Set on the bank of the River Thames, Luxury London uncovers the nautical delights of Mondrian London at Sea Containers
As a landmark building with a backstory, it seems only right that I give you a bit of history about Mondrian London. It started life as Sea Containers House, a building originally conceived as a hotel but ultimately utilised as an office space thanks to financial woes in the 1970s.
Fast forward to 2014, when the building was resurrected in its originally intended guise, presenting us with the hotel that now sits as a proud beacon of luxury on the banks of the River Thames. Designed by Tom Dixon, Mondrian London at Sea Containers comprises two bars, one restaurant, a spa and a Curzon cinema.
Unsurprisingly, given the hotel’s location, the interiors hark back to the golden age of transatlantic travel, with metallic and brass features playing a central part throughout.
Sweeping back the curtains and casting my eye over the expansive view that spans the stretch of the river around St Paul’s Cathedral, I am absorbed by one of those ‘I love London’ moments. My riverside suite features bespoke furniture by Dixon, carefully arranged with stylish effect, and the space really does evoke the sense of being in a cabin aboard a luxury cruise liner.
But before I get too comfy, it’s time to hit the spa. After a brief stint in the gym, the relaxation room is blissfully tranquil and designed with its suspended brass feature acting as a strong focal point. Loathe as I am to leave, supper awaits, and so my guest and I return to the room to get ready.
The hotel’s restaurant, Sea Containers, has a ‘larger than life’ feel to it with its mustard-yellow banquets, impressive central bar and expansive views over the water. We are seated next to the window, where we each enjoy an apéritif of Sea Co spritz with cocchi rosa, peach brandy and prosecco and an appetiser of Padrón peppers.
The menu is wide-ranging, offering raw dishes and mains that draw on inspiration from American and Italian cuisine. With our appetites suitably whetted, we enjoy a burrata and roasted squash flatbread with rocket and pumpkin seeds, followed by clay oven-roasted cod with crushed Jersey Royal potatoes and tomato fondue.
Well-thought-out and well-executed, the food is tasty and – coupled with the restaurant’s buzzy atmosphere – ensures a memorable evening and a real sense of occasion, whatever the occasion might be.
Dessert comes in the shape of a classic – tiramisu – and is as deliciously indulgent as the Italian favourite should be, packing a seriously boozy punch.
For the night owls, a visit to the Rumpus Room bar post dinner is a must. Set on the rooftop, the chic cocktail bar has been a favourite among London’s party-going elite since the hotel opened two years ago. Alternatively, drop into Dandelyan, which was crowned Best New International Cocktail Bar at the 2015 Spirited Awards and offers inventive concoctions stirred up by celebrated mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana. The Puffed Grains and Chocolate gets my vote with its combination of scotch whisky, toasted grain soda, chocolate and pink peppercorn.
Awaking to the sun shining over the Thames is a spoiling treat and one that I relish over a cup of coffee and the morning papers. At breakfast we are indulged further with a spread of blueberry pancakes with lemon butter and maple syrup, and smashed avocado on charred toast. Breakfast has long been my most cherished meal of the day and the offerings here do not disappoint. Add in a Lean Green juice with cucumber, celery, kale, spinach and ginger – arguably too virtuous-sounding to taste good, but it manages it, believe me – and after your dreamy night’s sleep you’ll be boasting a glow to rival Gwyneth’s and will be leaving Mondrian London with a spring in your step.