August has arrived, we’re deep in the throes of summer and slowly but surely things are settling in to a new rhythm.
While London’s restaurant scene has sadly suffered casualties over the last few months, dozens of favourites have been reopening all over town, some with slimmed down menus and all with big changes when it comes to be abiding by the new rules.
Nevertheless, home entertaining is still rife and will be for a long time to come, so whether you’re eating out or dining in this month, here are a few of our picks…
- Eat Out To Help Out
It would only be right to kick off with news of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, the government’s initiative to lend a helping hand to the ailing hospitality industry as it gets back on its feet. Diners can get a 50% discount on food non-alcoholic drinks when dining in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner), from Mondays – Wednesdays until 31st August. While there’s no general list of restaurants taking part, dozens of favourites around town are offering the discount, so check with your favourites and get booking.
2. Order a Michelin-Starred Delivery
Scandinavian star Aquavit in St James’s Market has launched a new delivery and takeaway menu, bringing its Michelin-starred dishes to your doorstep.
The new menu is full of fresh, locally sourced ingredients and Nordic-inspired dishes from Head Chef Jorjon Colazo, whose food is defined by clean flavours, simple presentation and healthy ingredients for a fresh summer feast. Our eyes are on the Nordic Salad with Hoe Smoked Salmon, Shrimps, Pickles, Lettuce & Rye, Langoustine Bao Buns with Torched Infused Seaweed Oil – a Swedish twist on the classic steamed Chinese bread roll – and traditional Swedish Meatballs served with Mashed Potatoes, Pickled Cucumber, Mushrooms and Lingonbereies. Dishes are available to order through the SUPPER app seven days a week, from 11.30am – 10pm, available within a 4km radius of the restaurant ahead of its full re-opening for in-restaurant dining on 24th August.
St James’s Market, 1 Carlton Street, London, SW1Y 4QQ
3. Step into Balham’s Secret Garden
Balham has become a buzzing location for food and drink in the last few years and boozer The Regent is luring its loyal customers back this summers with an enchanting Secret Garden. A secluded slice of paradise tucked away from Balham’s busy streets, the botanical hideaway is decked out with festoon lighting, bamboo, flowers, rustic wooden tables, cosy lounge chairs and bright décor, bringing a magical, festival feel to South West London.
As well as being a dreamy spot for summer drinks, The Regent prides itself on a banging menu and an unwavering commitment to sourcing the produce for its dishes from the very best suppliers. With small plates of Duck Arancini, Sticky Crispy Wings and Vegan Jalapeño and Cheddar Cornbread it’s worth digging in. The Secret Garden has been created using the outdoor area of the school next door, in a local partnership that is helping support the school over the summer months; an amazing community project further supported with donations of plant pots, wheelbarrows and planters from locals.
The Secret Garden is open daily until the end of August from 12pm-10pm
The Secret Garden at The Regent Pub & Restaurant, 21 Chestnut Grove, Balham, London SW12 8JB
4. Dine At A Mayfair Classic Again
London stalwart 45 Jermyn St. has thrown open its doors once more, even to walk-ins. As central London slowly comes back to life, its new menu will feature a specially curated medley of 45 favourites, with moreish starters such as the famous Raw Cornish Mackerel & Caviar Tacos or Piccadilly Smoked Salmon, which is smoked locally on the restaurant’s rooftop in Piccadilly. Their signature Beef Wellingtonis back, alongside a flavourfulSpiced Monkfish Curry that packs a little punch.
Vegan and vegetarian options include an equally nutritious and delicious Salad of Baby Artichoke, Broccoli, Romesco & Smoked Almonds and an indulgent Potato Gnocchi, Suga Vinto, Wild Mushrooms and Italian hard Cheese that is packed full of feel-good flavour. The restaurant’s firs incarnation, The Fountain, is also widely credited for Britons to the iconic Knickerbocker Glory after World War 2, so be sure to leave room for pudding.
The restaurant will be open from 8am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 8am-6pm on Sunday
45 Jermyn St, Corner of Jermyn Street and Duke Street, London, SW1 6DN
5. Dance The Night Away at Sky Garden
The prospect of real night out may still seem a little alien, but the city’s highest green oasis Sky Garden has re-opened its bar, Sky Pod, with an unmissable line-up of DJ nights, while its beautiful restaurant Darwin Brasserie is once again serving the best views in town and delicious British dishes.
Thanks to its spacious capacity it’s one of the few places to re-open with real space for social distancing and the Summer Sound Sessions are running every Friday (from 6pm) and Saturday (from 9pm) night until midnight throughout the summer, with £11 tickets including a ‘cocktail of the day’. Darwin’s level 36 brasserie has a new summer menu including London-cured Smoked Salmon with Citrus Crème Fraîche and Melba Toast and or Cheltenham Beetroot with Blackberry Dressing and Pistachio Purée to start and mains of Roasted Sea Bream with Tenderstem Broccoli, Chilli and Anchovy Dressing & Black Olive Crumb and Corn-Fed confit Chicken Leg with Grilled Baby Gem and Peas à la Française.
Sky Garden, 1 Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF
6. Indulge in a Home Cheese Feast
There is no better partner to cheese night than a freshly delivered box from The Cheese Geek, the UK’s leading online cheesemonger which sources world-class artisan cheeses straight from their small batch producers for nationwide delivery.
With a host of pre-determined boxes ready to order, a pick and mix to select your dream cheeseboard or a monthly subscription service, it’s a must-visit for any cheese lover. We recently tried the Sandy box (£40), with a trio of fresh summer cheeses – Crookwheel, Stithians and St Jude – accompanied with artisan crackers, a cherry & Amaretto jam and two cans of sparkling wine by The Uncommon England, it was the perfect recipe for a picnic in the park.
7. Transport To The Mediterranean At The Berkeley
The Berkeley has unveiled its new summer garden, bringing a touch of the Mediterranean to Belgravia. The Garden is an intimate and informal alfresco restaurant, bedecked in lanterns, festoon lights and candles, lined with olive trees and lavender, it’s a reminder of balmy summer evenings spent on sun-warmed terraces.
With a daily changing menu showcasing the freshest ingredients, each meal starts with the signature touch of Warm Sourdough with Confit Garlic and Charred Vine Tomatoes. Dishes include Giant Charred Prawns, T-Bone Steak with Smoked Shallot Butter and Chimichurri, Grilled Sardines with Lemon & Rock Salt and Charred Octopus with Lemon & Garlic Saffron Aiol, all cooked outside on Green Egg barbecues for delicious summer flavour. The drinks list includes garden pitchers – ‘The Berkeley Cup’ is a blend of rum, Pimm’s, cassis and ginger beer finished with cucumber and strawberries; whilst ‘Peach Wine’ is a delicious mix of rosé, peach and elderflower liqueur with lime.
The Garden at The Berkeley is open Monday to Friday 6pm-10pm and Saturday and Sunday 12noon-10pm. Last seating is at 9pm.
Booking is available for the first sitting, followed by walk-ins only.
The Berkeley, Wilton Pl, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL
8. Discover Perfect Pasta in Aldgate
Summer dining may not be synonymous with hearty pasta dishes, but with the menu on offer at Emilia’s Pasta you might just change your mind, as both sites – Aldgate and St Katharine’s Docks – are now open once more.
In addition to the full normal menu with signature dishes like the hearty pappardelle Béchamel Bolognese and creamy homemade Genovese pesto with casarecce, Emilia’s has added more flavours of signature natural gelato, sourced from a small independent supplier near Turin, as well as their special amaretto tiramisu to their take away menu. They’re also available on Deliveroo and through their own newly launched in-house delivery service with a larger more customised delivery radius.
Aldgate: Monday – Thursday 5-9.30pm, Friday 12pm-10pm, Saturday 12.30pm-10pm, Sunday 12.30pm-9.30pm
St. Katharine’s Docks: Sunday – Thursday 12-9.30pm, Friday and Saturday 12-10pm
9. Perfect Your Caribbean Cocktails At Home
Shake up cocktail night with The Devon Rum Company’s unique small batch creation. Made in an ‘English Style’ with a blend of Caribbean rums from Jamaica and Guyana, their unique blend mixes the distillery strength nectar with soft Devonia spring water to bring it down to it’s drinking strength of 40% abv which also gives the rum it’s unique local quality, before being infused a delicious concoction natural aromatic spices, pepper and citrus zest. The result is a premium spiced rum with a punch that captures the free spirit of Devon and is equally delicious alone over ice or in a cocktail.
10. Get Oysters Delivered To Your Door
For a fresh taste of the sea without heading to the coast, FishWorks Fishmonger and Restaurant in Marylebone has re-opened for dining in and launched a new meal and oyster delivery service for those staying home.
Delivered daily from Devon and Cornwall, its delicious menu features classics like Steamed Lobster with Garlic Butter and stunning seafood platters alongside Cornish Fish & Chips. They’re involved in the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, but for those who’d rather stay home the new delivery menu brings the restaurant experience straight to your own dining room. Ready-to-eat dishes will include Oven Roasted Seabass with Lemon & Thyme, Seared Yellofin Tuna and Garlic Butter Lobster & Chips, as well as the divine FishWorks Oyster Box. With a mixture of a dozen Jersey, Carlingford and Morecambe Bay oysters, along with an assortment of condiments including lemon, merlot vinegar, and Tabasco, perfectly paired with a bottle of FishWorks’ Fernão Pires white wine. Plus, for those new to the oyster game, FishWorks have you covered with your very own shucker and a link to a ‘How to Shuck an Oyster’ video tutorial. Delivered to your doorstep at £60 per box, the package will also include a £10 voucher to welcome you back into the restaurant when you feel ready.
FishWorks, 89 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW