Located on the 10th floor of The Montcalm Royal London House Hotel, Aviary rooftop restaurant and terrace bar is the perfect vantage point from which to sip on a cocktail or enjoy a glass of Champagne, while looking out over the stunning city skyline. Taking centre stage is a cast-iron coal oven, where the finest cuts of meat sizzle in 550° heat – the 600g chateaubriand is perfect for sharing and feels indulgent with or without the truffle gravy. Delicate, refreshing small plates include tuna ceviche with coconut and lemongrass, and Brixham crab served with pickled watermelon. Stylish sofas and retro lamps make this an unashamedly fashionable as well as welcoming spot.
Royal London House, 10th Floor Montcalm, 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX
020 3873 4060. aviarylondon.com
Nestled in the heart of Covent Garden, pretty Floral Court is a tranquil courtyard providing a welcome oasis from the crowds. Tables from The Petersham restaurant and La Goccia flow out on to the courtyard offering a choice of dining experiences, from tempting Italian aperitivo to the fresh, seasonal à la carte menu. Expect dishes such as heritage beetroot with ricotta di bufala, marjoram ravioli and monkfish with Tema artichoke, olives and capers, and monkfish with Jersey Royals and buttered sea kale. No meal would be complete without a glass of wine, and in the summer months a glass of crisp Sancerre fits the bill. The Petersham’s wine list is extensive, with types from all over the world selected by the restaurant’s sommelier.
Floral Court, WC2E 9FB
020 7305 7676. petershamnurseries.com
Number Sixteen Orangery and Garden
Each room in this Firmdale townhouse has its own character and witty charm, thanks to co-founder Kit Kemp’s style. You have to venture outside to experience the real star of the show: the private garden, lined with luscious trees and an abundance of flowers all year round. Lunch and dinner can be enjoyed in this bright and relaxing outdoor area, but the British afternoon tea is perhaps what the hotel is best known for. Delicate finger sandwiches, light fluffy scones and pâtisseries are washed down with Earl Grey tea. Complete the experience with a glass of Champagne or the hotel’s signature Garden Bellini, savoured from the courtyard’s pretty gazebo.
16 Sumner Place, SW7 3EG
020 7589 5232. firmdalehotels.com
In Indian philosophy, chakras are believed to be the centre of spiritual healing power within the body; when working in harmony, they are said to create an unrivalled sense of wellbeing. At Chakra restaurant, the highly talented chefs evoke this same sense of euphoria via their innovative North Indian-inspired dishes. Classics such as aromatic lamb rogan josh sit alongside inventive offerings including curry leaf burrata and karare soft-shell crab. Most tantalising of all, however, has to be the dishes cooked in the traditional tandoor. Chakra has three restaurants, in Kensington, Wimbledon and Kingston, all of which have beautifully decorated outdoor terrace areas, which echo the authentic flavours of the restaurant.
33c Holland Street, W8 4LX
020 7229 2115. chakra.restaurant
Nestled between some of London’s tallest skyscrapers, Coq d’Argent has an elegant outdoor dining area, drinks terrace and spectacular rooftop garden. Head chef Damien Rigollet has created an extravagant French menu, serving indulgent dishes such as black truffle and ricotta tortellini, yellowfin tuna sashimi with seared foie gras, and caviar in abundance. On the wine list you’ll find an elaborate selection of fine wines from around the world, comprised by head sommelier Andres Ituarte – though unsurprisingly it’s the French regions that dominate. If you make it to dessert, a classic caramelised apple tarte tatin or chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream followed by a vintage glass of fortified wine provides a harmonious end to the meal.
No.1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ
020 7395 5000. coqdargent.co.uk