Hixter Bar, Bankside
Now the Hixter bar in Southwark is good for lots of reasons. It’s stylish, chic, dark, sexy and it’s got a large sunken bar with low bar stools around it that make you feel the size of a giant and the bar staff the size of Oompa Loompas (although they’re much better looking, much friendlier and much better informed when it comes to creating and dishing up delicious drinks.)
The drinks are great, as you’d expect from a bar crated by Mark Hix, one of the leading lights of London’s restaurant and bar scene. A refreshing Innis Gunn Scottish lager, aged in whiskey barrels provided instant refreshment and banished thoughts of McEwans from my mind for ever.
As it was a cold, wet and windy night outside, and the faint whispers of Scotch were already floating around in my head, Marks Mr Nice cocktail followed, a warm, syrupy and fortifying mixture of peaty Talisker single malt whiskey, Pedro Ximenez sherry and orange bitters.
But back to the bar… what I really liked about it more than anything was that my mobile didn’t work within its basement boundaries. Which means no one to call with unwelcome requests to get on with work… and no calls about that PPI fortune that’s just waiting for you to claim. Instead you can just kick back, sink into a soft, welcoming leather sofa and take a break from the world outside as it rushes by.
Of course, the bar gets busy on occasions, as it should do… In trendy ‘Bankside’, formerly known as Southwark, it’s got everything a hipster would love – including a genuine bar billiards table. So, expect a certain degree of trendy beardiness, creative artistry and media luvviness. But that’s no bad thing, it’s bright young sparks like this that keep the London bar scene going strong. They may feel a little lost without their mobile connection, but there’s always WiFi, so they won’t get withdrawal symptoms while the rest of us enjoy our night of booze, billiards and bonhomie.
HIXTER BANKSIDE is at
16 Great Guildford Street,