Besides its high-flying gastronomic dishes, one knows, that what contributes to the charm of Coq d’Argent is its summer terrace with its stunning view across the city of London. One can in all confidence give in to the heated and coveted terrace in a green oasis with its sober furnishing. As for the gastronomes, they will not stay hungry for long with the chef’s menu, obviously inspired by the season. On the menu, warm green asparagus and slow cooked free range British eggs with tomato and herb dressing, chicken supreme with sautéd wild mushrooms and Jerusalem artichoke, frozen passion fruit and vanilla vacherin. Balanced, light and sunny, who could need more?
You’ll need to be a guest – or throwing a private event – to access the fourth floor roof terrace of Soho’s Ham Yard Hotel. Perch at the bar, lounge on the sofas or simply wander round the sky high kitchen garden, which provides ingredients for executive head chef Robin Read. There are even a pair of bee hives, producing honey used by the baristas in their cocktails.
Securing the talents of new head chef Damian Clisby (previously at HIX Soho and Cotswold House) has certainly pulled the crowds to this well-established slow-food restaurant. Winning two prestigious food awards in 2015 hasn’t done its popularity any harm either. The menu is seasonal, respectfully sourced and worth making a trip for.
It would be almost criminal to write about al fresco dining without name-dropping Kensington’s Roof Gardens. Tropical foliage lines this much-lauded outdoor restaurant, adding to a sense of wonderful displacement. When you consider that this 1.5-acre garden soars 100 feet above one of London’s busiest streets, The Roof Gardens are unrivalled – and yes, brilliantly contradictory.
From breakfast in the summer sun to cocktails under the stars, Selfridges’ revamped Roof Terrace is a haven from the bustle of Oxford Street below. Choose from small plates such as spiced tuna tartare with lime and avocado or carefully-sourced meals including slow cooked wild boar with buckwheat pasta.
And last but not least, River Café created by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers attracts gourmets from all over the world. Little dishes with fine Italian flavours, select produce in lovely surroundings and a little garden looking over the Thames are without doubt at the origin of the success of the restaurant.