A dishonest scheme; a fraud.
“E.g. The Summer of 2021”
Yes, we’ve all been scammed. Swindled. Taken for absolute mugs. But we’re not going to let anyone or anything take us for a mug. That’s why we’ve created this list of restaurants to help reclaim the summer that was so rudely stolen from us all. From brisket buns, to terraces that’ll make you feel like you’re on holiday, these are the restaurants that, rain or shine, will bring that summer energy to your life. At least until you’re ready to accept that we’re in September.
EAT SOMETHING THAT SAYS “YOU’LL HAVE TO PRY SUMMER OUT OF MY COLD DEAD HANDS"
For an injection of all the summertime barbecues you didn’t have, go get some excellent BBQ from Smokestak. This spot has a brisket bun - which is almost definitely still some of the best meat between bread you can get in London. The tower of meat comes with a handful of pickled chillies and it’s a storming combo. And not only is the tender, meaty brisket incredible but the sharing plates like thick-cut pork ribs and crispy ox cheek are pretty great too.
Reopens 24th September
London isn’t a place that’s known for its tacos. Maybe that’s because they feel like a sunny-weather type of food, and London is not known for sunny weather. Despite this, the tacos at this Netil Market stall are excellent whatever the weather. The vinyl-sized tortillas are cooked with goose fat, lard, or vegetable oil - all to meltingly excellent results. On top of these, they pile on a choice of barbacoa, carne con chile, chuck steak, or napales, plus dollops of chile colorado and salsa verde. All perfectly moist and messy mouthfuls, and a tasty distraction from the fact that you don’t live on a beach.
This Balham seafood-led spot has the largest lobster tails we’ve ever come across, and they’re the kind of buttery, meaty, delicious thing that makes you grateful for being exactly where you are. No seriously, try being at this Bedford Hill restaurant, with disposable gloves, eating a lobster tail and eyeing up the bang bang prawns on your platter - you’ll never want to leave the table, let alone London. Come here for a meal that says nothing - not even the weather app - can stop me from living my best life.
Hot tip for avoiding absolutely anything: denial. And what better way to deny Autumn than eating ice cream. It’s the ultimate Uno reverse card. And this little Japanese dessert spot is our favourite place to get soft serve with brown sugar tapioca when we’re feeling sad and need a (sugary) pick-me-up. It specialises in taiyako - a fish-shaped cake filled with things like peanut butter and Nutella - which they’re even prone to filling with rose lychee soft serve. It’s all very Instagram-worthy, with menu items like rainbow unicorn and little mermaid fish ice creams. Except these desserts actually taste as good as they look. We love their vanilla soft serve with oreo dust and brown sugar tapioca, but the rose lychee is a very close second.
GET THE HOT VAX SUMMER OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM
Decimo is the closest you’ll get to being on holiday without getting on a plane, although a blow-out meal here has the potential to cost you the same as an Easyjet flight. This Mexican party restaurant on the 10th floor of The Standard Hotel is extra in all the right ways. Extra in the amount of foliage and firepits dotted around, extra in a tortilla-covered-in-50g-of-caviar-that-feels-like-the-egg-equivalent-of-buying-a-Birkin kind of way, and extra in serving a jug of pig fat alongside your suckling pig shoulder kind of way. This place is wild. And expensive. And the perfect place to go when you’re refusing to give up on Summer, and you’re getting your bank account in on it too.
This new three floor Italian restaurant from the people behind Circolo and Gloria is deceivingly calm-looking from the outside. But once you enter the small door on Henrietta street, you’ll step into what feels like a movie set. Red booths, neon lights, and mirrors all over the walls, this spot feels like an escape. And just like their other restaurants, you should definitely order the mafaldine al tartufo, as well as the ‘non-pizzas’ (basically a very pillowy, bready, pizza) which are exclusive to Ave Mario. And because all that isn’t enough, you should 100% finish with a slice of their 60cm stracciatella ice cream cake, because you’re on holiday, remember?
The excellent lighting, and abundance of greenery in this 14th floor restaurant in the City means that whatever’s going on outside can be ignored for a few hours. Is it raining? The chicken kiev and 500 pillows will drown that out. Is it grey outside? The yellow lighting, and OTT foliage will give everyone’s face a warm glow. Is it sunny outside? Their outdoor terrace doubles up as a perfect tanning location (closer to the sun than the patch of grass down your street), and a great place to get brunch on the weekends. Basically this spot can fix your summer blues. And yes, it will probably be at least £40 per head, but isn’t happiness priceless?
SPEND THREE HOURS ON A TERRACE
Our favourite thing to spend a large sum of money on when we’re feeling wild is the temaki from this Notting Hill sushi spot. When the weather is nice, sitting on this terrace can make you feel like you’re on holiday. And when the weather is rubbish, the excellent raw fish will make you very happy, despite the fact there have been a total of five days of sun this year.
We’ve sat on the rooftop of this five-storey spot in the pouring rain and it somehow still felt like a summer night. Have they replaced all their light bulbs with SAD lamps? Is it all an optical illusion? Are we just very unobservant? We don’t know all the answers, but what we do know is that this spot managed to confuse our minds into thinking it was a nice day out. And for that we are eternally grateful. So head to Pantechnicon’s rooftop for Nordic nibbles, interesting cocktails, and an outdoor terrace that will help you forget.
It has been scientifically proven that twirling cacio e pepe while looking directly at water is good for the soul. And the fact that Tavolino’s terrace overlooks one of London’s quintessential landmarks - Tower Bridge - could make you think that this isn’t a restaurant that’ll make you feel like you’ve broken free of the city. But you’d be wrong, because this very well might be the best terrace in the whole of London. Serving handmade pasta and proper negronis, their huge, rattan-chaired terrace has something very dolce vita about it. There are big views of the river. There are little kids frolicking in the nearby fountains. And there’s a whole lot of ricotta on the menu.