Dining Al Fresco
The next big step forward in London is 12th April, where we can dine outdoors. The Italian term ‘Al Fresco’ loosely means “in the cool air.” Now that it’s officially Summer Time, we can’t wait to enjoy our freedom outside and hopefully the air won’t be too cool!
Our hotels will be embracing this casual and festival-style dining in their own ways, so this week we have shared where you can enjoy a long lunch, indulgent afternoon tea, cocktails or candlelit dinner al fresco.
The magic in courtyard dining plays on the idea of a secret, hidden and often unexpected space between busy streets. We can’t think of courtyard dining without thinking of solid materials from the buildings in contrast with nature and a splash of green.
Ham Yard Hotel
Just behind Piccadilly Circus, the central courtyard at Ham Yard Hotel feels like a small village, with a collection of specialist shops, the entrance to the hotel and an airy restaurant and bar with outdoor dining and drinking.
The courtyard revolves around the sculpture by British artist Tony Cragg. Made in bronze, ‘Group’ resembles a jigsaw puzzle and creates a striking contrast with the 30 foot leafy oak trees.
It is the perfect place to disconnect and enjoy an inviting and cosy ambience in the heart of the city.
For its reopening, The Soho Hotel has unveiled its new covered Refuel Terrace. Tucked away on Richmond Mews, the heated terrace is set under twinkling lights and surrounded by leafy olive trees.
Our new spring menu is packed full of seasonal dishes, including asparagus with a crispy hen’s egg and chervil hollandaise, south coast roast cod with peas, broad beans and mint and delectable desserts including our famous baked vanilla cheesecake.
Busy cities such as New York and London come together with the word rooftop. A rooftop will look out onto the city and allow you to see for miles. When we think of roof terraces we think of cocktails in the evening while enjoying the sunset. A roof terrace must offer a comfortable area to sit and relax with friends whilst creating a sheltered mood that transports you away from the bustle of the city and the working day. Greenery is a must!
Ham Yard Hotel
The Roof Terrace at Ham Yard Hotel will be opening very soon and we can’t wait to enjoy it under the bright sun. The rooftop, which will be available for private hire of up to 100 people for a reception, is located on the 4th floor of the hotel, allowing for views over the London skyline. Watched over by ancient olive trees and surrounded by apple and pear fruit trees, the garden blooms all year round with seasonal flowers from poppies and lemon verbena to jasmine, creating a wild meadow. The flowers were taken straight from Chelsea Flower Show.
Raised beds made of railway sleepers and picket fencing form salad, herb and vegetable gardens. It is a nice reminder of what we can grow in the centre of London, and even if the vegetables cannot supply the whole restaurant, it is nice to know that our chefs can make use of it for our delicious dishes or selection of cocktails.
In celebration of the much-anticipated summer, we have once again joined forces with the pioneers of craft gin, Sipsmith, to bring an elevated gin filled experience to the beautiful Roof Terrace.
Taking inspiration from the history of British greengrocers, Zestival will see the outdoor terrace transformed into a vibrant oasis with lively lemons and zesty oranges hanging from the canopy above, wooden crates overflowing with fresh fruit and seasonal flowers cascading from the water fountain.
Ham Yard’s expert bar team have crafted a menu with innovative cocktails including the ‘Zest-Tea Party’, which brings together the bright floral citrus and light warming spice of Sipsmith Zesty Orange with blood orange Campari, Aperitivo del Professore and Cremant. It is paired with a miniature Afternoon Tea.
You will also have the opportunity to create your very own cocktail, weighing out ingredients on the green grocer scales, taking a ticket and having your own specially curated drinks delivered to your table. For more information and for tickets, click here.
The lungs of the city! It’s a rare treat to be able to find a garden in the centre of a city, and we feel lucky to be able to make use of such outdoor spaces.
The hotels in New York are already in full swing and both Crosby Street Hotel and The Whitby Hotel are open for indoor and outdoor dining. It is the Sculpture Garden at Crosby Street Hotel that caught our eye this week as we began to think more about dining al fresco.
Crosby Street Hotel
The Crosby Bar stretches from Crosby Street at the front, to Lafayette Street at the back. It is a spacious room with high ceilings, a long pewter bar, grey oak floors and tall warehouse-style windows which look out to the trees at the hotel’s entrance and the garden on Lafayette. We can’t resist the leafy, breezy feel, flooded with light throughout the day.
The Sculpture Garden is dominated by a tall organic tree sculpture and suspended pendant lights that hang from above. The Lafayette Street patio adjacent to The Crosby Bar has ivy covered walls, fruit trees on the north side and two spreading shade trees to mark the spot as a green oasis.
The Whitby Hotel
The Orangery at The Whitby Bar and Restaurant is a rich, colourful and airy room. With its soothing ointment pink walls it is flooded with natural light by day and filled with romantic candlelight by night.
At the end of the Orangery, the doors open out onto a small courtyard, perfect for an intimate dinner or private celebration. Choose from seasonal dishes and expertly matched wines, while you enjoy this beautiful outdoor space all to yourself.
If a private affair is more your scene, you can dine from the comfort of your own suite with a terrace overlooking the New York skyline.
These al fresco dining spaces have given us a glimmer of excitement of what we have to look forward to in the next couple of weeks. The wait is almost over and we can’t wait to enjoy each of the hotels in their own way.
The outdoor spaces at Ham Yard Hotel and The Soho Hotel will be the first ones to open. For more information on how to make a reservation click here.
Stay tuned for more details on when the beautiful garden at Number Sixteen and al fresco terraces at Covent Garden Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel and Haymarket Hotel will open later this summer.
See you all there very soon!