Isla, The Standard’s effortlessly cool, lounge/terrace is back and with a bang. #TeamCoco babe Hannah Tan-Gillies checked out the refreshed seasonal menu, which was a celebration of Britain’s Island geography.
The Standard’s distinctively retro aesthetic is on full show at Isla, which now boasts a refreshed garden terrace. Inside, the space is characterised by shaggy fur walls, sleek artwork, and plenty of foliage – all in an inviting yet bold colour palette that isn’t afraid to take a few design risks.
Dark leather sofas and an eclectic library of books and records are dotted throughout the space a, which is centred around a cosy fireplace, a relaxed yet vibrant aesthetic that extends to the dining area. Outside, a mid-century modern outdoor fireplace and retractable awning adds warmth to the cool and contemporary new garden terrace, ideal for dining al fresco even in the autumn months.
Start off with some cocktails. We especially enjoyed the Fino Sour, which was a zesty combination of Barsol pisco, quebranta, orange marmalade, fino sherry and kaffir lime leaves. The Thyme Colins, combines Tanqueray with lemon thyme, elderflower, and aromatic tonic water, while the Pink Rock combines Tanqueray with Mastiha liqueur, pink grapefruit, mint, tonic water, and pink peppercorn. Two vastly different expressions of everyone’s favourite gin cocktail. The masterfully crafted cocktails exuded the same panache as the refreshed menu – confidently combining unexpected notes and flavours in a way that only Isla can achieve.
The revamped menu draws on plenty of international inspiration and is focused on flavourful yet seasonal dishes. The small plates pack a wonderful flavour punch – while the larger plates offer a hearty yet explorative mix of land and sea.
We sampled a selection of snacks and small plates, but the standouts were undoubtedly the Padron peppers, and wonderfully flavourful Iberico Jamon shoulder. The Scallop XO was perfectly cooked and seasoned, while the Oyster with Cider and Dill added a refreshing zing to a timeless classic.
For the large plates, we tried the delicious and hearty Chicken supreme with chicken sauce, which was a simple yet perfectly executed dish, followed by the Ikejime trout with salsa verde that was deliciously fresh – and highlighted Isla’s Island inspirations. The pink Fir potatoes with nori and aioli served as the perfect complement to the large plates, serving as a hearty side without overpowering the flavours of the large plats too.
For desserts, don’t leave without trying the poached pineapple with bread ice cream, which was yet another excellent example of Isla’s bravery when it comes to trying out experimental new flavour combinations to stunning effect. So, believe us when we say that whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy a few midweek cocktails, dine or simply lounge and spend an evening, there is no better place than Isla across the British Isles.
For more information, visit www.standardhotels.com