Dandelyan @ Mondrian London, Southbank
Mondrian London at Sea Containers is a very glamorous addition to the Southbank. Dandelyan bar, situated on the ground floor level, is the brainchild of Ryan Chetiyawardana aka Mr Lyan, twice named UK Bartender of the year. A grand green marble bar runs the length of the room with brushed gold and brass accents while the rest of the décor is plush in shades of olive and plum with a clear nod to Art Deco style.
This is one for the curious cocktail lover. Mr Lyan has taken his inspiration from the botanical wilds of the British countryside and around the world and the new cocktail list is based on exploration of the flavour profiles of birch, pine and oak. Try the Sea Mountain Spritz (Ketel One Pine Vodka, elderflower, Kombu apple). Pure unadulterated alchemy-induced relaxation. There’s a lovely menu to make your way through so give yourself a couple of hours. Bar snacks range from blistered padron peppers to charcuterie and cheese boards. Dandelyan will not fail to impress your date.
Make a reservation a good week in advance. Dress up sharp. Meet on Blackfriars bridge and snake along Upper Ground entering the Mondrian via the back door. Weave through the lobby until you come to the ‘Den‘ which is the parlour hang out in between Dandelyan and Sea Containers. From here, step outside to take in the stunning view of the river together. If you are lucky, the sky will have painted a picture over London for your romantic backdrop. Lead your date back through and take your table or seats at the bar and peruse the menu and make your choices at leisure. Once your appetites have been suitably whetted, potter over to Sea Containers and order some seasonal oysters and from there, whatever else may take your fancy.
Alternatively, the Southbank is your playground for pre and post Dandelyan game; there are a thousand ways to make this an evening to remember. Come rain: catch a film at the BFI, an exhibition at Hayward Gallery, or enjoy more drinks and some dinner at Skylon, Royal Festival Hall or the Oxo Tower. Come shine: stroll along the river to Gabriel’s Wharf for a bite to eat, or if you are a serious romantic and well organised, to unveil your pre-packed picnic blanket and basket. If it’s a slightly more casual affair, perhaps continue the stroll, stopping to enjoy an al fresco craft ale from Understudy at National Theatre and perhaps a kiss on Waterloo bridge.
Reservation only but how smug will you feel as others are turned away? Get organised.