The Hoxton have been super busy opening swanky hotspots around the globe – including Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Portland and most recently, Chicago. So it was about bloody time they returned to the capital where it all began, with the brand new Hoxton, Southwark. Perched on the 14th floor, Seabird is the hotel’s rooftop restaurant complete with seriously swoon-worthy views stretching out over the Thames. It’s also home to London’s longest oyster list, with a gorgeous marble raw bar taking centre stage.
In fact, pretty much the whole menu is centred around fish, with inspiration drawn from the Mediterranean, with a special emphasis on those gorgeous Portuguese and Spanish flavours you’ll have fallen in love with on your hols – think fresh crudo, seasonal vegetable dishes, fish cooked a la plancha, and San Sebastian-inspired desserts.
First things first, you absolutely must get here before the sun sets to take in the killer views. It’s a sunset magnet and thankfully there’s a suitably spectacular cocktail menu to go with it.
William Elliott, the award-winning Bar Director of Maison Premiere, has crafted Seabird’s creative cocktail list, which focuses on exotic fun flavours. I mean, have you even been to The Hox if you haven’t taken a picture of ‘The Toucan Do-It’ which is served in a tiki-style bird vessel and contains a tropical blend of tequila, mango, cinnamon and a touch of aji pepper. Also, try your best to avoid ordering your go-to sauvignon blanc, it would be a shame to miss out on the more exciting selection of biodynamic wines from some of Europe’s best small-scale producers.
However, even when you have to draw yourself away from the outside terrace, and it will be HARD, there’s plenty to ogle over inside. The space feels fresh and coastal with whitewashed floors, plentiful greenery (every millennial’s dream) and colourful Mediterranean tiles amping up the on-holiday vibes. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the restaurant with natural light while handmade scallop tile-topped tables fully embrace the theme.
But how about the food we hear you cry! (Thanks mum).
It would be sacrilegious to not start with a plate of oysters – we got our gorgeous waiter to bring over his faves for us and tried a brilliant and varied selection.
Surely a contender for 2019’s most ‘grammed dish, the octopus brioche roll is topped with padron peppers and a drizzle of ‘sobrassado’ mayo (a type of spicy sausage from the canary islands). Looks like a hot dog but don’t be fooled – it’s next level. Chase with a plate of the oh-so-moreish crab buñuelos (croquettes) and you’ve got yourself a winning starter or a good-at-anytime bar snack.
The only real deviation from the seafood theme is a plate of freshly carved charcuterie which we hoovered up before sharing a substantial Basque-style bouillabaisse with shell-on prawns, mussels, cod and chunks of potato. It’s delivered with a side of crab meat on toast, ideal for soaking up every last drop of the sunshine orange sauce.
Make sure you leave room for dessert – the manchego cheesecake is all cheesy cream filling, barely any base (our favourite ratio) and is finished with a generous grating of manchego at the table.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’re smitten with Seabird. It looks like everything the Hox touches turns to gold – just like those sunsets.
If you need me you’ll find me on the terrace…