Stylish Spanish Drinking
The Anna De Codorníu Terrace on the Thames pop-up however, brings the laid-back elegance of a premier Catalan beach club to the Capital’s dockside
Review by Martin Stickley
The word cava means “cave” or “cellar” due to the fact that caves were historically used as part of the preservation and aging process of the Spanish wine. There’s absolutely nothing cave-like about the Anna De Codorníu Terrace on the Thames pop-up however, where the laid-back elegance of a premier Catalan beach club has been transported to the Capital’s dockside. Open from May until the end of September and located at the 17th century Grade I-listed Columbia Wharf at DoubleTree Hilton Docklands, the terrace features stylish decking and lavish seating in the form of luxurious sofas and swanky deckchairs, perfect for a decadent evening watching the sun set over the city lights of Canary Wharf. As the sun starts to go down, twinkling lanterns light the balustrade and blankets are distributed as a companion to the eclectic mix of traditional Spanish and modern chilled-out electronic music.
Aside from the stunning views of the river, the terrace is of course an opportunity to showcase the extensive range of sparkling wines on offer from the Anna de Codorníu vineyards. At the pop-up you’ll have the chance to work your way through the full list of stunning Anna Cavas. The Codorníu family are the world’s oldest and second-largest producer of cava and can trace their origins back to Jaume Codorníu’s original vineyard in Catalonia, Spain in 1551. This sort of history almost certainly guarantees an unrivalled pedigree and expertise.
Firstly there’s the Codorníu Brut which is still a faithful reflection of the first cava created by the vineyard in 1872 and maintains its original blend of traditional Catalan grape varieties: Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada. The Brut is citrusy, elegant with a dash of honey and rhubarb, and would go perfectly with seafood dishes. The Anna Blanc de Blancs is 70 per cent Chardonnay along with a mix of three aforementioned Spanish grapes. It is brilliant yellow, with fine bubbles and a luxuriant tropical caramel flavour. The Anna de Codorníu Rosado is the rosé version of Codorníu’s most iconic sparkling wine and features 70 per cent Pinot noir and 30 per cent Chardonnay. The tasting notes are ripe with green apple and summer berries and I personally found it a lovely all-rounder, perfect for the summer. The pinnacle however is the Anna de Codorníu Blanc de Noirs. Made using 100 per cent pinot noir grapes it is extremely balanced yet intensely fruity, and much more like traditional champagne. If you’re not a cava fan, why not try one of the traditional sangrias instead. There is Crystal Sangria (white wine, Grand Marnier, Anna Blanc de Blanc and elderflower), the Lady Sangria (rose wine, Cointreau and rum), the Rojo Sangria (red wine, citrus, forest fruits and cloudy lemonade) or the firm Anna favourite, Royale Sangria which features Anna Blanc de Blanc, peach schnapps, elderflower, citrus, cucumber and mint. Alternatively you can take your pick from a large selection of Spanish beers, ciders and spirits.
In conjunction with all the booze, there is some equally fine dining to be had with a selection of classic Spanish pintxos and tapas plates all of which take inspiration from Barcelona’s famous food market, La Boqueria. There are the familiar patatas bravas, chorizo and manchego bocadillos, whitebait, risotto croquettas and much more. At the weekend the Anna Tasting Brunch is on offer for early bird diners at £32 per head between 11am – 3pm. This gives you the opportunity to try the full Anna de Codorníu range along with a choice of dishes from the brunch menu. If you can’t quite get out before lunch, fear not, as the Anna afternoon Tapas lets you enjoy three tapas dishes and two glasses of sangria for £21 per person between 3pm – 6pm.
The pop-up will also be hosting a variety of other events throughout the summer from cooking schools to cava master classes where you can have the opportunity to explore the full Anna range and learn more about the fascinating history behind this prestigious brand.
Enquiries: Anna de Codorníu Terrace on the Thames, DoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands Riverside, 265 Rotherhithe Street, London SE16 5HW / 020 7064 4464 / http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-london-docklands-riverside-LONNDDI/dining/anna-on-the-thames.html