Donald Trump may, like some drivers of Black Cabs, not want to come south of the river but they’re the ones missing out.

Florentine restaurant and bar is down by Lambeth North station, a part of the new and rather sumptuous Park Plaza Waterloo hotel. You wouldn’t know this, as it has a very cool vibe of its own so, unless you do what we did and mistakenly go through the hotel rather than the restaurant’s own door, the hotel is invisible.

We were in a hurry and not paying attention, it was freezing out on the street perhaps because the Thames is not all that far away. Plus we were keen to get stuck into the preview of the Florentine and Beefeater Gin Flight Nights coming on on 29th January, 20th February and 13th March, from 6pm – 7:45pm. 

Soon perched at the bar we got to be schooled by Beefeater’s brand ambassador on gin in general and Beefeater London Dry, Beefeater 24 and Burrough’s Reserve in particular, the last an ultra-premium gin rested in ex-bordeaux wine casks.  

Beefeater Gin is actually locally distilled just minutes from Florentine and not by some thirty something who gave up earning millions in the City to ‘follow his true passion, yah?’ but by solid professionals with expert palates.

It’s all a part of Ginuary designed to help people discover new flavours, styles of gin, gin-based drinks and even gin-inspired dishes. 

Dinner in The Dark

Full of gin, we went to the restaurant where, in celebration of the annual Light Festival, Florentine will be hosting a 3-course’Dinner in the Dark’ on Tuesday 23rd January, priced at £35 per person with a welcome introduction by Mark Beattie.  The dishes of smoked burrata with pistachios, braised ox cheek with truffle mash and a flaming rum and chocolate mousse were very good indeed, the ox cheek tender as the night and the burrata excellent. Far better than I expected.

Designed to heighten sense and culinary taste buds,the dinner is brought to life with candle light and luminous table decor.

Lumiere Light Festival

Three installations by award-winning sculptor, Mark Beattie MRBS, working with various metals and more recently neon, will sit in the restaurant alongside illuminating floral displays by Chic Flower Designs. Mark Beattie will be giving a talk on art and working with light at Florentine form 7pm on 23rd January.

To enquire about Ginuary or Lumiere at Florentine, call on 0203 146 5800 or email: [email protected]

6 Hercules Rd, Lambeth, SE1 7DU