insideKENT Magazine insideKENT Issue 68 Nov 2017 - Page 128

GETAWAYS HILTON LONDON BANKSIDE LONDON IS JUST SUCH A VAST CITY, EVEN IF – IN TERMS OF SQUARE MILES AT LEAST – IT IS RELATIVELY SMALL. THERE IS SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO THERE THAT AN OVERNIGHT STAY IS OFTEN THE BEST WAY TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF A VISIT TO THE CAPITAL. PICKING ONE HOTEL OUT OF THE PLETHORA THAT EXIST IN LONDON IS A TOUGH JOB, HOWEVER, AND ONE THAT CAN BE RATHER HIT AND MISS, BUT SOMETHING THAT MAKES THAT JOB A WHOLE LOT EASIER IS KNOWING THAT THE FIVE-STAR HILTON BANKSIDE OFFERS PRIME LOCATION, ULTIMATE COMFORT, AND SOME OF THE BEST FOOD IN THE CITY AT ITS ADJOINING OXBO BANKSIDE RESTAURANT. LOOKING FOR LONDON LODGING? THEN LOOK NO FURTHER THAN HERE. BY SARAH GREENE The Hilton Bankside has 292 well-appointed rooms that are as luxurious as they are ideal for exploring London itself. From here you can easily (and quickly) get to The Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the London Eye and the Southbank – which includes Shrek’s Adventure, the London Dungeon and the Sea Life London Aquarium, as well as Borough Market. Back to those rooms, though...modern, with a grey and black colour scheme and wooden accents, they’re comfortable and calming. The mini bar offers free chocolate, water and soft drinks, which is an unusual and welcome touch, and there’s an actual coffee machine in the room, so you can wake up to proper coffee, making all the difference first thing in the morning. The large bathroom was impressive and just the right type of relaxing space that’s required after a day out in London amongst the crowds. Exhilarating though the hustle and bustle of the city may be, having a sanctuary like this to come back to is a necessary joy. 128 As is having a good restaurant onsite. No taxis and no trips on the underground, just a quick journey from room to restaurant where you can sample some of the finest cuisine created by one of the most exciting new chefs in the city, Paul Bates. The OXBO Bankside caters for hungry guests wanting breakfast, lunch or dinner, and we opted for a leisurely evening meal. After being welcomed warmly and seated, we were given ample time to take in our surroundings and browse the menu. The relaxed, contemporary theme seen throughout the hotel continues into the restaurant and its ambience strikes a perfect balance between informal and professional. Thanks to the fake animals heads lining the walls – there’s even a unicorn presiding over things – and the chilled-out atmosphere, there is no standing to attention and no pretension, which is never a bad thing. We started with the ceviche of butternut with pink grapefruit, coriander and cod cheeks, and the pea and mint soup. This was followed by the Josper-roasted stone bass with celeriac puree, mouli, crab and watercress, and the Blythburgh pork belly with caramelised onions, duck egg and a shallot jus. Every dish was delicious; cleverly paired with the right seasonal ingredients and delicately balanced. Dessert came next in the form of raspberry crème brulee and baked cheesecake with a berry compote. Oh wow. Our recommendation is to make sure you have dessert at the OXBO, even if you don’t feel you can manage it – it’s so good, as is the whole package, actually – book a stay here and you won’t regret it. Hilton London Bankside 2-8 Great Suffolk St London SE1 0UG 020 3667 5600 HiltonBankside HiltonLondonBankside