Summer dining by the canal and beyond
As some of London’s most well-loved cafes, restaurants and bars throw open their doors, now’s the time to book in long lunches with friends, drinks with much-missed teams and lazy cocktails in the evening. From drinks at Vagabond Wines outside tables to the canalside delights of Darcie & May Green, summer is properly here (at last).
With Paddington Central embracing al fresco dining and open-air spots that are perfect for soaking up a few rays, we’ve selected the most unmissable London gems to head to now…
- Cocktails and good food on the terrace at Smith’s Bar and Grill
25 Sheldon Square, London W2 6EY
Smith’s Bar and Grill has always been the perfect place to catch up with friends. With a delicious menu of European delights cooked well (truffle tagliatelle, beer battered haddock fillet, tartare sauce and chips, crispy pork belly served with baby spinach, radish, tomato, red onion and lime dressing) and excellent cocktails (we recommend their margaritas of Jose Cuervo tequila, Cointreau and lime), their huge sunlight-filled terrace has now come into its own. It’s almost like 2020 has never happened…
Make the most of their excellent offers at the moment including 25% off food Monday to Sunday (please mention the discount when booking), a Happy Hour of buy one, get one free cocktails (from Monday to Sunday 5.30pm-7.30pm) and 15% off takeaway (just add in 15OFFTAKEAWAY when ordering).
“Relaxed but vibrant, Smith’s Bar and Grill is a place for just about any occasion, providing friendly service and attractive surroundings with a modern but still traditional feel, welcoming young and old, friends, family and colleagues alike.” Square Meal
- Meet for drinks at Vagabond Wines
6a Sheldon Square, London W2 6EZ
Book for breakfast, lunch or dinner with Vagabond Wines (they’re open Wednesday to Sunday), grab a table outside and the team will be on hand to let you explore over 120 wines from their insider’s list from around the world plus an excellent selection of craft beers.
With a small-but-perfectly formed menu which changes according to what’s in season, sharing dishes include whitebait, romesco, crispy basil; roast hanger steak for two and served medium with parsnip crisps, roasted shallots, rocket with either blue cheese dressing, chimichurri or straight up and, for dessert, dark chocolate mousse and honeycomb, you’re guaranteed the night out you’ve been yearning for. Reservations are essential so put your name down pronto.
“Visited with a friend – brilliant concept based on a top up card... We also ordered some food: beetroot hummus, tataki beef, arancini and truffles for dessert. The food was delicious.” Trip Advisor
- Enjoy brunch at Beany Green
6C Sheldon Square, London W2 6EZ
With outdoor seating and welcoming views, Beany Green is the spot to gather much-missed friends and catch up over brunch. With specialist coffee, fresh juices and smoothies, the famous banana bread sandwich with mascarpone, berries and flaked almonds, bottomless prosecco or mimosas, smashed avocado on sourdough and sweetcorn fritters, this is a slice of Aussie sunshine slap bang in the middle of Little Venice.
“Absolutely delicious! Had the corn fritters and they were amazing! Great Coffee also! Awesome friendly service and great atmosphere - this place has it all!” Google Reviews
- Celebrate the weekend at The Union Paddington
4 Sheldon Square, London W2 6EZ
They’re back! One of the friendliest welcomes you can find at Paddington Central, great drinks and an outdoor area of 16 tables means you can kick back and relax enjoying the late arrival of summer.
They’ve also got a fantastic menu of carefully and sustainably sourced food including burgers with summer salads and slow-cooked chicken tacos, small plates of Italian hummus and matbutcha salad plus cask ales, classic gins and cocktails and a delicious wine list. Book your table now and embrace some warmer weather.
“I really like the atmosphere of this place. Food was good and service, top notch (always smiling). Happy to be back.” Google Reviews
- Grab takeout at Darcie & May Green
Grand Union Canal, Sheldon Square, Paddington, Central W2 6DS
Stepping out of Paddington tube and seeing the welcome sight of Sir Peter Blake’s colourful designs on the Darcie & May Green barges cannot fail to raise anyone’s spirits. And they’re open again for fancy bacon rolls (poached eggs, crispy onions, back bacon, holy f*ck 13.8 hollandaise, chilli on a paratha roti) or halloumi fries with pomegranate mint yogurt along with beer, cocktails and a huge welcome. It’s good to have them back.
“Off the brunch menu, the baked aubergine fritters (which were crispy and deep-fried) with kimchi ketchup, poached eggs, avocado and corn salsa were delicious, as was the shakshuka: spicy tomatoes, creamy labneh and two beautifully wobbly eggs in a skillet. Even the desperately trendy ‘charcoal bread’ it came with turned out to be great, its smokiness adding a whole other dimension. Later, a slice of moist, delicious banana bread came topped with berries, mascarpone and a drizzle of super-sweet honey, and the coffee was flawless.” Time Out
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