After all this time, I thought I would do a post about drinks in London. It’s been such a long time I’ve written about nice bars in London – I don’t even remember when it was that. The good thing in London is that you can find nice bars literally everywhere, as this is not a prerogative of Soho only. Don’t get me wrong; I believe that you can find little diamonds in the rough scattered in the roads of Soho (case in point, Ain’t Nothing But)! However I like to be surprised and getting outside of Soho can achieve that!
If you are ever in East London – or if your road leads you to East London – don’t hesitate to visit Sunborn London! So, if you, my dear reader, ask me what Sunborn London is, this is only the first yacht hotel in London! Sunborn is a relatively new yacht hotel, as it officially opened in October 2014. The floating super-yacht is docked in Royal Victoria Dock, offering unique views of the Thames and London. In a convenient location, you can find Sunborn London at a 5 minutes walk from Custom House DLR station and a further 30 minutes travel from Bank Station, at the City.
It’s not only about the location though; as I said, this yacht hotel offers some amazing views of the city. When I visited, it was evening and it was raining so much (I almost froze to death trying to take a few shots), but I can already imagine how it’s going to be when it’s full sunny or even at sunset. In fact, I want to try to visit again in the summer (and probably drink my prosecco on the deck, overlooking the river). Now that it’s autumn, it is still worth it to visit, even if you have to stay inside. Its decor, atmosphere and service make Sunborn London one, very well hidden secret in East London.
When you arrive there, the first thing you notice is the lift that will take you to the reception desk and the bar behind it. This feels very elegant (and exciting actually), yet you don’t feel like you are entering a hotel. The bar we met with my friends is – as I said – behind the reception, but as far as I remember, it wasn’t mentioned anywhere. We had to ask one of the desk receptionists where the bar (and our friends) were, but it was okay in the grand scheme of things! The bar itself was quite big (not as big as – say – the Lyanness Cocktail bar in Bankside); it was however cosy.
The area around the bat is dominated by big couches and stools, while one side has floor-to-ceiling windows, leading you to the deck. As you can imagine, during summer (or whenever it is at least warm), it much be a real paradise out! Kind of like being on a cruise, but without moving at all! – which earns more points in my view, as I have major sea-sickness! Going back inside, you can order your drink at the bar or one of the servers will come for you. In fact, we were encouraged to stay on our seats and order from there! The bar menu was a standard bar menu (with some imaginative cocktails), but I didn’t think anything extraordinary or exciting was there!
While sitting (and chatting with my friends), I ordered a glass of prosecco and my boyfriend had a pint of Peroni. Both of our drinks were really nothing special, however the price was extravagant (again in my opinion). For these two drinks we had to pay £17.50, which is a bit extortion, especially considering that in another bar in Soho or Shoreditch or elsewhere, it would easily be half of that! The price though can be justified by the location and its type (being a yacht hotel). Let’s not forget that the ExCel convention centre is also close by! Next time I’d like to try one of its cocktails, which seem paradoxically more reasonably priced, and probably give you my thoughts on this one too. For now though I am afraid that my evening out review was based on the glass of prosecco and Peroni.
Music wasn’t terribly loud, which was great as we could actually talk, and the atmosphere was nice and relaxed. I dressed up and put my high heels on, but I feel I could have worn a dress with a pair of flats and that would have been okay! And you know what? I love a place in London where you don’t need to dress up on a Saturday evening or put a ton of makeup! I am extra low maintenance like that! The coolest thing about this bar though was something else entirely… The fact that you can enjoy your drink, while on the next table there is a young family with their children and opposite you there is an older couple. There are so few places nowadays that can cater to customers like that that I want to applaud when this happens! And most importantly, away from the noise, drunkeness and fights, which happen everywhere else in London on a Saturday night!
Sunborn London was an interesting place that I’d like to visit again. If only it weren’t that far from NW London (it took us over an hour to reach it), I’d definitely want to visit again soon!
Till next time,
Featured image: By Katie Chan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34322338