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Sea Containers Restaurant at the Mondrian, London

Sea Containers Restaurant at the Mondrian, London

Sea Containers Restaurant at the Mondrian, London

New Year’s Day is late lunch out day in our festive calendar, health permitting, and this year, yay, health permitted.

From experience, the best places for New Year’s Day dining are pubs or hotel restaurants so, feeling an American brunch vibe, we drove, across blissfully empty roads, to the Sea Containers restaurant at the Mondrian, London which has that clubby, leathery, cosy booth-type American thing going on – not exactly your roadside diner but more a (big) diners-club room.

We liked it.

Settled in a comfortable corner, overlooking the river terrace and Blackfriars bridge, I did wonder why the restaurant wasn’t on a higher floor to make more of the views. D made a good point that guests probably like to see those from their rooms, duh. Rude.

That aside, the restaurant was busy, buzzy and loud. Not too loud at the time, and on the day, we were there but, I imagine, very loud in the evenings. Maybe I’ll be sticking to lunch and early evenings if I return. And, as a former party person, I never thought I’d be writing those words.

There was plenty of space around us, easily manoeuvrable in the wheelchair and, acknowledging ease of general access, for once, I wasn’t the only wheelie in the place – two of us, whoo-hoo. I almost went over to high-five my fellow wheelie but decided that might be too intrusive.

The menu was very brunch/Sunday lunch oriented and, not having had one over the entire festive period, we chose a traditional roast lamb with the trimmings, Yorkshire pud and all. It was great, no surprises, just a really decent roast dinner.

Desserts too were of the traditional, hearty variety and, expecting boring, my chocolate lava cake was better than I’d thought it would be though D’s carrot cake … a bit mundane.

Evrything else was fine, including service, and we passed a very enjoyable couple of hours in situ, the friendly, casual ambience being exactly what we were in the mood for on a laid-back New Year’s Day.

Sea Containers seems like an ideal place on the river to meet up with friends, have some fun and eat at the same time and who doesn’t need a restaurant to fit that bill occasionally?

It’s in a great location near the Tate Modern and the Southbank so it’s likely we’ll be back there soon. Maybe we’ll see you there: Sea Containers at the Mondrian, London.

On Wheelchair Access:

With current building works, the roads around the Mondrian aren’t in great shape. We were lucky enough to get one of the few disabled parking bays outside the hotel entrance but the unloading position, from the passenger side, is straight into the road in front of one-way oncoming traffic – not my happy place.

Okay, it wasn’t too busy as it’s a slip road – and, did I mention, New Years Day – but it was raining and the disabled parking bay is not under cover. Yuck.

Getting back in would’ve been a bit nightmare-ish so D backed into a drive a bit further along and I was able to wheel from pavement to car with no staring or honking horn pressure from impatient drivers and taxis.

I think they might’ve planned this a little better for us wheelie-people though if you drive or rear exit, I guess, it’s no problem. I just feel uncomfortable having to hold up traffic and dealing with all the eyes on me – gives me hand wobble which is not a good thing when traversing narrow ramps and car-doors.

Once on the pavement, it is easy wheeling all through with generous ramped access and lifts. A real pleasure to wheel, actually. Love that.

NB there’s also an accessible Curzon cinema at the Mondrian. It only has one wheelchair space so you’d need to book but that’s worth knowing, isn’t it?

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