dinner cocktails and exceptional dinners. Simply put, Roast is truly a restaurant for all occasions.
Great for: Roasts, perhaps unsurprisingly!
The staple that is the Shard houses some pretty impressive restaurants that need shouting about every now and again. Aqua Shard is one of them, situated on Level 31 of The Shard. With wonderful views, modern British cuisine, private dining rooms and a three-storey high atrium bar this venue is destined for spectacular events. It’s not on for the vertigo sufferers but if you do manage to clamber up for the views then you’ll also enjoy coveted cocktails and British produce and cooking techniques with a twist.
Great for: Whilst the food and drink is top notch, the views have to be Aqua Shard’s USP.
Where: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)
Whilst we’re at The Shard, let’s stay there for a little while because we need to talk about Hutong. This sumptuous Chinese restaurant is located on Level 33, a couple of hops, skips and jumps up from the vertigo-inducing venue that is Aqua Shard. Hutong offers panoramic views across London, private dining rooms, chic decor and delectable Chinese cuisine. With floor to ceiling windows, hand carved wooden doors and red lanterns Hutong is designed to impress.
Great for: Again, views are splendid, as is the Chinese food.
Where: Level 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)
Named after James Gillray, the 18th-century English master caricaturist who gained notoriety satirising the politicians of his time, Gillray’s Restaurant & Bar is a quintessentially English dining experience paying homage to top quality British produce and that other British institution – gin. Boasting iconic views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye, Gillray’s Restaurant & Bar celebrates the best of seasonal English produce, with as much as possible sourced from local suppliers: meat hails from eighth generation butcher Darragh O’Shea; fish comes from Billingsgate Market; while desserts are made using Clarence Court eggs from Cornwall.
Great for: Succulent steak and city views.
Where: Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar, Westminster Bridge Road, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Waterloo (0.3 miles)
Contemporary seasonal British cooking with riverside views? Yes please. The Swan is a venue connected to Shakespeare’s Globe and a proportion of revenue goes to the Shakespeare’s Globe Trust, which helps to promote the experience of Shakespeare in performance. The food interlinks French and British techniques and flavours to promote a hearty, wholesome and totally moreish menu amidst a historic setting. Essentially, if you love Shakespeare then this one is for you – to be or not to be? We think it has to be to be!
Great for: Shakespeare, setting and all things seasonal.
With its distinctly urban vibes, Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café fits perfectly into Southwark’s warehouse chic surroundings. Pared back pillars, glass bricks and polished concrete might convey an edginess, but diners needn’t worry because the food and drink are very much in the usual Ramsay mould with efficient quality ensured across Mediterranean dishes. The service can be a little hit-and-miss, but food is always delicious.
Great for: Warehousey vibes, and a touch of the Ramsay magic
Wandering away from Southwark? Why not check out some of our other favourite places to eat in…