50 Bermondsey Street, (near St. Thomas St), London, SE1 3UD, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7357 0244
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-midnight, Sat 9am-midnight, Sun 9:30am-10:30pm
Door: Make reservation
Style: Restaurant bar
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Owned by: Camm and Hooper
Images By: diffordsguide.com
For years this space was Delfina, the restaurant come events space (the events space behind still operates as such). What used to be something of a vast warehouse now resembles a school gym, complete with pommel horse, climbing frame, pine floorboards and ropes hanging from the ceiling.
Tanner & Co., being named after the numerous tanneries which operated here during the Victorian era, has inspired the designers to install a 6.8 metre Chesterfield leather sofa and clad the wait staff in bespoke leather aprons. Not forgetting the gym theme, they also went for a hint of nautical, with oars over the bar draped in ropes and model ships atop science lab-styled wooden cabinets. There's also a collection of vintage radios - you have to feel for whoever is charged with dusting.
Gorgeous Group consulted on the drinks menu and they have recruited some experienced and capable bartenders. Of the ten house cocktails we liked the 'Hickman's Folly', a sublime stiff short drink (Scotch, pedro ximenez, fino sherry and orange bitters) named after a Bermondsey passage immortalised in Dickens' Oliver Twist where Bill Sikes met his muddy end. Other drinks revert back to the school theme with cocktails such as the Jamaica House Punch (cider brandy, Jamaican rums, apple and lemon bitters) being served in a soda bottle with a straw, but lacking as much oomph. There is a serious beer offering including local Bermondsey brews and a choice of 26 different wines by the glass.
Sadly, Tanner & Co feels contrived. Indeed, this is the first destination to open under the Camm and Hooper brand financed by The Imbiba Partnership, which until the recent sale also owned London bar group Drake & Morgan. And if overly themed chain outlets have arrived in Bermondsey - previously the preserve of the quirky and independent - perhaps it's time for me to move.