Fresh air fare
The terrace at Bentley’s (11-15 Swallow Street) is the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of Regent Street, while celebrating the return to wining and dining with sustainably caught seafood and champers. Further along Regent Street, Japanophiles can enjoy expertly-made sushi and snacks at Aqua Kyoto’s elevated heated terrace (5th floor, 240 Regent Street), overlooking the ‘mile of style’; while across the road, in the area’s food quarter, Heddon Street, an enclave of restaurants including the seasonality and sustainability-focused Fallow (10 Heddon Street), Mourad Mazouz’s Algerian-American joint Mo Diner (23 Heddon Street) and Antipodean brunch specialist Ziggy Green (1 Heddon Street) will be serving delicious plates to diners on the tranquil backstreet.
Take a detour off of Regent Street towards Savile Row, where, from May, Francesco Mazzei’s Sartoria (20 Savile Row) will be preparing dishes steeped in tradition from across the azure isle; its terrace is usually one of the classier dining spots in Mayfair come summer. Cecconi’s (5A Burlington Gardens), with its proximity to the Royal Academy of Arts is your best choice for a pre-show snack.
Reach the top of Regent Street and make a beeline for The Nest at Treehouse Hotel (14-15 Langham Place), a swanky yet cosy rooftop bar offering 360 degree views, where guests can choose from a curated menu of cocktails to wash down flavourful bar bites. Hang a left onto Oxford Street and you may come across Jak’s Mayfair (43 South Molton Street). Its outside seating area is ideal for a coffee or simple, light lunch with an Italian slant. Head to Selfridges’ rooftop (400 Oxford Street) for the quaintly decorated Alto by San Carlo, where you can dine on authentic and comforting Italian dishes surrounded by flowers, foliage and, hopefully, a blue sky.
Venturing into North Mayfair, there are a number of places to go with your takeaway lunch; Brown Hart Gardens is a peaceful, elevated oasis to enjoy a sarnie or salad; while more seating is being installed in Grosvenor Square to assist with al fresco feasts. Jason Atherton’s The Betterment (44 Grosvenor Square), on the corner of the square, will be one of the most elegant spaces for outdoor eats, with lush greenery enveloping the terrace. Opt for a delicate dish like white asparagus salad, almonds and passion fruit, or a hearty piece of meat or fish cooked over embers, like the halibut t-bone with citrus beurre blanc. A new spring offering will soon be available too.
Nearby Comptoir Café & Wine (21-22 Weighhouse Street) is perhaps one of the most inviting bars in Mayfair, with a low-lit, casual vibe that makes a glass of wine and cheese and charcuterie sharing plates most relaxing. You can also enjoy a taste of the English summer at JW Marriott Grosvenor House on The Forecourt, a new alfresco garden in the courtyard of the famous Park Lane hotel. Transformed in partnership with award-winning English sparkling wine brand, Gusbourne, guests can enjoy classics from the hotel’s JW Steakhouse and Park Room restaurants from seafood platters to light pasta dishes and flatbreads.
Round the corner on Brook Street is Claridge’s, where renowned chef Daniel Humm’s Davies & Brook is opening its terrace, available for walk-ins only to try the likes of Claridge’s Fried Chicken – already a classic – and a succulent Cornish lobster roll with brown butter and chives. The Claridge’s Bar terrace will also open. Up the road at 39 Brook Street, Native will be setting up at Browns’ new store with an al fresco option focusing on ethical dining. Head down Davies Street and right onto Mount Street, and you might be lucky enough to bag a spot at Delfino’s (121 Mount Street) – the neighbourhood pizza and pasta restaurant, which offers outside seating under heaters. If you fancy something more refined, continue along the street flanked by Queen Anne Revival architecture, until you reach The Terrace at Jean-Georges at The Connaught (Carlos Place). Try its crispy salmon sushi and black truffle and fontina pizza while overlooking Tadao Ando’s ‘Silence’ fountain, which takes pride of place on Carlos Place.
A short hop along Mount Street takes you to Scott’s (20 Mount Street) – with its famous terrace that was one of the hottest spots in town long before the pandemic. Nearby Mount Street Gardens boasts shady spots to eat lunch; or carry on south towards Shepherd Market, where there are plenty of al fresco options to choose from – from the acclaimed Kitty Fisher’s (10 Shepherd Market), which will be running a small but delicious offering until it reopens fully next month; to the longstanding Lebanese restaurant Al Hamra (31-33 Shepherd Market), which was established in 1984; the Italian trattoria Da Corradi (22 Shepherd Market), always popular, thanks to its warming and simple dishes made with love; and the iconic brasserie, Le Boudin Blanc (5 Trebeck Street), with its classic Gallic menu.
A taste of la dolce vita, Hush Mayfair is channelling a slice of Italy’s famed Amalfi Coast in partnership with MALFY Gin. Think lemon-scented groves, a vine canopy and hydrangea-adorned swing seat with cocktails that take their cue from MALFY’S range of premium citrus-infused gins. While away an afternoon, ala The Talented Mr Ripley, with a bowl of tagliatelle primavera made with Amalfi lemon and save room for the Amalfi Lemon Meringue Pie. Just a short walk away, at the Hyatt Regency London – the Churchill – you can kick back in the tranquil surroundings of an oceanside marina at the The Montagu Summer Terrace. Run in association with the luxury hotel’s restaurant, The Montagu Kitchen, it’s all about fresh seafood and chilled wine with a playful nautical theme. Sharing dishes include Iced Whitstable Oysters, Lobster & Fries and Cornish Crab Choux and the signature cocktail is a whisky-based creation, ‘Churchill’s Tot’, inspired by the former PM’s seafaring travels.
Round the corner from Shepherd Market is the long-running tapas restaurant, El Pirata (5-6 Down Street). A plate of arroz negro, creamy croquetas and paella under the sun is truly one of the summer’s great pleasures; or for those that require something more slick, Novikov’s terrace (50A Berkeley Street) will offer 16 tables, serving its Asian and Italian menus. Michelin-starred HIDE’s outdoor space (85 Piccadilly) is available for bookings and walk-ins throughout the day; it will also be serving takeaway picnic boxes so you can eat your meal in Green Park opposite.
If that’s not what you fancy, food delivery platform Supper has teamed up with the London parks to deliver dishes to certain spots. Overlooking Hyde Park is The Dorchester’s first ever rooftop restaurant and bar. The Dorchester Rooftop will be host to a series of al fresco culinary pop-ups, led by executive chef Mario Perera. It includes a British summertime menu by Tom Booton, head chef at The Grill at The Dorchester.
Into St James’s, where diners can leave behind the noise of Piccadilly for a more low-key experience. Franco’s terrace (61 Jermyn Street) is a popular location for languorous lunches; try classics like vitello tonnato or grilled tuna and match with a superb bottle of old world wine. A few steps away is Fortnum & Mason’s 45 Jermyn St, one of the best local restaurant openings in recent years. Outside seating will allow food lovers to enjoy dishes made using the very best seasonal produce; this spring sees a new asparagus menu launching, putting the spotlight on one of our finest vegetables. A leisurely lunch in St James’s wouldn’t be the same without a post-dinner drink at The Stafford – where the cobbled terrace beside the American Bar (16-18 St James’s Place) is opening to serve expertly- crafted cocktails – as well as food throughout the day.
Stroll across St James’s Square towards St James’s Market, where you can find a secluded plaza with a number of options to satisfy your culinary cravings. While a number of the restaurants won’t open until next month, like the fantastic Ikoyi, you can pick up decadent pastries from Ole & Steen (56 Haymarket) to enjoy in the sleek square; and as the summer comes, expect more al fresco action as its restaurants and pubs – as well as The Crown Estate’s usual activity such as screening sporting events and public art displays – see people enjoying the pedestrianised and secluded space.