Some things really are worth venturing beyond central London for: a whole host of museums and galleries, some breathtaking views of the city and excellent food.
Luckily, you’ll find all three in the sweet spot between Southwark and Waterloo tube stations. You might have got lost in some hidden tunnels, wandered around an incredibly confusing art gallery or even tried your luck at getting backstage at the National Theatre, but you’ll probably be hungry by the end of it. But don’t wave goodbye to the south yet, there’s plenty of delicious food and drink to be discovered ahead!
For a pre-dinner Gordon’s and tonic (and a snack, if you’re like us and can’t hold on until dinner) wander down Isabella Street and you’ll find yourself admiring the many plants dotted around Jack’s Bar. Step inside this pub for a particularly delicious combination – a Gordon’s and tonic and some Thai food.
Between easy walking distance of both Southwark and Waterloo tube stations (but ever so slightly closer to Waterloo!) Jack’s Bar is a top choice when the weather’s warm because of their huge outdoor terrace. But that doesn’t mean it empties out when the weather is cooler – make yourself comfy by the bar, where the friendly staff members will easily chat away to you while you enjoy your drink in the warm. It’s more than easy to enjoy chilling at this pub, before realising your stomach is grumbling and that it’s definitely time for dinner.
Being surrounded by the exotic smells of Thai food is enough to get anyone peckish, so if you really can’t wait until dinner then order some snacks. To keep everyone in the group happy, order the Mixed Platter (Chicken Satay, Veg Spring Rolls, Spicy Thai Fish Cakes, Veg Tempura with Sweet Chilli and Satay, Butterfly Prawns and Prawn Toast – quite literally something for everyone) or if, like Joey from Friends, you Don’t Share Food, we recommend the Pork Thai dumplings or the Corn cakes.
But it wouldn’t be an evening in Southwark without exploring another culture for dinner, and that’s where Baltic comes in. Based in a converted carriage works in Waterloo, feast upon some delicious eastern European delicacies for a real flavour adventure. The huge, airy windows, white walls and endless amounts of space means Baltic could easily feel as cold as its name suggests, but somehow it still manages to feel cosy and welcoming.
On the menu, choose between Polish classics like Potato, Cheese and Spring Onion Pierogi or a Siberian Pelmeni (small veal and pork dumplings). If you’re feeling adventurous, pick something like the Choucroute of Golonka or the Braised Rabbit Leg. Or for more traditional choices, ask for the Pan–fried Sea Bass fillet or Chargrilled Lamb Shashlik. Generous portions means it’s easy to leave stuffed – especially if you’re sampling everyone in the group’s meals, too.
But make sure you’re not too full for dessert, because Baltic’s offerings are just as exciting as you’d expect. Order yourself a Baileys to set the tone for a sweet treat before going wild with any number of eastern European themed desserts. Our favourite pairing has to be the Sernick – a white chocolate and vanilla cheesecake that’s just as creamy and delicious as it sounds. For an even more indulgent choice, ask for the Hungarian chocolate torta with vanilla ice cream. If you’d prefer something fruitier for a sharp contrast to your Baileys on ice, you can’t forget the blackcurrant pannacotta with raspberry and cream. Or, to make the most of the cosy winter months, simply order a Baileys coffee, complete with whipped cream – perfect for the winter season.
By now you should be feeling appropriately full to the brim after some globally-influenced menu choices and a pre and post dinner drink. What more could you want from an evening in Southwark? Don’t say we don’t treat you well!
Please drink responsibly. 18+ only. For all the facts, visit DrinkAware.co.uk.