The thing I miss most about Paris are bridges. Oh I knew I was a Parisian in the city whizzing over bridges on the back of a motorbike (clichéd but true). Now I am back in London and rediscovering my brilliant, busy and anonymous hometown. The Southbank is glorious in the early Spring sunshine. Walking along it seeing the people performing shows. I still don’t understand people standing watching someone pretending to be an immobile statue that only moves for money although I will admit floating Yoda is cool. Anyway the BFI home of the British Film Institute and showing incredible films and it has a bar – a proper bar. Film and cocktails are some of my favourite things.
Solo and 5.30pm in the evening there I was at the BFI but hey it’s always cocktail hour somewhere so I didn’t feel too much of a lush. It’s an eclectic bar: long tables, well worn but comfy sofas that once you sink into whoever is joining you will have to get the drinks because it is difficult to stand up again and finally tables for two. Outside are sun kissed tables for warmer weather and perennial smokers!
It is buzzy and the furniture matches the client – eclectic. Nobody is looking at you here so if you are worried about drinking solo this is the perfect starting place – you could be going to watch a film or just come out of one frankly it doesn’t matter. I’m always surprised by the amount of people who say they don’t want to go to to the cinema alone – it’s dark and no one likes someone chatting away during the film – go alone I dare you. Another reason this place is the perfect solo spot – it gets really busy. You’ll be standing around waiting for a table although you have an advantage being single waiting for a table – as you can ease in whereas the party of 3 next to me were waiting long after I parked my backside on a chair.
I claimed my table and walked to the bar – full service and they have specials. Chocolate martinis hold a special place in my heart from a cruise around the Hawaiian islands – hated the cruise but the nightly chocolate martinis well I loved those. At £8 and made fresh before my very eyes. I was actually meeting someone before but never let me be one to miss an opportunity – loved the martini – and had a gloriously 30 minutes solo drinking before well the company arrived and left me feeling [fill in the gap]!
Baby in the corner? Solo drinkers are welcome here! Once you find a seat, sit down and own it. If you get stares, it’s not because you’re a solo drinker, it’s because they want your seat and are thinking hurry up and drink up!
Pricey? Really reasonable considering the location and really good – £8 cocktails.
Where? The Riverfront Bar, BFI Southbank, London, SE1 8XT
How? Waterloo Station (Bakerloo, Northern or Jubilee line) and then a 5-10 min stroll along the riverside
Open when? Mon – Thurs 9am till 11pm (Fri & Sat until 1am and Sunday till 10.30pm)