Culinary pleasures alongside cultural ones are a feast for the senses. In London, following on from such gastro attractions as Spring at Somerset House, from chef Skye Gyngell, is the arrival of a Tom’s Kitchen deli and bar, from acclaimed chef Tom Aikens, at iconic landmark HMS Belfast.
Moored on the River Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast is part of the Imperial War Museum collections and reveals a rich tapestry of the life on board it during its time in service. Commissioned in August 1939, just before the outbreak of the second world war, HMS Belfast escorted Arctic convoys to the Soviet Union, participated in the Battle of North Cape and in 1944 was part of Operation Overlord, which supported the Normandy landings. Visitors can explore the nine decks, which house the many personal stories of her 950-strong crew.
Enriching this experience from March 11 will be Tom’s Kitchen, in a new quayside venue that will offer a 58-cover rooftop bar and a 46-seat deli. Views – including of Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the Shard – would be ample reason to sit and stare, but the menu entices too. Changing weekly, expect the range to include a hot smoked salmon, capers, crème fraîche and watercress baguette; homemade sausage roll with piccalilli and lamb’s lettuce; or roast squash, rocket, pecorino, sage and honey salad – alongside homemade cakes.
The bar will be well stocked with beers and wines, including Italian, French and English sparkling wines and, of course, a nautical-themed cocktail menu, of which The Black Pearl – blackberry-infused Beefeater gin, lemon juice and sugar, laced with a touch of Chambord blackberry liqueur, served on crushed ice – is one of the highlights, and allows visitors to immerse themselves in more than one element of British history.