By Maria Fedele
Occasionally when dining out, you are fortunate enough to stumble upon a little gem. A place so delightful in its culinary endeavours and its creative décor that you would happily venture to the concrete jungle of Canary Wharf to indulge in their vast menu and have a sip, or maybe two. The Sipping Room is such a place.
Formally The Bothy, the freshly named Sipping Room is exactly what you would expect from the inventive geniuses of the Drake and Morgan Group. Bustling, inviting and contemporary, the vast space covers a casual outdoor seating area to enjoy during the balmy summer months while overlooking the canals, which fills up daily as the Financial District crowds spill out of the adjacent offices. Inside boasts a cool Scandi vibe with dim lighting, rustic furnishings and cosy seating, making it very easy to unknowingly while away a few hours.
The service does not disappoint, either. Christian, our waiter for the evening, was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable – happily answering questions and providing recommendations despite being incredibly busy. On his advice, we started with the ‘Grape Expectations’ cocktail, which we were told recently won an award, followed by the ‘Brambles,’ both of which were fruity, fresh and fabulous! The cocktail menu features all the usual suspects – from the ‘negroni’ to the ‘pornstar martini’, as well as a few uniquely delectable concoctions.
Wholesome, generous and enjoyable
Similarly, the food menu is well rounded and offers classic no-frills pub fare. Starting with the crispy squid and broad bean and ricotta on toast, both were tasty albeit regrettably rather bland. Fortunately, the main courses were considerably more flavoursome. The steak was cooked to a succulent perfection as the juices blended harmoniously with the delicious béarnaise sauce.
Equally, the halloumi burger was truly divine, a wonderful treat from what can sometimes be a hit-and-miss vegetarian option. The side order of fries were unfortunately undercooked and unseasoned; however, this was only a minor setback from the otherwise wholesome, generously sized and enjoyable main dishes. Despite being full to the brim, the dessert menu was too tempting to pass. Ordering the citrus tart and the Knickerbocker Glory was a mouth-watering lapse in blissful sugary judgment.
The Sipping Room is indeed an absolute all-rounder. A busy, chic haunt which has clearly become a favourite for the locals, it stands out from the myriad of choices in the area, and does so for good reason. From the stylish outdoor seating area and the cosy décor of the dining rooms, to the impressively tasty dishes and wonderfully inventive cocktails, The Sipping Room is an impressive sanctuary in the hubbub of Canary Wharf.
Contributor Maria Fedele is an adventurous traveller and freelance writer from South Australia who has lived in Paris and currently calls London home.