Christopher Rosar discovers that with stylish luxury and two outstanding restaurants, The Hoxton Southwark in London has raised the capital’s South Bank stock.
The Hoxton hotel group’s third London opening, The Hoxton Southwark, has brought much needed hip luxury hospitality to the capital’s South Bank.
Located just off Blackfriars Bridge, the hotel is within easy reach of the arts attractions of the Tate Modern, Old Vic, National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and St Pauls as well as the financial heart of the City of London across the Thames. The Hoxton Southwark has a superb situation from which to work or play or both.
The first Hoxton Hotel opened off Old Street in 2006 followed by a second outpost in Holborn in 2014. Overseas in Europe, Hoxton Amsterdam arrived in 2015, and then Hoxton Paris arrived in 2017. Further afield in the USA, outposts in Williamsburg in New York City and Portland, Oregon opened in 2018 followed by Chicago, and Downtown LA in 2019.
The Hoxton Southwark has a buzzing lobby complete with a restaurant, Albie, and bar. There is also a lovely rooftop seafood restaurant, Seabird. Staff are on duty 24 hours at the front desk.
Set over six floors, the Hoxton Southwark has 192 rooms: ‘Shoebox’, ‘Snug’, ‘Cosy’, ‘Roomy’ and ‘Biggy’. Each of the quirky rooms are designed with industrial features inspired by the neighbourhood which has rich mercantile history.
Despite the fact that the hotel is located on a busy main road, each of the rooms is seriously sound-proofed so the silence is audible. Our ‘Cosy’ room had concrete ceilings, stripped back brick walls and Crittall-style windows.
The medium sized room came with a large comfortable bed with a panelled headboard, bedside tables and a marble-top console. We could relax on comfortable leather lounge chairs. The compact but spacious bathroom has a walk-in shower and Blank toiletry products. There was a mini-refrigerator. Breakfast is delivered literally to your door in the form of breakfast bags left on the door handle.
The Hoxton Southwark’s largest rooms, the ‘Biggy’ are 35sqm and come with double-aspect wall-to-wall windows. The rooms have super king-size beds and freestanding wardrobes. Each comes with parquet floors, full-length mirror, day-bed to lounge and a very large teal-tiled bathroom with walk-in waterfall shower. Free wifi is standard throughout the hotel.
Eating and drinking
The Manhattan warehouse-style lobby bar is popular with guests and non-guests alike. On the evening we arrived the bar area and restaurant was very busy and there was a relaxed but buzzing vibe. Interestingly the bar has a focus on non-alcoholic drinks such as kombucha and low-alcohol beer which are on tap. The list of alcohol-free cocktails is very impressive.
At the far end, the ground floor restaurant Albie focuses on Italian and French cuisine. Its design is cosy and replete with modern artworks, decadent velvet sofas and chairs. In a cool modernist touch, tall potted plants are dotted everywhere and service is from 12pm-11.45pm. Albie has a popular weekend brunch from 11am-4pm.
Albie features handmade pastas, freshly baked focaccia and uses locally sourced food for meat and cheese. It serves nicely cooked favourites such as starters of pumpkin and chestnut velouté with horseradish cream and classics such as steak tartare with a twist of confit egg York with toasted sourdough.
Mains have a solid list of pasta dishes worthy of an osteria – The toothsome crab linguine with chilli, garlic and parsley is a real crowd pleaser – and fish (seabream) and of course a hip set of gourmet burgers. As expected the wine list is dominated by French and Italian whites, reds, rosés and champagnes with an eccentric nod to lesser known tipples from Sardinia and Sicily.
Breakfast is also served here from 7am-11am and features a comprehensive egg menu from omelettes to poached with hearty add-ons from black pudding to smoked salmon. There are of course vegan and vegetarian options available.
Seabird on the top 14th floor of the building has a ‘raw’ bar and specialises in oysters. The menu serves Portuguese and Spanish influenced dishes accompanied by a wine list featuring wines from some of Europe’s best small scale producers. The bar has a very nice cocktail list – we loved the ‘Toucan Do It’ with Tapatio Blanco Tequila, mango, cinnamon and aji pepper. At Seabird, guests dine over dramatic panoramic views of the city.
The eating menu itself features starters of whelks, quisquillas, periwinkles and langoustines. The seasonal mains are sourced and include delicious Basque stew with prawns, clams, mussels and red snapper as well as fish dishes such as Cornis plaice on the bone with piri piri.
Seabird’s charcoal grill serves up lobster with chimichurri as well as meat dishes including 40-day aged Galician bone-on-ribeye with tomato and anchovy emulsion. The mains can be matched with Italian and Spanish sides such as fava beans with grated egg and herbed breadcrumbs.
Seabird’s very impressive oyster list sources oysters from England, Scotland, Ireland, Jersey, Holland, France and Portugal. There is even an ‘Oyster Happy Hour’. A real plus is the tropical plant clad terrace and a weekend brunch with live music.
Address: 32-40 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8PB, United Kingdom
Phone: 0044 207 903 3000
Prices: Doubles from £220pppn