After years as a bit of an outsider, Bermondsey is firmly staking its place as a great place to go in London for food and drinks.
On the south side of the river, not far from London Bridge Station, Borough Market, Tower Bridge and of course the new rising star, The Shard, Bermondsey is full of hip bars and excellent restaurants.
Around The Shard, which opens in February 2013, a new zone is developing called London Bridge Quarter. There will be new restaurants and bars to service all the new offices and apartments, and even London Bridge Station – one of the world’s oldest railway stations – will be getting a redevelopment in the next few years. The wharves along the Thames to the east of Tower Bridge have long been a place for good restaurants and shopping.
Londoners have been heading to Bermondsey’s restaurants and pubs for years, particularly to Bermondsey Street and Maltby Street. Here are some of the best:
1) The Garrison, 99-101 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XB
This has long been renowned as an excellent gastro-pub, which is England’s way of saying they serve restaurant quality food in a relaxed setting. Don’t expect you typical dark and dingy pub though, this place has its own light and breezy style: quirky and delicious.
2) The Hide Bar, 39-45 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF
If you feel like a cocktail this is the place to go. A long list of drinks and plenty of people to drink them. That said, it’s best to make a booking especially if you want to go on a Friday or Saturday night. They also have an award-winning wine list.
3) The Old School Yard, 111 Long Lane, London, SE1 4PH
Retro done well – good cocktails, great décor, excellent party music that’ll bring back some memories, as will the arcade games machines. And in the cellars downstairs you can strut your stuff with some karaoke.
4) Village East, 171-173 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3UW
An old warehouse converted into a hip and stylish restaurant and bar. The food is good, the service is friendly, the kitchen in open so you can see the chefs hard at work. This is a place to come and linger over a meal, a cocktail, a coffee, surrounded by the burble and laughter of other happy diners.
5) Maltby Street
Under the railway arches a collection of London’s best food outlets have clustered forming a new place to spend Saturdays. It’s not a street market but as Londoners in the know wander from bakery to café to cheese shop, from honey shop to brewery to the butchers and fruiterers, then on to the ice cream makers you could be forgiven for thinking this is the best new place to buy your weekly treats or put together a picnic.