The Heron Tower is a rather magnificent building in itself (have you seen the incredible floor to ceiling fish tank in the reception), so inevitably, when it came to filling the bottom floor space – the bar/restaurant who took up the offer had a lot to live up to. At the very top lies Duck & Waffle and Sushi Samba, two very over-subscribed London foodie landmarks and so whoever took on the remaining space had to be brave!
That specific ‘brave’ contender happened to be The Drift, a bar and restaurant designed (and owned) by the Drake & Morgan collection. I’ve actually visited two of their other branches The Folly and The Fable, each of which were incredible – and so when we arrived on fireworks night several weeks ago, we knew we were in for a real treat.
While The Folly and The Fable have quite fairy-tale esque decor, The Drift is like their slightly more grown up older brother. It oozes sophistication (much loved by city workers who flock from nearby) and is based over two floors – the lower a bustling bar and the upper a quieter, more chilled restaurant space with low hanging exposed lights, illuminated wallpaper and a white picket fence. It still has a slightly whimsical feel to it (as is a theme of D&M restaurants) providing an interesting talking point, however it’s a little more formal and perfect for evening dining.
We settled in rather nicely and ordered a pornstar martini and raspberry daiquiri to enjoy while we perused the menu.
The same as the other restaurants in the D&M chain, the menu is very varied – offering a number of British classics (burgers and steaks), jazzed up salads and stir fry dishes. There’s something for everyone, regardless of preference or dietary requirements. And there’s an incredible array of sides we which struggled to choose from (i.e.: we wanted EVERYTHING).
Eventually, we opted for the chorizo scotch egg (with paprika mayonnaise) – a rather photogenic affair which apparently tasted just as good as it looked. This was followed by the chicken satay (my choice) which tasted incredible – slathered in peanut sauce and grilled to perfection. Price wise, the starters were £5.50 and £5.95 – pretty average for London standards but the food surpassed expectation.
Unfortunately the main course didn’t exactly follow suit – as I opted for the chicken BLT burger, which was described as ‘chargrilled chicken, bacon, lettuce and tomato’. The bun itself had eggs in, which ruled it out for me – something I don’t usually mind, however when the final result landed on my table, I was slightly disappointed. They’d popped a slice of avocado on the plate instead of the bun however the chicken wasn’t seasoned, or chargrilled and it really lacked flavour.
Making up for this however was the trio of fries, which became my dinner instead – an amazing array of Roman (parmesan, truffle and rosemary), Cowboy (honey, chilli and garlic) and Sweet Potato offerings. I don’t usually get that excited over fries, but these broke that rule. They were INCREDIBLE. A main meal in themselves.
Also on the agenda was the fillet steak – a little on the small side but delicious nevertheless. Teamed with roasted root vegetables and peppercorn sauce.
The dessert offerings were also rather tempting, following suit in the D&M chain (check out my chocoholic dessert at The Fable). Eventually we opted for the Apple Tartin with Salted Caramel Ice Cream and the Creme Brûlée – both rather spectacular showcases and although I watched from the sidelines (damn you lactose intolerance), apparently they were delicious.
After finishing up the wine, we headed up in the lift to watch the fireworks from the very top of the tower – rounding off a perfect evening (minus the small chicken hiccup). If you’re ever in the area or fancy a chic (yet relaxed) dining atmosphere, this is the place to book!
Have you ever visited the Heron Tower or The Drift? What were your thoughts?