Summer is the season for al fresco – but it’s also when the London restaurant scene comes to life. While there seems to be an endless, ever-changing roster of cool restaurants in London town, we’ve rounded the top five most exciting London restaurant openings so you can get your reservations in order this summer.
With its doors officially opened on Thursday 5th May, Laurel’s On The Roof is London’s newest and most laid back rooftop restaurant, bar and pool. Located at the Mondrian Shoreditch, Laurel’s is nspired by 1970’s Hollywood and the legacy of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles. Who/What is Laurel’s you say? – Laurel’s is an all day-dining and drinking hotspot infused with glamour and offering London’s most sought after tables. This effortless rooftop spot is the epitome of laidback California cool and takes diners on an exploration of Los Angeles. Laurel’s offers an evolving all-day, highly seasonal menu, the perfect spot to while away long summer evenings whilst overlooking the bustling Shoreditch neighbourhood. Definitely a London restaurant to hit up this summer.
On 8 June, Notting Hill will welcome its new neighbourhood spot. Riding House Bloomsbury is the long-awaited second iteration of Fitzrovia’s Riding House Café from restaurateur Adam White. This casual bistro-style restaurant had a successful soft launch on 25th May and is set to be a lively modern brasserie with a members’ club-like atmosphere. We’re sure Riding House will add to Bloomsbury’s burgeoning reputation as the latest dining hotspot.
Riding House Bloomsbury’s all-day dining style menus will be cooked up by Chef Partner Henry Omereye. The menu is international, contemporary and unfussy, with Afro-Caribbean and Asian influences throughout. Riding House Bloomsbury is located in Bloomsbury’s The Brunswick Centre, a listed, Brutalist piece of architecture with interiors contrasting the stark exterior with an inviting interior. Surely this will become one of your new favourite London restaurants.
Mr Fogg’s Apothecary is opening a much-awaited new location in Mayfair. Located on Brook Street directly opposite Claridge’s, the elegant new venue will transport you into Phileas Fogg’s wonderfully eccentric world. The bar will be stocked to the rafters with an extensive apothecary collection, with precise weighing scales on hand to measure out the perfect cocktail serves, perfect for cocktail connoisseurs.
The main drawing room was inspired by an elegant Mayfair townhouse with grandfather clocks, large armchairs and sofas to create a comfortable space to encourage visitors to settle in for the evening. With its own separate entrance is the Elixir Room which houses 24 Hennessy cabinets, each with their own unique key locks which will be gifted to lucky regulars to house their own bottles of spirits within. This cosy backroom has three large wallpapered booths which offer a perfect place to hide away and sample Fogg’s most restorative tipple – what a fantastical place for afterwork drinks.
After being reimagined as a contemporary Scottish restaurant and dedicated whisky bar, Notting Hill dining and drinking institution the Walmer Castle has officially opened its doors. Walmer Castle was relaunched in collaboration with Scotland’s oldest whisky hotel, the Craigellachie Hotel. The Walmer Castle is inspired by the uniquely restorative, mineral rich waters of the River Spey twinned with the eclectic nature of London’s Westbourne Grove. Entrepreneur and hotelier extraordinaire Piers Adam is at the helm of Walmer Castle which serves as a local’s local and capturing the essence of Scotland within the neighbourhood. Walmer Castle spans two floors with a ground floor dining room and bar serving exceptional modern highland cuisine and the first floor Spey Bar with over 400 of the world’s finest whiskies.
Located in the ground floor of private member’s club Kindred, Cellar recently opened its doors the heart of Hammersmith. Cellar boasts a fabulous menu crafted by acclaimed chef Andrew Clarke, whose signature style is instantly recognisable in an ingredient-led and micro seasonal all day menu. Cellar showcases an eclectic range of dishes that celebrate the arrival of Spring produce, using the highest quality local meat, fish and seasonal vegetables.
Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner and with a gorgeous summer terrace, guests can while away the hours whilst feasting on dish highlights such as Fried cod cheeks with harissa mayo and lemon, Celeriac schnitzel with cavolo nero and wild mushrooms and Korean spiced tartare of Dexter beef served with straw chips. Expert mixologist Julian de Feral has created the cocktail menu which offers crowd favourites like the Kindred Spritz, blending Everleaf Forest aperitif, Bonanto cherry aperitif, peach, jasmine soda and sparkling wine and the West 6 Buttered Up.
The Act is now open, serving up an all-singing, all-dancing programme of live entertainment and cocktails – seven nights a week. Located in the heart of Notting Hill Gate’s vibrant neighbourhood, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable night out, with performances from The Act’s talented team, as well as appearances from stars of the West End stage. The Act team will spontaneously serenade you with 80’s – 00’s crowd pleasers. Expect nightly flash-mob-style performances of musical favourites such as: Grease, ABBA and The Greatest Showman. Who said show tunes were limited to the West End.
The team behind our favourite East London bars The Sun Tavern and Discount Suit Company recently opened the doors to their third venue, The Umbrella Workshop. Located on a cobbled lane just off Boundary Street and housed in a C19th atelier, the Umbrella Workshop team have carefully restored the space to offer an interactive cocktail experience. The bar is set against an impressive, floor to ceiling display of spirits which include locally made and independent brands, as well as bartender favourites and rare whiskies.
Umbrella Workshop also hosts tastings and workshops, with everything on the menu available to buy and take home. With just 12 seats inside and the same outside, this intimate drinking spot is a hidden gem amongst bustling Shoreditch and perfectly located for pre-dinner cocktails before heading off to local favourites, Brat, St John and Rochelle Canteen.
City institution Boisdale of Bishopsgate recently opened its new art exhibition and oyster concept, ‘Alice’s Oyster Bar and Gallery’. Blending a stunning marble topped bar with a characterful gallery of contemporary art, Alice’s features works from some of the most talented up and coming artists living and working in London. Alice’s Oyster Bar and Gallery also offers some of London’s finest oysters, a generous array of bar snacks and dishes charged with a taste of Boisdale’s Scotland sitting alongside a creative cocktail menu and a range of outstanding artisan beers from Hawkshead Brewery. Art and oysters? What’s not to love.