Lying in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral is Borough Market, an epicurean heaven that has no equal in London for its variety and quality of produce. So, it is not surprising that some wonderful pubs, eateries and restaurants have established themselves on its perimeter. One such is Hawksmoor.
Once you have been seated by one of the charming staff, do take a look at the floor. There is an interesting story there: the interior of the building has been renovated with very particular care including the floor. Some seven years previously, the owner bought two containers of aged parquet tiles recovered from another very old building in France. They were originally laid on bitumen but were carelessly stacked so the bitumen on the back had rubbed off onto the face of the blocks whilst in storage.
The blocks were also inconsistent in size and because the floor was not going to be sanded to keep its antique look, HS Wood Flooring had to clean each one individually by hand scraping the bitumen off the surface. Then they had to be sorted to fit floor pattern that was dictated to some extent by the vagaries of the blocks. In the end, the variety of the colours of the tiles and the slight unevenness of the surface created a floor of great character and when two coats of wax were applied, the floor brought the whole room to life with its authenticity intact.
The owners of Hawksmoor were set on providing a unique dining experience. That is to say, the food, the service and the ambience had to be exceptional. Easier said than done.
Hawksmoor specialises in the very finest beef you can get: Prime Rib, Fillet, T-bone, Porterhouse, Chateaubriand, Fillet, Sirloin, Rib-eye and Rump. This is beef that has properly matured with its fat so it melts in the mouth with a wonderfully beefy taste. The wines are first class and drawn from every continent; the service is cordial and materialises without fuss just when you need it. It is possible there are other restaurants that can match these qualities but where Hawksmoor is outstanding is its atmospheric warmth where the must of history completes a rare dining experience.
The interior of the building has been renovated with very particular care. And this includes the floor. Some seven years previously, the owner bought two containers of aged parquet tiles recovered from another old building. They were originally laid on bitumen but were carelessly stacked so the bitumen on the back had rubbed off onto the face of the blocks whilst in storage.
“HS Wood Flooring did a marvellous job. It is hard to imagine the painstaking care they took and the craftsmanship required to achieve what we have today. They not only understand the beautiful qualities of wood but were sympathetic to our determination to maintain the historical character of the dining room” said Nola Sheng, the manager.
The owners of the original hop warehouse whose ghosts lurk amongst the antique rooms would probably be delighted with the renaissance of the place.