Dandelyan and the Oxo Tower

Last week, Matthew’s sister turned 21 and I was lucky enough to be invited to her family celebrations.

Festivities began at Dandelyan, in the Mondrian hotel. Every time we’ve walked past, Dandelyan has looked super busy but when we were there it was just nicely so. Their extensive menu is inspired by the botanical and is split up into several different sections, including  like “cereals”, “grains” and “florals” and M and I took our time getting to grips with it. I kicked things off with a Monroe, which is a blend of vodka, pommeaux (whatever that is), lemon, wheat, and passionfruit, and which arrived looking suitably beautiful.

Round 2 saw a Dandelyan Sour from the “floral” section, which apparently contained dandelion capillaire and garden bitters and which tasted grassy in a good way. Also, I went on a little snoop around on my way to the bathroom and concluded that the Mondrian is a seriously gorgeous hotel. If I ever have the cash to take a little staycation, I would definitely want to stay there.

Soon enough, it was time to head next door to the Oxo Tower for dinner. We were a little early for our reservation so took up seats at the bar, where I had a quite unmemorable cocktail that was a little too sweet for me.

From there, though, things only went up. The service was so slick and so personable, and although our table was in the middle of the room with not-great views, I was more than fascinated by watching the waiters’ station instead.

Foodwise, I stuck with just bread rather than a starter (if you go, I totally recommend the potato & rosemary bread), but Matthew informs me that his smoked salmon scotch egg was out of this world and also on the table was a sharing dish of langoustine and avocado puree that looked pretty damn impressive.

I opted for the monkfish for my main course, which came with clams, a “tomato and potato nest,” and a kind of tomato sauce that they poured over the top. I’ve never had monkfish except in Portugal but this was delicious – perfectly meaty. The tomato and potato nest seemed like an odd concept but was also great, with what I can only describe as little crunchy sticks poking out for texture.

At first glance, we weren’t too enthralled with the dessert menu but M and I begrudgingly agreed to share the most chocolate-y looking of the bunch:. This turned out to be arguably the greatest decision I have ever made because it was DELICIOUS. They don’t have the dessert menu online and I can’t remember exactly what it included/all my pictures are awful, but it was basically four little mini chocolate desserts and each of them were sublime.

On the way out we couldn’t resist popping out onto the balcony to get some pictures of the view, which from only 8 floors up still holds its own against the likes of the Sky Garden.

I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Oxo Tower, but the super-slick service & the food more than convinced me of its merits. I’d certainly go back for a celebration meal!

PS. Apologies for the lack of photos – I don’t like to take my camera out at family celebrations (especially not ones that aren’t even my family) but I couldn’t resist posting anyway!

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SE1 and St Katharine Docks

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog front this week, and the reason for that is that half of my camera charger has completely vanished. I’ve finally given in and ordered a new one, but in the meantime I’ve been a bit uninspired without my trust little Canon by my side!

Last week Matthew and I spent a very pleasant Friday afternoon wandering Borough Market (actually, fighting our way through the hordes of crowds) and then on down the river towards Tower Bridge and beyond. Without my camera, I was left to test the capabilities of my iPhone, but actually it was quite fun seeing what it can do.

Round that neck of the woods, Tower Bridge is the obvious choice for photos and it was looking particularly striking in the sun as we meandered by.

The buildings around The Scoop are really stunning. Is it okay if one of my career goals is to work in one of those super slick offices?!

Our walk then took us down to Shad Thames, which cuts a pretty sharp contrast against all that glass. The bridges between buildings were once used for docklands workers to transport goods, but now they make for super cool “balconies” and M and I had fun imagining summertime soirees on them.

Since we were so close, we decided to cross the bridge itself and head to St Katharine Docks, an area I have heard and read a lot about recently and never actually visited.

I’ve picked up a bit of a thing about marinas from my dad, so safe to say I was in my element at the docks. There are tons of restaurants, coffee shops and the like which I have stored up in my head for future visits, but for now we were happy just wandering about.

Our journey home took us back across Tower Bridge and we ducked under the Shard to get the train.

Discovering new corners of London is my favourite thing to do and with spring and summer fast approaching, it’s so nice to think that there are so many more we have yet to visit! Where are your favourite spots?