Words: Lottie Hulme
As the cool summer air rushes through the city after the working day, drinks terraces are the places to head to indulge in sundowners and catch-up tipples with friends. With this in mind, The Art Yard at Bankside Hotel has launched a divine experience where you can enjoy a T&T (tequila and tonic) at a chic spot in the city.
The Tequila and Tonic is fast becoming the staple drink of the summer, which is hardly surprising given it is both refreshing, yet also provides that kick to take you into the evening. The trend can be enjoyed on the terrace, as they’ve partnered with El Rayo Tequila which, we’re sure, will knock your socks off.
The beautiful trappings of the terrace allow you to sink into seats surrounded by playful and vibrant, modern Mexican artwork, and you can tuck into some fresh ceviche to go hand in hand with your T&T. The bar pops with vibrant colour, and the smiley waiting staff make the tipple that even more enjoyable.
We made our way to the beautiful terrace on a Thursday evening, to sample the delights on offer. It’s easy to find, Londoner or not, as its tucked behind the iconic OXO Tower on the Southbank. We positioned ourselves on a cosy banquette and enjoyed an El Rayo Plata with Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic which came with hints of citrus. It was so refreshing, and the perfect drink for a summer evening.
Other offerings include the El Rayo Reposada and Fever Tree tonic, which boasts hints of honeyed vanilla – delicious. The delightful tequila is clean, light and refreshing and it’s a far cry from what you might imagine when you picture tequila – shots in a bar! The vibrant flavours of El Rayo all naturally come from Mexico’s slow grown blue agave, and it is natural, gluten free and vegan.
It’s likely you’ll be hearing ‘T&T’ a lot more from now on, but you heard it here first that Bankside’s terrace is the place to head for one! It’s also an idyllic spot for a pre-dinner drink, with the Art Yard Bar & Kitchen just a wee wander away. Here, you’ll find a restaurant serving seasonal and fresh food in an informal yet stylish setting. Post-T&T, we delighted in what this eclectic restaurant had to offer, taking our young puppy along too, to revel in the dog-friendly space.
As well as enjoying an actual feast, you also get the perks of a visual feast, too, in the calming space, with beautiful artwork and intriguing lighting bringing the restaurants in London to life. Designer, Dayna Lee’s inner nomad comes to life on the walls of the restaurant, picked up during Dayna’s globetrotting days, with most of it being mid-century.
Picking from the menu came with some difficulty, simply due to being spoiled for choice. I started light with some charred sweetcorn with radicchio, chicory and jalapeño dressing. It was beautifully put together and burst with flavour. For the main, marinated halloumi came up trumps. As a big halloumi fan, I was overwhelmed with how delicious this large plate was, partnered perfectly with spinach, date and almonds. My partner was delighted with the baked Cornish sole which disappeared as quickly as it came – a true sign of deliciousness!
Side dishes have the ability to be disregarded when it comes to meals, but the two we opted for were so standout that they deserve a sentence or two of their own! The green beans and toasted almonds? Amazing. Toasted almonds always add that sweet kick you need and the sweet and savoury partnership was delightful.
We also delved into a pot of seaweed jersey royal potatoes which were hearty, wholesome and I thought about them for the rest of the evening, so they must’ve ticked a big box for me! What made the evening all the more special was the attentive and thorough service, and a magic trick that has left me scratching my head ever since, performed by one of the mixologists.
I’d highly recommend this venue for somewhere to head with your family or friends for a relaxed meal which is sure to deliver on the food and drink front. What more could you ask for? Cheers!