“Something Different Around Every Corner.” Oxo Tower Wharf
London is jam packed with restaurants and bars in high rise buildings that offer dining and drinks with spectacular views. The Shard, SkyGarden and Duck & Waffle at the Heron Tower to name a few, one of the more established venues that offers dining with a charming vista is the Oxo Tower at South Bank.
It may be considerably lowered than it’s much taller rivals and its prices are somewhat less inflated (in the brasserie that is, apart from the cocktails that come with a hefty price tag) but its panoramic views along the River Thames and city skyline backdrop are just as stunning. Conveniently located within easy walking distance of Waterloo station is another added bonus as is its proximity to attractions of the South Bank like the Tate Modern and the London Eye.
The Oxo Tower has three venues on the eighth floor, the bar, the restaurant and the brasserie where I went earlier this week with a friend for a late and lengthy lunch. Owned by iconic department store Harvey Nichols, each venue offers its guests a different experience. The more formal restaurant has its own exclusive bar area and fine dining menu accompanied by an extensive wine list. Adjacent to the restaurant, separated by the building’s central tower, is the brasserie which is more informal affair and the bar has a menu with a variety of mixology creations, all three are linked by a stunning outdoor terrace garden.
The stylish brasserie offers diners a menu of beautifully presented and tasty British cuisine with a good wine list including Harvey Nichols own selections as well as champagnes and cocktails. The glass fronted venue is spacious, contemporary and colourful with the added bonus of the outdoor seating terrace, its river and the cityscape views dominated by the stunning architecture of St Paul’s Cathedral. Modern pop art decorates the corridors and a blue accent runs through the colour scheme, the vibe is casual as is the dress code judging by what we saw. The bar itself is streamline inspired by an ocean liner and the curved designer mustard chairs add extra colour. Brasserie tables are booked in two hour slots and late lunch-ers such as us are moved into the bar area when the busy after work crowd descend upon their reserved tables for dinner. We were there on a Monday and it was surprisingly busy from 5pm onwards, the summer dinner offer of three courses with a cocktail for just £32 per person may have something to do with its popularity.
I was impressed with the staff, any dietary requirements were enquired about immediately as we were seated and I was presented with a separate three course vegetarian menu (vegan dishes also available) that offered me many options. The service throughout the meal was attentive but unobtrusive, we were politely asked to settle our bill and ushered from our table to the bar after we overstayed our allotted two-hour slot.
The food was delicious, tasting just as good as it looked. My goat’s cheese tart was served with aubergine and a courgette tempura on a marinated courgette salad and my friend enjoyed her Sea bass with spring greens, samphire and pickled red cabbage, a side of buttered new potatoes, our bottle of Harvey Nichols rose complemented our summery meal perfectly. Indulgently we both had dessert, me a moist lemon verbena cake with blueberry sorbet and an unidentifiable green jam and my dining companion had a raspberry and elderflower cheesecake. All in all the best of British flavours, simple food that was flavoursome and perfect for a summer lunch, all that was missing was a bit of sun so that we could have enjoyed the terrace and the view from outside. See sample menus here.
Oxo Tower Wharf is a London landmark that offers visitors design, art and craft retail spaces and two galleries on the first two floors, Bargehouse and gallery@oxo. The third to seventh floors are residential and alongside the eighth floor rooftop dining options there is also a public viewing gallery. Originally used as a power station to generate electricity the tower was later transformed into a cold store by the Oxo beef stock cube company (hence the name). The building is instantly recognisable from afar identifiable by its tower with OXO spelt out in the vertically positioned windows. Well worth a visit if you find yourself in the South Bank area, great for a spot of lunch in the Brasserie, a cheeky after work cocktail in the bar or a posh dinner in the restaurant.
Oxo Tower Brasserie
Location: Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, Southbank. London. SE1 9PH
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7803 3888
Nearest tube stations are Waterloo and Southwark and main line station Waterloo is just around the corner.
Summer dining – 3 courses and a cocktail for £32 (available Monday 4 July – Wednesday 31 August – click here for more information and opening times
For more information about Oxo Tower Wharf click here
Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Interior brasserie photo used courtesy of timeout.com