There’s a glimmer of sun on the horizon, which means those alfresco drinks will soon carry serious currency on Instagram. Where to find the hottest spots in London? Right here, of course…
Lead image: B&H Garden Room’s Living Bar
1 B&H Garden Room’s Living Bar, nr Leicester Square
We do love a first, and London now has its first living bar! The B&H Garden Room team has been busy growing a range of herbs, garnishes and botanicals to create London’s first living, breathing bar, where you’ll be able to hand pick the ingredients to infuse and garnish your own cocktail, crafted by Bourne & Hollingsworth’s expert bartenders using a base of the brand new Ketel One Botanicals. The living bar will be bursting with botanicals and herbs, up trellises at the front of the bar and cascading down from the ceiling, creating an immersive botanical drinking experience. Guests will be encouraged to reach up and get their ingredients from the hanging plants or take a pick from the surrounding herbs to create the freshest serve. Shelves of fruit and herb crates on the table mean you can even forage from the comfort of your own seat. The whole room is filled with plants, plus the outdoor meadow surrounding the vast floor-to-ceiling glass windows is starting to blossom, creating a super lush environment for city slickers who like a touch of the green stuff.
10th Floor (Above Assembly Hotel), 27-31 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0LS; bandhgardenroom.com
2 Dalloway Terrace Launches the Spring Jungle, Bloomsbury
The arrival of spring means it’s time for Dalloway Terrace to brighten up with with a new look. The renowned Bloomsbury restaurant has once again been transformed, this time into a tropical paradise adorned with the unique flora of Sri Lanka. Taking inspiration from The Village in the Jungle, a novel by Leonard Woolf, part of The Bloomsbury Set, the idyllic space is now a wild jungle oasis of silk foliage stems, tropical ferns, orchids, passion flower and the giant iconic leaves of the banana plant. The luscious overgrown jungle canopy is accompanied by a new seasonal menu including a smoked jackfruit salad and Sri Lankan tofu curry, as well as an afternoon tea with a Sri Lankan twist, plus a breakfast and weekend brunch offering. New cocktails include the Ceylon Punch (mango-infused Ceylon Arrack with Ceylon Black Tea, citrus shrub and coconut water), and the Tropical Negroni (with Mór Pineapple Gin, Belsazar Dry, cinnamon tincture, pink grapefruit and kumquat shrub, and Amaro Montenegro).
16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia WC1B 3NN; dallowayterrace.com
3 Hanami at Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch
Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch and The House of Suntory are teaming up to celebrate cherry blossom season by transforming the terrace into a tranquil escape of pink foliage and aromatic scents. Launching on Friday 5 April, the Hanami pop-up will showcase contemporary Japanese craftsmanship with a menu of exclusive cocktails, bespoke dishes and a limited-edition afternoon tea. Cocktails will include the Gin & Sonic (Roku Gin, Sonic Water and fresh ginger), Kyoto Sidecar (Chita Grain Whisky infused Green Heart Oolong 2018, Cointreau and yuzu juice) and Kinto (Haku Vodka, Old Java Kinto Cold Brew Coffee, honey and vanilla sugar and soda water), while dishes include Toro Avocado on Tofu Bun, Steak Tartare with Creamy Spicy Yuba and Harumaki Snow Crab Shiso Salsa. The sakura-inspired afternoon tea features the likes of Sushi Rice Pudding with Pecan Candies, Tuna Matsuhisa Shokupan and Samurai California Roll. Running until Sunday 2 June.
10-50 Willow Street, Shoreditch EC2A 4BH; nobuhotelshoreditch.com
4 Savage Garden at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London
This all-day bar and cocktail lounge on the top floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London boasts a brilliant 360-degree vista of the city, taking in the Tower of London, The Shard, The Gherkin and St Paul’s Cathedral. As well as a south-facing gin terrace, there’s an all-seasons terrace with retractable roof. As well as epic weekend brunches, Savage Gardens shakes up some pretty theatrical cocktails, fiercely executed by mixologist Andre Cavalheiro (formerly of Caprice Holdings) and served up in intriguing glassware. The Flambard Colada (Havana Club 3YORum, pineapple, cucumber and champagne) comes with our seal of approval, and the Punk Rock Fashioned will knock your socks off.
Floor 12, 7 Pepys Street EC3N 4AF; savagegarden.co.uk
5 South Place Hotel’s Secret Garden, Moorgate
To celebrate the change of the seasons, South Place Hotel has transformed its Secret Garden into a floral haven inspired by Martin Miller’s gin botanicals. Within a veritable oasis of waterfalls and palm trees, plus a retractable roof in case of changeable weather and heaters to maintain tropical climates all year round, it’s the perfect place to celebrate spring. For Easter, South Place Hotel has partnered with Hammersmith-based chocolatier Maison Samadi to create the Sweet Samadi cocktail, featuring a pistachio-baked salt rim with mezcal, vermouth, hints of roasted pineapple and seasonal fig – perfectly paired with Maison Samadi’s pistachio or cherry truffle. The Secret Garden operates on a first-come, first-serve basis or can be hired exclusively via [email protected].
3 South Place, Moorgate EC2M 2AF; southplacehotel.com
6 Jin Bo Law, Aldgate
East London hot-spot Jin Bo Law, which has a rooftop bar boasting panoramic views of the London skyline, has launched a spring cocktail menu offering a new selection of Asian-inspired cocktails. The stylish bar on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel has aligned its new tipples with its Chinese heritage and influences, with cocktails such as the Chinese Rose (Hennessy whisky, hibiscus flowers, lemon, liquorice and five-spice honey), Eye of the Buddha (Citrussy spring flavours featuring yuzu juice, Prosecco, Bacardi White and Yuzushu sake), and Mandariňa (a fruity burst of flavours, with FAIR Kumquat Liqueur, Plum Sake, Lime and Monkey Shoulder Whisky).
14th Floor Dorsett City, 9 Aldgate High Street EC3N 1AH; jinbolaw.co.uk
7 The Sakura Pop-Up at Hush, Mayfair
Hush, Mayfair’s best-kept fine-dining secret, is paying tribute to Japan’s enchanting cherry blossom season with the help of Sakurao Gin, the first gin to come from the Hiroshima region of Japan, and Franklin & Sons. The pop-up, named Sakura, meaning cherry blossom in Japanese, will transform Hush’s iconic townhouse courtyard into a magical Japanese garden with an explosion of intricate Japanese florals and a beautiful entrance arch. Running until 12 May, the Sakura pop-up will be serving Sakurao Gin, which features botanicals of sweet summer orange, green tea and citrus fruits, paired with Franklin & Sons tonic under a canopy of delicate cherry blossoms. Alternatively, try one of four Sakurao Original Gin cocktails, from a fruity Strawberry Fields to the thirst-quenching Paradise Garden.
8 Lancashire Court, Mayfair W1S 1EY; hush.co.uk
8 hicce x Wolf & Badger at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross
hicce X Wolf & Badger has turned its prime alfresco space in King’s Cross into a living botanical terrace. Partnering with Ketel One Botanical, a new first-of-its-kind spirit distilled with botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences, the outdoor bar will overlook the courtyard at Coal Drops Yard and Heatherwick Studio’s showpiece ‘kissing’ roofs. At the centre of the expansive will be a wide, specially created bar featuring botanical plants with tumbling foliage framing the preparation and serving area, while vibrant botanical centrepieces sit on each table. The drinks will harness the flavour notes of each Ketel One Botanical variety, such as Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint mixed with Belsazar Dry vermouth, elderflower cordial, sparkling wine and soda. Choice terrace snacks will include summery plates of courgette flower tempura and sea bream ceviche.
102 Stable Street, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross N1C 4DQ; hicce.co.uk
9 Sky Pod Bar, Sky Garden
Grab the kids and hop on up (35 floors) to Sky Pod Bar, 35-floors up at Sky Garden in the city, is a great spot to take in the city from upon high, with views on one side the lush greenery of the impressive indoor gardens on the other. Celebrate spring with Sky Garden’s High Five anniversary cocktail, a riff on the classic negroni using VII Hills gin, Select, Lillet Rose’ and rhubarb. Bookings are recommended to visit Sky pod but walk-ins are welcomed from 6.15pm on weekdays and 9.15pm on weekends, space allowing. Note that Sky Garden is a naturally-ventilated space, so you’re advised to wrap up on chillier days. For dinner, book yourself in at the all-day Darwin Brasserie or more opulent Fenchurch Restaurant.
1 Garden Walk EC3M 8AF; skygarden.london
10 The Perky Nel, Clapham
Clapham’s newest neighbourhood pub The Perky Nel has just opened its doors. Perking up Cavendish Parade, across the road from Clapham South station, the new drinking and dining spot from the Livelyhood group (The Clapham North, The Regent and The Old Frizzle) has taken over from Gigalum. Out front, the large west-facing terrace remains, but is now festooned with pretty lights and plants. Inside, the light, welcoming space has casual high tables and dining-friendly velvet banquettes. Expect pub classics but with added consideration, from gluten-free burgers to vegan-friendly dishes, small plates and specials. Brunch is available from opening until 3pm on weekdays and from midday at weekends (with an option for bottomless bubbles), and come Sunday it’s time for a roast. There’s a kids menu too, and the venue is dog friendly. Drinks include craft beers, locally-distilled spirits such as Balham-born Hayman’s Gin, unusual softs and classic cocktails. Oh and to keep the Gigalum spirit alive, there’ll be a summer schedule of events and seasonal parties.
7-8 Cavendish Parade, Clapham SW4 9DW; theperkynel.co.uk