It’s called Hello Darling, but feel free to welcome it with your platitude of choice.
If you like the lavishly-designed interiors of sketch, but think it could be a little more OTT, then you’re probably going to like Hello Darling. A fabulously extra spot which opened earlier this year, the restaurant invites guests to dine “inside a work of art” – and based on the evidence, they’re certainly made it happen.
Mind you, it’s hardly surprising with the creative talent they roped in.The brainchild of outlandish set designers Darling and Edge, arts venue The Vaults (see Vaulty Towers for their preferred style), and former Masterchef winner Natalie Coleman, Hello Darling had some pretty auspicious beginnings.
The result is a labyrinth of imaginative rooms, festooned with lion heads, hand-painted furniture, frescoed ceilings, and delicate butterflies. In other words, just the perfect amount of Too Much.
Thankfully, Hello Darling isn’t especially precious with their interiors; far from areas being roped off, guests are invited to treat it as a glamorous house party, whether you’re posing on the kitchen counter, or necking drinks in the bathtub (hey, we’ve all been there).
Meanwhile, the Coleman-designed menu of floral small plates will keep you well fed. Think harissa quail with pearled cous cous, sumac, and yoghurt, and slow-braised lamb with butterbean and nettle pesto, and then start salivating. The cocktails take on a similarly floral feel; my eye is fixed on the rosemary and apricot caipirinhas, with the honeysuckle gin fizz running it a very close second. There’s only really one thing to say to Hello Darling: welcome home!
Location: 131 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UR. Nearest station is Waterloo. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: the bar is open midday-midnight (Mon to Sat), kitchen hours are 12-2:30pm and 5-10pm (Mon to Sat). Closed on Sundays.
Price: plates begin at £6.50, cocktails are all £12.
More information: on their website.
Featured image: @hellodarlinglondon
Also published on Medium.