An evening on the Southbank, London (and cheeky cocktails at Thai Silk)

The Southbank is my favourite place to hang out in London. And yeah, I know other London dwellers will think I’m crazy because of the tourists/crowds/buskers etc  – but if I fancy going for a wander – I’ll get off at Waterloo and walk right up the Southbank, and will usually pick up a cake in Borough market (there’s a thing called German cake which they sell there which is THE BEST thing I’ve ever eaten).

For me, it has everything I love about London, the history, the tourist tat, Big Ben, London Bridge, Festival Hall, Tate Modern, and the best view of London if you stand on one of the bridges. It’s also a great place to shop, with lots of little independent boutiques dotted around.

So went to hang out there on Saturday night with my friend Bronni (we used to work together!), and had a couple of cheeky cocktails and some nibbles. The thing about the Southbank is that there aren’t really any places to drink – however – if you wander a few streets back, and towards Southwark tube station (which is five minutes away from Waterloo station) you’ll find loads of hidden bars, pubs and shops.

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We went to this place called Thai Silk which is half restaurant/half bar and tucked away under the arches of the train tracks. Now there are two reasons why I think this place is worth a visit if you’re in the area:

1) Cocktails are two for £9 Mon-Sat till 7pm – which in London, and in the very central area especially – is bloody cheap for a cocktail. And they were really good.

2) It’s owned by the same people at The Royal China. If you’ve read my past review about it, you’ll know I think its the best dim sum in London – and it’s the same great stuff here (nibbles are about £4-£5). Honestly, I know it’s not the major draw for a bar – but it’s some of the best bar snacks you’re going to find.

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Obligatory picture of me drinking… I’d put a picture up of Bronni, but she looked ridiculous in all my pictures. Like, you know in The Ring where all the faces are blurred, well it was like that. I blame the booze.

 

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We got two Dirty Silk Berries at Silk Thai, which had vodka, fresh raspberries and strawberries, passionfruit syrup, lime and and lemonade. They went down easily!

We ordered a couple of fruity cocktails as well as prawn and pork dim sum, chicken wings, chips and spring rolls. Seriously, the food is really good in this place. Because it’s half restaurant, the food comes from the kitchen, rather than a grotty fryer in a bar.

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These fries were tasty! Covered in a spicy flavouring and were crispy and thin.

The bar itself is cool, spacious, has good music and isn’t pretentious. I really take issue with a lot of fancy London bars, if there are too many dress rules or if the bouncers are standoffish – I literally won’t go in. But felt really comfortable here, and was there till about 8:45 and it was pleasantly full, with a good atmosphere.

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I reckon it will be particularly nice in the summer actually, as it has a load of outside seating – surrounded by thai statues and greenery. I bloody love a good beer garden.

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Yes! Look at these beauties. These were SO crispy. I have no idea how they did that, and the insides were so juicy. Honestly, some of the best wings I’ve ever had (and I’ve been to the Deep South!)

So after we drank and ate, we decided to walk back down the Southbank to get a drink elsewhere and continue bitching chatting. Now this is a strange thing to have, but my favourite public building in the UK is The Royal Festival Hall.

I have some wonderful memories there from when I was a child, because I would compete in orchestra competitions (nearly fell on my arse once on the stage, but that’s another story).

Not only is it a place you can go and see a concert/play, but you can do whatever you want in there really. People hold birthday parties, work, hold meetings etc. There are loads of chairs and tables/bars/coffee shops an awesome shop and it always is holding events. It’s a great space (plus its the best place to go to the loo if you’re in the area- and tourists don’t know about it).

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I asked Twitter what I should drink next (yep, get social media to make decisions for me!) and most people picked the ‘Swizzle’. Which is vodka, passion fruit liquor and lemonade. Again. Super tasty and dangerously easy to drink!

 

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I LOVE dim sum and these are something special. I’ve had pork and prawn siu mai in pretty much every restaurant in London’s China Town – but THESE are the best. They have big chunks of prawn in them rather than a mush. Luckily Bronni doesn’t like prawns so ate all of these!

 

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The Old Vic is just around the corner from Thai Silk – don’t be afraid to go in and wander around, in fact – downstairs there is a bar.

The Southbank is the perfect place in for an evening in London, especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of money – there’s loads of life there, always something going on and wandering around is free!

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Literally have never been to the Young Vic, but noticed the bar was packed (also, look at this insta-worthy picture!)

 

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If you’re into vintage clothes – you’ll love this shop. I’m really not cool enough for that sort of thing, I’m more of a Primark girl tbh.

 

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Another recent discovery! There was an actual magician doing something in there.

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So that’s a little look into my weekend. Where do you love to spend your time in London? Let me know in the comments.

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