London is basking in sunshine. Make the most of it and enjoy the tables that have spread out onto the pavements everywhere, transforming traffic-filled streets into al fresco dining spots. Soho is a good place to start with 17 streets staying car-free until the end of September. This includes Greek Street, Frith Street, Dean Street and Old Compton Street where you could book a table for an hour at Bar Termini, just enough time for a negroni or two before heading round the corner to Barrafina, which started taking bookings this July for the first time in its history. Noble Rot’s Soho restaurant also opens on 18 September in the former home of Gay Hussar on Greek Street. Further West, we’re loving The Hawk’s Nest in Shepherd’s Bush. Tucked in off the Goldhawk Road it’s a little oasis garden with informal trestle tables and a wood fired oven serving up really good, crispy pizzas as well as spritzes and ice cream from local parlour, Bertotti’s. Comedy nights and live jazz are on the way soon.
Borough Market’s Stoney Street has just re-opened, now transformed into a wine bar by night that spills out onto the pavement with candlelit tables. Order natural wines by the glass or bottle and small plates like honey sweet melon with prosciutto and lamb merguez sausage wrapped in filo and served with peach chutney, for sharing.
The whole of Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross is a great place to hang out: most of its restaurants have seating outdoors and there’s the huge fountain square for children. We’re still obsessed with the sandwiches at Sons + Daughters. The shop might still be closed but they’ve now set up a van on the roof above with tables and chairs in the sunshine where you can order their doorstopper sandwiches and cold beers.
And a year after closing Bellanger, Corbin & King had a change of heart and decided to re-open this August and make use of the its big outdoor terrace overlooking Islington Green. There have been some changes including a more casual re-furb and a cheaper, more informal menu that still sticks to the French brasserie formula. Currently a pop up until Christmas, we hope it’s here to stay.