Despite being a “school night,” going down for a gin-fuelled dinner at one of London’s latest luxury offerings was definitely something we weren’t prepared to miss, especially when the views included that of The Shard, amidst London’s concrete jungle surroundings. Both myself and The Handbook’s Emily sauntered down to Vintry & Mercer, notably the Mercer Roof Terrace, to peruse their earthy menu, their ethical values and – perhaps most importantly, their “Instagrammable-ness!” Safe to say, we weren’t disappointed…
The hotel opened at the start of February as the little sister of The Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington and sits nestled, un-conspiciously, just off the main drag where intricate streets line the River Thames. Walking in, there’s a rush of newness felt both via a smell and through the shiny floors, unblemished upholstery and striking, quirky wall art, all of which take the form of something synonymous to London.
The rooftop terrace itself panders slightly to the millennial generation with its pastel tones and potted plants. This makes the space feel airy, clean – which is of course important – and spacious too, aided by a large conservatory and marble bar. There’s a real outdoors-in vibe which, we can imagine, will bode extremely well come summer when guests can sip gin and gaze at views that aren’t marred by the encroaching night sky. However, perhaps one of the more impressive qualities and talking points of the restaurant lies with its eco-consciousness, as a hotel that runs purely off renewable electricity, sourced from wind, solar and biomass generators.
The Mercer Roof Terrace is a decadent space ideal for a plethora of occasions, be it business meeting or birthday. On the menu you’ll find a healthy split of meats and fish and a real championing of British cuisine, with offerings inclusive of Norfolk free range chicken and Wiltshire burrata. There’s a diversity of choice which is key, and a smattering of veggie options too – also key! Both feeling somewhat indecisive, we let the kitchen crew do our menu selecting dirty work, and they didn’t disappoint with their choices.
First up, we delved into oysters from Ireland, Cornwall and Cumbria which were laden with vibrant edible flowers and, with a helping of tarragon vinegar, tasted just divine. The next two courses, extravagant in nature and getting some serious commentary on the Insta stories, saw the Mercer Rooftop Terrace deliver the goods. Dorset lobster landed welcomingly on our plates with espelette butter and purslane. You can choose either half or whole, but our recommendation is to get the practice in using a lobster cracker before you try either! Finishing off a rambunctious meal with charcoal grilled aged beef and peppercorn sauce, it was safe to say this resto knew how to keep a guest satisfied.
The drinks list panders to summer, and that’s nothing something to scorn! Help yourself to a refreshing cocktail such as the thirst-quenchingly delicious Portobello, which is a gin paired with green apple, pine and lavender and served with rosemary with black olives tonic – it was quite possibly one of the best gin’s I’ve ever had. Alternatively, there’s a booming wine list of which we selected the 2015 Stopham Estate English Pinot Blanc and I Muri Primitivo Puglia… yes, we know, school night out the window!
As a final note, we both decided Mercer Rooftop Terrace was one we’d be frequenting a fair few more times. That menu needs finishing plus the drinks and service are oh, so good. And without further ado, we headed swiftly on to the ground floor speakeasy for a nightcap… or two!
Vintry & Mercer: 19-20 Garlick Hill, EC4V 2AU, www.vintryandmercer.com