Glass enjoys an escape in the city at London’s Bankside

LOCATED neatly beside the southern end of Blackfriars Bridge lies the hyper contemporary hotel, Bankside. A part of the Marriott’s prestigious Autograph Collection, this modern independently-owned oasis is comprised of an applaudable 161 rooms and seven suites, all designed with the notion of reflecting the best of its surroundings within its four walls.

Sat a stone’s throw from the bursting cultural area of the South Bank, an area known for its focus on the arts, film and theatre, Bankside strives to bring the eclectic nature into its interior.

Bankside Autograph Collection Exterior of Bankside

Designed by Los Angeles based interior designer Dayna Lee, the former set designer has brought an element of Hollywood to the capital.

Pristine white-walls, hues of Scandi wood crafted by London-based Malgorzata Bany found tracing from your room into the communal seating, murals composed of drawings from British illustrator Laura Carlin, and exposed concrete are the building blocks to the inside – a new take on the famous design decor of the notorious Swinging Sixties.

Bankside Lobby Bankside Lobby

Bankside Lobby Bankside Lobby

Upon entering the hotel I was met with a casual seating area where I was offered an array of drinks on arrival – a friendly and needed touch after a long days work.

Walking out of the lift to my floor, I noticed a fancy, reimagined fancy vending machines that dispense bottles of alcohol like Patron and various gin brands, adding a youthful touch for those who wish to continue the party. With a zero plastic policy, the hall was fitted with a stainless steel water dispenser area finished with fine glass jugs and glasses for you to take with you to your room.

Offering a generous eight different levels of room to suite, all aptly named what they offer (e.g. Modest Double to Generous King) I stayed in the Biggest Suite – as you can guess, this is the hotel’s largest offering. Fit with a rain shower, large bath and helping of Grown Alchemist products, my intention to relax was one that succeeded all expectation.

Bankside BiggestBankside Biggest Suite

Bankside BiggestBankside Biggest Suite

The room itself showcased a brilliant 180 degree view, was home to a king-sized bed that I melted into that evening and a seating area equipped with a desk, sofa and large flat-screen TV, all combining to become a place that I didn’t want nor really needed to leave – I had everything I could want within arms reach.

My evening plans were taken care of in Bankside’s bar and restaurant, Art|Yard. Conceived to take you from day-to-night with its casual, relaxed ambiance, the all-day menu focuses on seasonal produce taken from the perspective of European cuisine while remaining clean and healthy.

Bankside MezzanineBankside Mezzanine

Opting for smoked salmon cured with beetroot as well as pork dumplings to start, the first bites of both of these were utterly moorish with my only complaint being I wish there was more. For my main I chose the miso glazed halibut with kimchi and wild rice which fell apart delicately in my mouth proving itself to be an easy evening spot for passersby.

And though the food was a reappraisal of this hotel’s focus on understated luxury, it is hard not to mention the faultless staff who were attentive, talkative and engaging, going out of their way to ensure you are never for long without the thing you wish.

They have most definitely kept their promise of crafting a truly individual experience at Bankside, and one that I recommend experiencing for yourself.

This is one of those hotel’s that transports you further than your location. From its sleek interior to the soft sheets of the huge beds, Bankside is both cosy and chic, hidden and central, business and yet, very much pleasure, ultimately a stay that needs to be at the top of your list.

by Imogen Clark