One Canada Square, Canary Wharf
At first look, this is just your typical loads-a-money Canary Wharf hangout frequented by bankers and their lady friends. In actual fact, on closer inspection, it’s an elegant venue for a date in Financier-ville that seems to hark back to those grandiose turn of the century railway station restaurants. There is a grandeur and style here that put me in mind of how it might have felt to dine at Grand Central Station in 1889 or in the Sirkeci restaurant in Istanbul’s main train station (final destination of the Orient Express) in 1905. It’s not what I expected to
find but the staff are warm and impeccable, the atmosphere is really relaxed, the bar is stocked and the menu is enticing with a hint of retro classic. Chateaubriand anyone? Game on.
Guys, I’m not going to lie to you. Put simply, the produce is of superlative quality and it’s beautifully cooked and presented. You will have a delicious meal here, there is no doubt about it. The meat is extraordinary and the fish hand selected daily at Billingsgate. Steak Tartare was the best my date had ever tasted, Soft Shell Crab was pure luxury and the Burnt Orange ice cream a delight. I hear they are even doing an all-day Saturday Bottomless Brunch. Get RIGHT in. Perfect for those not-too-sure-where-this-is-going brunch dates we sulkily pencil into our diaries and then end up enjoying immensely – said brunch turning into leery afternoon drinks which leads all sorts of adventures.
Add to this a sophisticated cocktail list and you are on to a serious winner; why not show off a bit and try the Sleeping Beauty (Sipsmith vodka, grapefruit, lemongrass, ginger, egg white, jasmine) or one of the signature G & T’s such as “Death’s Door” with cardamom and coriander. Raspberry Bellinis are a tad dangereux also.
The minute those cocktails start coming, you know you’re in trouble. Bachelors take note. The food will win you brownie points, there is a live pianist for on-tap romance moments and the cocktails are stunning AND lethal. What’s not to love? Answers on a postcard, please.
Canary Wharf isn’t everyone’s favourite destination, I suppose, but at One Canada Square it doesn’t even matter as you are transported back to another place in time anyway. My advice: dress up, wait for him or her to arrive sitting at the bar whilst sipping on a tipple of your choosing and simply let the evening take you where it wants to go.
3 – when that pianist gets going and the cocktails are slipping down the back of your neck, you’ll know exactly what I mean.