Selfridges’ 18 week long rooftop residency kicked off at the weekend and so at first chance The Handbook headed over to Oxford Street to see what everyone has been getting excited about.
A separate lift takes you up to the 5th floor where you come across their beautiful secret garden rooftop restaurant. Inspired by a Victorian greenhouse, the restaurant is covered in foliage, flowers, grass and is lit by Victorian street lights, but the pièce de résistance is the retractable roof.
Excitedly we had pictured ourselves basking in the sun-drenched terrace as we drank cold, crisp cocktails and enjoying the last of the evening light. The reality? It rained. It bucketed down. So we drank our cold, crisp cocktails under the roof and thanked Selfridges that they had made it retractable.
Food comes courtesy of Q Grill in Camden, they’ve created an all-day light, summery menu. With starters beginning at £7.75 and main courses reaching £20.50 we were expecting big things from this pop-up. To start, we chose the chicken, bacon, blue cheese and apple salad which was creamy and rich and had it come with a side dish it would have passed as a main meal. Peppered tuna with wasabi avocado and lime caviar was picture perfect, scattered with violets and wonderfully fresh.
Eight Inka grilled tiger prawns came with fregola in a light tomato dressing, soya beans and pickled lemon – it got us in the mood for summer even if the weather wasn’t joining in. However it was the smoked cheddar glazed spelt that we ordered as a side that stole our hearts; It was gooey, smoky, intensely cheesy, spiked with little morsels of chorizo and utterly delicious, I could eat it daily.
The apple and custard tart looked beautiful; slices of apple, curled into cones, were stood upright in the custard and decorated with sugared flowers. The custard was light and creamy but the flavours were a little lost, it was a case of aesthetics over taste. We also went for the chocolate caramel torte – it was very indulgent, but more of mousse than a torte and served with honey comb, pink rock salt and dark chocolate – can’t decide which pudding to have, then we say go for this.
It’s a restaurant like no other and having heard they will soon be serving afternoon tea, we both eagerly agreed that we would return. The only down side to the rooftop residency? We had forgotten that due to it being in Selfridges they close at 9:15. Prompt. Book an early sitting so that you don’t have to rush. No one wants a mouthful of prawn and chocolate mousse in one.