A River Runs By It
As the temperatures peak in London to a good 10°C hotter than Istanbul, the last thing you want to do after work is rush onto a furnace-like Tube carriage, open the Evening Standard, and rage with jealousy over the montage of people taking sickies on the beaches of Brighton. No, too familiar, and you know what that they say about familiarity.
Instead, empower the urban warrier in you and let the others fight off the contempt. And since Brighton is not a weekday option, why not head with other landlocked Londoners to the Southbank, too often overlooked by those North of the river. It was as if a bridge divided the two, or something.
In search of a peaceful refuge to wile away a roasting Monday evening, it was with smug delight that I came across Tamesa@oxo last night. It occupies one of those sites that should work like a dream - a long room a couple of floors below the Oxo Tower Restaurant and sharing the same river frontage. So it's little surprise that despite opening just a few months ago, the bar is already abuzz.
The setting and view is better than any I could think of in London (and that was before three glasses of Pinot Grigio). The bar area is intimate yet open. There are orange banquets, next to open windows that face directly onto the river, as well as a circular bar. The staircase entrance at one end makes the whole experience feel rather grand - like the Titanic (if you are an imaginative drunk). And the view is magnificent - looking out beneath low-browed lintels at St Paul's and Blackfriar's Bridge alongside a stunning vantage of the North bank. It certainly more than makes up for missing Turner, Whistler, Monet at the Tate.
The location was so breathtaking we ended up having many an 'I Love London' moment, which took on unbridled enthusiasm after a few rounds. As such we failed to eat, but it is one of those places where the food isn't really the point - and that is not meant to be damning, rather its meant as a form of praise.
I can't think of a more romantic place to unwind on a hot summer's evening. But it was Monday, he was just a friend, and there were feral children on BBC2 to get depressed over. As the English would say, 'Nevermind.'
Where to find Tamesa@oxo:
2nd Floor, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St
020 7633 0088
bar open until 11:30
Perfect for a post National Theatre or NFT night cap (if you need an excuse).
What to drink:
They specialise in cocktails and menus can be found online at: http://www.oxotower.co.uk/tamesa.html
Best value for wines can be found with:
White - South African Flagstone 'Spinnaker' at £3.75/glass
Red - Sequit Tempranillo, Spain at £3.75/glass