Stuck in the city this summer? Fear not. We have explored London’s al fresco havens and come up with the definitive list of open air opportunities. Whether you are missing British Beaches, French seafood or Spanish tapas there is something for everyone to tuck into. And if you are away, you’ll wish you were here!
What: An enchanting and peaceful escape from the City
Why: Tucked away from the bustling high streets of Central London, Boulestin offers French Cuisine of the highest order from dawn till dusk. One of St. James’ hidden secrets, the courtyard’s menu is extensive, with brunch options alone ranging from liver & bacon with pomme Lyonnaise to grilled deep-sea carabineros with smoked tomato and a pimento risotto. The lunch and dinner a-la-carte menus are more classical and refreshing, with plenty of summery seafood, from brill to bass and scallops to squid, but the combinations are ambitious throughout.
Where: 5 St James Street, SW1A 1EF
What: Classic English cuisine
Why: The Modern Pantry’s menu takes our stalwarts such as muffins, waffles or muesli and gives them a flavour makeover. Seafood again features prominently, with dishes such as pan fried south coast pollock and roast Cornish seabass spiced up with chilli hash browns or tomatillo & lime salsa. This invention extends itself to the drinks menu, with liquorice & urfa chilli and malt & caraway hot chocolate options alongside the original. If that wasn’t enough to entice you, how about the prospect of delighting in it all surrounded by the leafy outdoors of St John’s Square?
Where: 47-48 St John’s Square, EC1V 4JJ
What: A classy shelter from the elements
Why: At the heart of one of London’s iconic Hotels lies the Garden Lounge. Cosy, comfortable chairs surround warm fire places, whilst an exotic mix of plants, plinths, mosaics and columns adorn this wonderful space, all encapsulated below a glass canopy. The refreshingly simple day menu incorporates steak, fish and lobster with chips alongside traditional club sandwiches, soups and salads. With a humidor stocked to the brim with cigars and a bar & wine menu encompassing 62 varieties of whisky this is one alfresco destination you can count on, safe from the temperamental British weather.
Where: Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Place, SW1A 2BD
What: A taste of Cornwall
Why: We might be several hours from the nearest coastline, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience a seaside oasis right here in London. Having launched in late May, York & Albany’s Summer Beach Hut offers just that. Created in the Restaurant’s courtyard and populated with deckchairs, the Hut accompanies twists on the conventional British seaside menu (such as pickled seafood and mini-fish & chips) with seaweed slushies, Pimm’s-spiked ice lollies and soft-serve ice creams, enough treats to excite the little kid in all of us!
Where: 127-129 Parkway, Camden, NW1 7PS
What: A breath of fresh air outside of the office
Why: In the heart of Canary Wharf’s business district lies La Terraza, an alfresco offering from Iberica. Echoing the terraces of Madrid, triple Michelin Star executive chef Nacho Manzano and head chef Cesar Garcia deliver classic Northern Spanish flavours in light, rich tapas known as pinchos. Coupled with this array of spiced hams, infused burgers and eclectic cheeses is a collection of creative cocktails. From the refreshing La Terraza (gin, crushed cranberries, lime & cranberry juice) to the punchy Agua de Valencia (cava, vodka, gin & orange juice). Stylish but casual, sophisticated yet fun (bit like us really), La Terraza is the perfect antithesis to the city surrounding it.
Where: Cabot Square, E14 4QQ