This week we’ve got some veterans taking centre stage, like much-loved chef Mark Hix, who opened his largest UK restaurant this month, and we welcome the iconic SMITHS of Smithfield to Bookatable: found in a stunning Grade II-listed building at Smithfield meat market. If al fresco’s what you fancy, we’ll whet your appetite with a rooftop picnic in Shoreditch, and a jam-packed food festival in Battersea.
1. Hixter Bankside
With his championing of artists like Tracey Emin and Damian Hirst, it’s fair to say that Mark Hix is no shrinking violet. Since opening his first Hixter outpost in December 2013, this trendy, stripped-back concept (you’ll find only chicken and steak on the menu), has gone from strength to strength. Setting up shop in a former metal box factory, Hixter Bankside is the chef’s most sizeable venture to date, with an uber-cool gallery and basement bar on site, too.
2. SMITHS of Smithfield Top Floor
SMITHS of Smithfield Top Floor
Meat in London doesn’t get any better than the world-famous Smithfield Market, and the neighbouring powerhouse SMITHS of Smithfield pays homage to just that. This Grade II-listed, 4-storey maze of New York-style bars and dining rooms peaks at the supremely elegant Top Floor: a serene rooftop restaurant teaming a commitment to great British produce with beautiful interior design and some of the best views of the London skyline going.
3. Iberica Farringdon
It seems the Iberica empire just keeps growing, and we can’t get enough of their sumptuous Spanish tapas and superb regional wines. Differing in design to its clean-cut sister restaurants, Iberica Farringdon is a lovingly restored building, with Renaissance paintings, vintage furnishings, sash windows and the original bar brought back to their former glory. Pick your favourites from the 40-strong tapas menu, and dine surrounded by Iberica’s signature charcuterie displays.
4. FEAST Festival
FEAST Festival (image by foodiesfestival.com)
The UK’s largest celebration of food and drink takes over Battersea Park from the 15-17th August. The Foodies Festival is an emporium eating, drinking and cookery, so whether you’re an impassioned amateur cook or simply fancy sampling a treat cooked up by your favourite celebrity chef, you’re guaranteed to be catered for. Highlights include the Vintage Tea Tent, the chill-out Grand Marnier Charm Bar, or the Chilli Market (with obligatory chilli eating challenge, of course).
5. The Culpeper
The Culpeper (image by Bespoke Menu Design)
Offering one of London’s most sought-after rooftop spaces, The Culpeper will host a series of sun-drenched picnic sessions throughout August. Guests can reserve their very own hamper for just £15 per person, filled with goodies like pork pies with piccalilli, Israeli cous cous salad and chocolate and walnut brownies, with a welcome drink also thrown in. You’ll find blankets and lush vegetable patches galore, and the house cocktails, made with Chase Elegant gin, will be garnished with herbs grown on site.