NFT London Southwark / Bankside (West)

Southwark / Bankside (West)

The Tate Modern, ladies and gents. It deserves all the praise it gets. And next door there's Shakespeare's Globe, the modern reconstruction of the Elizabethan playhouse where the Bard of Avon's works were contemporaneously produced. Both make this looked-after stretch of the Thames embankment a treasure for those hungry for culture. For those hungry for something else, you're spoilt with quirky options: Try Baltic for Polish Hunters' Stew, The Table for award-winning brunches, or Laughing Gravy for a restaurant named after Laurel & Hardy's dog.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow

Terry's Cafe
Terry's is a very unassuming establishment, the walls are covered with black and white images, the tablecloths are red and white check, and Dixieland-style jazz comes through the speakers. I'm not sure how authentic the decor is but it certainly transports one to another era, an era where the menu is simple but damn fine. What is authentic is the name, and Terry's son, Austin, has now taken on the mantle of serving up this fine fayre to us. Every day of the week has a particular square meal allocated to it--Monday is meat pudding (I would wager they use suet in their pastry, that's just the kind of place this is), Tuesday is toad in the hole, etc. As you can see from the image, I went on a Tuesday: look at the butter on those 'taters, the unctuous gleam of the gravy enrobing those sticky sausages, and those peas! No petit pois here, non, non, we're British! They also do sandwiches and fabulous proper English breakfasts (the bacon sarnie is a favourite with my hungover work colleagues). And the deserts--I couldn't manage one but they're as no-nonsense and delicious as the rest of the menu. Terry, we salute you!

Posted By:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow

Bangkok Kitchen
Bangkok Kitchen used to be a trailer that served Thai food. Bangkok Kitchen still is a trailer that serves Thai food but now they have a whole courtyard where we can sit and eat, and have a beer if we so wish (now that they have a licence). I always wonder how they can produce such phenomenal home-cooked food here at such a reasonable price (£4.90 for a main and steamed rice) but with Borough so close for fresh produce, and a little love and care involved, why shouldn't honest, good food not be this easy and affordable? This city has made me skeptical! The Beef Penang knocks my socks off every time and I have to stop myself from loading it with the beautiful array of jewel-like chilli sauces on offer because although I'm a sucker for heat, Bangkok Kitchen's food is fantastic just how it is.

Posted By:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow

Lord Nelson
Alan was the taxidermied squirrel on skis. Alan was kidnapped some time around Christmas. The bar staff were not impressed. There's still the squirrel on a moped in a fez and now two rutting squirrels have replaced Alan but it's just not the same. This sort of thing doesn't usually happen because everyone at the Nelson is a decent type--local geezers, students, media workers. As the arches under the railway fill up with design studios, the demand for "cool" places in Southwark is rising but frankly this is where we like to come--I'd say it's our failsafe Friday fallback but actually, we want to come here. The food is honest good fare (menu changes slightly on a weekly basis thanks to chef Simon) and the beer is always flowing. Now, if you've seen Alan 'round your mates': bring him back!

Posted By:  Julia Dennison
Photo:  Julia Dennison

El Vergel
I've sung the praises of this gem of a neighbourhood best-kept-secret to whomever I can, whenever I can--even when they're not in the market for breakfast. It's true, the best way to start any day in the Big Smoke (particularly a lazy one involving only you and the Saturday Guardian) is at the Chilean-owned El Vergel over its Latin Breakfast, consisting of an ingenious combination of free-range scrambled eggs, piquant salsa, moreish beans and village bread. I'm wiping the drool from my lips as I write. But today, its not the breakfast's praises I shall sing--no--it’s the wonders of its home made cherry cheesecake. I know, the more gastronomically snobbish of you out there are raising an eyebrow, but work with me here. I would never have thought to order this seemingly un-South American dish here, until I started noticing that no punter was capable of leaving without ordering this first. I soon understood why. The fluffy, cloud-like creaminess of this slice of sweetness, when juxtaposed with the tart syrupy cherries and crumbly, buttery base, is quite frankly astonishingly, and surprisingly the best cheesecake I've had. Sorry, Junior's.

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