The Handbook
The Handbook

As London gears up for the release of Sex & The City II, Little Venice is preparing for a US themed launch of its own which will see a little slice of The Hamptons pop up in Maida Vale for six months and Islington’s fro-yo scene is benefitting from an eco-friendly makeover.

The nautically themed Summerhouse situated on the banks of the canal looks for all the world like a Long Island beach house. Sibling to First Restaurant Group’s popular Waterway restaurant next door, this seasonal gem is the perfect place to sport Breton stripes, preppy deck shoes, an oh so fashionable white blazer and maybe even a spot of Halston a la SJP.

Light and airy, the whitewashed walls, blue and white checks and stripes and artfully positioned glassware could be straight out of a Ralph Lauren ad and its own dedicated mooring means there’ll be no shortage of river traffic pulling in for a spot of lunch. We suspect barges will be a tad more common than yachts in these parts but hey, after a few glasses of Pimms, even Captain Birdseye can start to resemble Jack Sparrow.

Probably one to miss if you suffer from a shellfish allergy, the menu is swimming in a delicious array of seafood. Starters include New England Clam Chowder and Popcorn Shrimp with Sweet Chilli and mains feature Swordfish Steak in Ciabatta with Mango Salsa & Wasabi Mayonnaise and Grilled Halibut Darne with Béarnaise Sauce. The Summerhouse Fish Pie and Fish ‘n’ Chips are sure to warm the cockles of your heart following an arduous day on the river and Pimms Jelly with Vanilla Ice Cream provides a suitably alcoholic interlude whatever the o’clock!

And while we can’t promise you jolly boating weather just yet, cocktails such as The Waterside Cooler’s heady blend of Havana Rum, Fresh Lime, Orange Liqueur & Ginger Beer and The Maida Mojito with its Belvedere Vodka, Lime, Sugar Syrup and Cranberry Juice will transport you to altogether sunnier climes.

However, if solid food isn’t conducive to that bikini diet, then we suggest you fill up on 100% fat-free, low calorie, organic frozen yogurt courtesy of the newly relaunched Frae in Camden Passage.

Fresh from a certified organic farm and packed with live pro-biotics and active cultures, there are no artificial additives or preservatives hiding in Martyn Pollock and Donald Murray’s freezer. The Scots conceived the idea for Frae last year having been disappointed at the number of artificial ingredients and powders contained in US offerings. In fact, the only addition to their freshly swirled frozen yogurt comes in the shape of optional fruity toppings of fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

Even the packaging is eco friendly with tubs made from sustainably managed forestry and spoons made out of corn – we’re not sure how this works but we’ll take them at their word!

So while you may not quite be walking on water, you can swim safe in the knowledge that at least your fro-yo is positively saintly.

The Summerhouse, Opposite 60 Blomfield Road, W9, 020 7286 6752
Frae, 27 Camden Passage, N1,