Summer is here, London is open again, and we’re ready to celebrate.
From spacious outdoor terraces to intimate fine dining destinations, consider these some of the most worthy F&B bucket-list destinations in the British capital.
Bisushima, Covent Garden
Six floors up with views across Trafalgar Square, Bisushima marries London’s reputable rooftop bar scene with authentic Japanese cuisine. Stoney-coloured, minimal interiors and a spacious terrace create a sense of serenity that feels far removed from the streets below. Its flavoursome recipes are prepared in an open kitchen; the miso sea bass and Edomae-style sushi are of particular note. The cocktail menu is equally satisfying. Like the dishes, it focuses on premium ingredients and includes authentic Japanese spirits.
The Surprise, Chelsea
Newly independent and revived with interiors by ex-Firmdale Hotel stylist Isabella Worsley, The Surprise is a charismatic addition to the West London pub scene. The menu is traditionally British and includes seafood and steak dishes, as well as small starter plates that span everything from burrata to sardines. No meal is complete without a sweet end note – turn to their dessert menu, where the chocolate and coffee marquise is the star of the show. Combined with a homely aesthetic and stay-all-day atmosphere, you might just feel as though you’re in the comfort of a friend’s beautiful country home while lunching at this SW3 posting.
Bar Douro, The City
If you can’t make it to Portugal after all this summer, Bar Douro offers a taste of the country’s cuisine from the centre of London city. Expect small tapas-style plates inspired by the region’s delicacies: grilled octopus, croquetes de alheira, and vegetables dressed in port vinaigrette. The wine list is equally authentic – it reads (and tastes) differently to London’s norm. There’s an outdoor terrace, but inside is worth a visit – the walls are decorated from floor to ceiling in painted porcelain azulejos (tiles).
Opened in June 2021, this petite, high-profile Japanese restaurant seats just six diners at a time for a 20-course tasting menu. Locally sourced, British ingredients are served omakase style and the menu changes daily. It’s a welcome concept considering the reputation of chef Taiji Maruyama (originally of TAKA Marylebone). Those looking to mentally transport themselves out of London, even if only for an evening, should secure a spot at this small but prestigious table ASAP.
Native at Browns, Mayfair
The new Browns Fashion concept space has opened its doors on Brook Street in Mayfair and nestled in the courtyard is Native, the zero-waste dining concept that’s every inch as chic as the pieces in store. A haven away from the hustle and bustle of the streets outside, Native serves innovative, seasonal small plates that use British produce. It’s a quiet place to break up a day browsing the new collections.
The Wigmore, Fitzrovia
‘Outdoor dining’ – two words we’ve googled more than ever over the past few months. The Wigmore’s garden terrace makes it all worthwhile. Blending relaxed pub-like connotations (think lobster rolls, chunky chips. and posh scotch eggs) with the luxury of its adjoining hotel, The Langham, The Wigmore combines two quintessentially British themes in one. Splendid.
Pantechnicon's Eldr, South Kensington
Food, drink, and creativity combine in this picturesque spot in South Kensington. Browse the fashion and lifestyle store on the ground floor en route to the bright, airy dining space upstairs, where city escapism and a dash of Nordic culture awaits. The perfect place to settle in for an afternoon of small plates, pretty drinks, and overdue catch-ups, you’d be forgiven for forgetting you were in the centre of the capital when the sun’s out and the cocktails are flowing. Need further convincing of this concept store’s cooler-than-cool allure? ‘Follow the fox’ to Café Kitsuné on the ground floor for a coffee to go.