It seems that this summer outside is the place to be. Perhaps restaurants are taking a leaf out of the Ivy Chelsea Garden’s book (which opened in March to many oohs and aahs from not just the Sloane set but Marina O’Laughlin and Grace Dent too) as venue after venue launches its own verdant outdoor eating space.
This week South Ken’s “grand” Ognisko Restaurant announced the reopening of its new-look al fresco dining terrace and green. Since then our inbox has been inundated with similar missives from PR firms regarding their clients’ plans for outdoor expansion.
London House, which provoked a hard earned “Ramsay does it right” from our reporters, will unveil its new arboreal courtyard at the end of June (pictured). Al fresco dining tables are joined by high tables and stools for that other much-loved summer tradition – outdoor drinking.
And Ramsay isn’t stopping there. His pub the Narrow, which wins praise in our survey for its “spectacular location” (despite its rather “overpriced” food), will also open a new-look terrace with views across the Thames at the end of May. Surrounded by greenery are parasols and seating where guests can enjoy burgers and seafood from the new BBQ station.
On top of that Ibérica has launched La Terraza in Canary Wharf – an entirely al fresco restaurant. An all-day menu of tapas favourites is available alongside cocktails, draft beer and jugs of sangria.
And Victorian-inspired Mayfair bar Mr Fogg’s has unveiled its “quintessentially British” garden -The Hendrick’s Botanical Garden. A space filled with blooms, botanicals and bric-a-brac where summer drinkers can sip gin cocktails like: A Symphony of Peculiar Deliciousness (Hendrick’s Gin, rose-infused jasmine tea syrup, Briottet bergamot liqueur, lychee juice and lime juice); and We Have Them By The Junipers! (Hendrick’s Gin, Isake Classic sake, St Germain elderflower liqueur, apple juice, lime juice and fresh cucumber).