Stylish luxury and two outstanding restaurants, The Hoxton Southwark in London, have raised the capital’s South Bank stock. Christopher Rosar
The Hoxton hotel group’s third London opening, The Hoxton Southwark, has brought much needed hip luxury hospitality to the capital’s South Bank. Located just off Blackfriars Bridge, the hotel is within easy reach of the art attractions of the Tate Modern, Old Vic, National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and St Pauls, as well as the financial heart of the City of London across the Thames. The Hoxton Southwark has a superb situation from which to work or play or both.
The first Hoxton Hotel opened off Old Street in 2006, followed by a second outpost in Holborn in 2014. Overseas in Europe, Hoxton Amsterdam arrived in 2015, and then Hoxton Paris arrived in 2017. Further afield in the USA, outposts in Williamsburg in New York City and Portland, Oregon opened in 2018, followed by Chicago and Downtown LA in 2019.
The Hoxton Southwark has a buzzing lobby complete with a restaurant, Albie, and bar. There is also a lovely rooftop seafood restaurant, Seabird. The staff is on duty for 24 hours at the front desk.
Set over six floors, the Hoxton Southwark has 192 rooms: ‘Shoebox,’ ‘Snug,’ ‘Cosy,’ ‘Roomy,’ and ‘Biggy.’ Each of the quirky rooms is designed with industrial features inspired by the neighborhood, which has a rich mercantile history. Even though the hotel is located on a busy main road, each room is seriously sound-proofed, so the silence is audible. Our ‘Cozy’ apartment had concrete ceilings, stripped back brick walls, and Crittall-style windows. The medium-sized room came with a large comfortable bed with a paneled headboard, bedside tables, and a marble-top console. We could relax on comfortable leather lounge chairs. The compact but spacious bathroom has a walk-in shower and Blank toiletry products. There was a mini-refrigerator. Breakfast is delivered literally to your door in the form of breakfast bags left on the door handle.
The Hoxton Southwark’s largest rooms, the ‘Biggy,’ are 35sqm and come with double-aspect wall-to-wall windows. The rooms have super king-size beds and freestanding wardrobes. Each comes with parquet floors, a full-length mirror, a day-bed to lounge, and a huge teal-tiled bathroom with a walk-in waterfall shower—free wifi standard throughout the hotel.
The Manhattan warehouse-style lobby bar is popular with guests and non-guests alike. In the evening, we arrived in the bar area, and the restaurant was bustling, and there was a relaxed but buzzing vibe. Interestingly, the bar focuses on non-alcoholic drinks such as kombucha and low-alcohol beer, which are on tap. The list of alcohol-free cocktails is very impressive.
At the far end, the ground floor restaurant Albie focuses on Italian and French cuisine. Its design is cozy replete with modern artworks, decadent velvet sofas, and chairs. In a cool modernist touch, tall potted plants are dotted everywhere and serve from 12 pm-11.45 pm. Albie has a popular weekend brunch from 11 am-4 pm. Albie features handmade pasta, freshly baked focaccia and uses locally sourced food for meat and cheese. It serves nicely cooked favorites such as starters of Pumpkin and Chestnut Velouté with horseradish cream and classics such as steak tartare with a twist of confit egg York with toasted sourdough. Mains have a solid list of pasta dishes worthy of an osteria – The toothsome crab linguine with chili, garlic, and parsley is a real crowd pleaser – and fish (sea bream) and, of course, a hip set of gourmet burgers. As expected, the wine list is dominated by French and Italian whites, reds, rosés, and champagnes with an eccentric nod to lesser-known tipples from Sardinian and Sicily. Breakfast is also served here from 7 am-11 am and features a comprehensive egg menu from omelets to poached with hearty add-ons from black pudding to smoked salmon. There are, of course, vegan and vegetarian options available.
Seabird on the top 14th floor of the building has a ‘raw’ bar and specializes in oysters. The menu serves Portuguese and Spanish influenced dishes accompanied by a wine list featuring wines from some of Europe’s best small scale producers. The bar has a lovely cocktail list – we loved the ‘Toucan Do It’ with Tapatio Blanco Tequila, mango, cinnamon, and aji pepper. At Seabird, guests dine with overdramatic panoramic views of the city.
The eating menu itself features starters of whelks, quisquillas, periwinkle, and langoustines. The seasonal mains are sourced and include delicious Basque stew with prawns, clams, mussels, red snapper, and fish dishes such as Cornish plaice on the bone with Piri. Seabird’s charcoal grill serves up a lobster with chimichurri as well as meat dishes, including a 40-day aged Galician bone-on-ribeye with tomato and anchovy emulsion. The mains can be matched with Italian and Spanish sides, such as fava beans with grated egg and herbed breadcrumbs. Seabird’s very impressive oyster list sources oysters from England, Scotland, Ireland, Jersey, Holland, France, and Portugal. There is even an ‘Oyster Happy Hour.’ A real plus is the tropical plant clad terrace and a weekend brunch with live music.
Address: The Hoxton Southwark, 32-40 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8PB, United Kingdom
Telephone: 0044 207 903 3000
Prices: Doubles from US$300