As you saunter from Blackfriars station towards the south of the river, you’ll see the glittering rooftop of The Hoxton Southwark hotel clearly from the street below. This lit-up location is the home of Seabird, set on the 14th floor of the hotel. The stunning, sky-high restaurant is the proud owner of the longest oyster list in London, as well as some pretty insane views over the city. And now, this top-tier London al fresco foodie spot has launched a Sunday brunch, with Spanish-tapas style sharing plates, that celebrate their incredible seafood offering.
Despite Seabird’s rooftop setting, expect to be taken on a coastal adventure around southern Europe; gorgeous Mediterranean flavours meet Med-inspired interiors here. The light-filled room is a treat to the senses from the moment you enter the 14th-floor foyer. Rattan lampshades, tiled tables and indoor plants punctuate the room, and a live DJ spins vinyl records with the view of the city behind him. At the centre of the venue sits an impressive ‘raw bar’, piled high with what is soon to end up on your plate – and at the brunch, this bar is also home a magnificent Martini mountain. Your welcome drink, a Botanist Gin martini, will be carefully brought over to you from this mountain ready to kickstart the brunch. The strong drink is definitely one to be sipped, rather than glugged.
Speaking of ‘glugging’, we highly recommend you order a Gluggle jug to get the good vibes flowing. These sharing cocktails serve six, and they’re presented in a glorious fish jug. The brunch menu offers three Gluggle jug cocktails, championing different spirits; our favourite was the Calypso Punch. This cocktail combines the finest of Bajan rums with apricot, pineapple and ginger beer, and the resulting mix is a smooth drink that tastes like a holiday.
The holiday feeling will continue, as you fill your stomach with the incredible food on offer. Seabird’s sea-to-table ethos is clear throughout the menu, with plenty of fresh, flavoursome fish-based dishes. You can choose from the dedicated brunch menu, or venture to other sections, which feature raw, chilled and larger sharing plate options – there’s even a charcuterie section if you fancy something a little different to the restaurant’s speciality.
It’s not an exaggeration when I say everything we tasted on our visit was incredible – each dish was well seasoned, well balanced in flavour, and utterly moreish. We initially opted for four sharing plates between two, with a side of triple cooked chips: the lobster waffle was soft, sweet and tender; the burger was the perfect medley of flavours and very generous in size; the scallop ceviche zesty and refreshing; and the calamari? Well, we ordered a second helping, so that indicates just how tasty it was. The batter was perfectly crispy and the saltiness extremely satisfying.
To round off your meal, choose from a selection of indulgent desserts. Cheese lovers will not brielieve the amount of cheese on the cheesecake – the creamy top is even dusted with shavings of cheese – while the torreja, soaked overnight in milk and served with ice cream and a creme brûlée-style top, will transport you to dessert heaven.
If you’ve still got some cocktail left in your Gluggle jug at the end of your meal, or you want to order more drinks (hey, no judgement here), make your way to the terrace. With panoramic views of the city, you’ll be able to spot Big Ben, The London Eye, The Shard and many other landmarks from your enviable position. The space is decked out with all the necessities for the unpredictable British weather, including heaters and blankets, so you can enjoy the views come rain or shine.
The service at the restaurant is impeccable; the staff are friendly and very accommodating, and the food comes out promptly after ordering. Outside of brunch hours, Seabird is just as much a destination restaurant. While the oyster menu is London’s largest, there’s also an extensive list of crudo and many other dishes, including sardines on toast, Octopus roll, and a Basque-style bouillabaisse. The drinks list features exotic cocktails that are available bottled, frozen, or on draught, while there is a brilliant selection of biodynamic wines from Europe’s best small-scale producers, and a solid list of non-alcoholic drinks too.
Also published on Medium.