With the sun making its annual cameo in the capital and Wimbledon whipping up the usual fervour, it’s all about eating outside and soaking up the action this week. Make hay while the sun shines and all that. Combine your sun seeking with Wimbledon watching at a rooftop restaurant, or take the quintessential English vibe one step further with afternoon tea on a sunny terrace in Mayfair. And what could be more English than spending a sunny weekend gardening? We’ve got that covered without the elbow grease, with a restaurant blending horticulture and gastronomy. For a more international touch, there’s also some classic Vietnamese food (with a roof terrace of course), and an Indian-inspired pop-up overlooking the river.
1. Pho Book Pho St Paul’s
Perched above St Paul’s, Pho occupies a London location that few can match. Inside, it’s more Hanoi than Holborn, with Vietnam’s national dish served up with aplomb in laidback surrounds. Unsurprisingly Pho are pretty good at cooking pho, but they’re also dab hands at downright delicious curries, salads and decadent desserts. What’s more, they’re currently offering 20% off with their Great British Summer promotion.
2. Windmill Book Windmill
The Windmill ticks a lot of boxes – Mayfair location, roof terrace, pies, afternoon teas, real ales. Unless of course they’re not the boxes you’re looking to tick, but classic afternoon tea on the terrace may just change your mind. Wash some finger sandwiches and classic pastries down with Sipsmiths gin or a glass of prosecco, and you may just forget you’re in the heart of London.
3. Carom Bar Pop-up at Butlers Wharf Chop House Bar Book Carom Spice Garden
Soho favourite Carom Bar has found a new home on the banks of the river for the summer, bringing its Indian food and chic cocktails to Butlers Wharf Chop House Bar. Expect Carom’s signature tandoor dishes and small plates, alongside some Indian-inspired cocktails to temper the spice.
4. Wimbledon Screenings at Coq d’Argent Book Coq d’Argent
Henman Hill is great for alliteration afficionados, but it’s no rooftop garden overlooking London. Coq d’Argent’s terrace is serving up some tennis-themed fare, with 2 big screens to keep an eye on Mr Murray et al. Joining lavish twists on strawberries and cream are specially created cocktails, including the ‘Game Set Match’ and the ‘Belvedere Boris Martini.’
5. Petersham Nurseries Book Petersham Nurseries
What do you get if you mix gardening with cooking? Dirty hands is one answer, but Petersham Nurseries is a better one. Awarded 3-star Sustainability Champion status by the SRA, much of the produce comes from its own gardens. Although in dishes like fillet of hake with spiced aubergine and grilled squid, I’d be surprised if the seafood came from a garden in Richmond.