by Sherelle Jacobs from The Telegraph, May 16, 2017
Summer is finally upon us. Hotels are busy transforming their back yards into beach huts and drinking saloons into secret gardens. Mixologists have refined the cocktail menus which will inevitably feature curiosities like rhubarb, Chilean pisco and Greek yoghurt. Here is our guide to the best offerings that have already been announced, from a Cornish seafood extravaganza with Rick Stein and son, to a cava bar overlooking the river Thames.
A Taste of Cornwall at The Goring
The Queen's favourite hotel is bringing Cornwall to the capital – thanks to celebrity chef Rick Stein and his son Jack – who has been hooked on hospitality like his father since working as a kitchen porter in his family's Padstow restaurant in the school holidays. The menu at the culinary duo's three-month pop-up in The Goring's gardens is still under fish-and-chip wraps. However, guests can expect lobster, crab and fresh fish aplenty, served with a chilled glass of rosé amongst the tulips and lavender.
June 2 - September 13
Read the full review: The Goring, Belgravia
The Dead Rabbit at Claridge's
The world's best bar is coming to Claridge's this August. The Irish duo behind The Dead Rabbit in New York, Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, will recreate their award-winning concept inspired by 19th-century Irish-American gangsters and famed for its innovative cocktails, bottled punch and sawdust on the floor. For one week in August, Claridge’s guests will be able to enjoy drinks like the famous Irish Coffee served with Clontarf Irish whiskey, demerara syrup and pillow-thick cream. There will also be ragtime piano playing and signature plates like lobster devilled eggs to line the stomach with.
Read the full review: Claridges, Mayfair
Summer Terrace at Mondrian London at Sea Containers
A wraparound summer terrace strewn with squishy cushions and citrus plants overlooking the Thames. Nautical fabrics and picket fencing are a twee take on the French Riviera; views look out to the City and St. Pauls. The quirkiest feature is a boat plonked right in the middle of the space, which is available for private hire by up to 10 guests. Signature drinks on the cocktail list include Transatlantic Travel with Grey Goose Citron, Martini Rosso, lemonade and lemon juice, and espresso martinis with maple syrup. Foodies shouldn't miss this one: There will be an alfresco restaurant as well as a more casual food and drink space. 'Giant Ceviche Tacos', grilled lobster with garlic chive butter, and truffle flatbread are on the menu.
From May 22 until September
Read the full review: Mondrian London at Sea Containers, South Bank
Belvedere Vodka Garden at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
To coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show, London's most luxurious railway hotel l has transformed its front entrance into a dramatic flower-festooned bar. Refreshing spritz concoctions using 'natural ingredients' is the theme, using vodka that is free of additives. The venue, which also features live music, is open Wednesday to Friday from 5pm-9pm only, targetting the after-work crowd. There is also talk of a Fever Tree pop-up garden from June to August. Watch this space.
Until May 26
Read the full review: St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Kings Cross
The Anna de Codorníu Terrace on the Thames at DoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands Riverside
Think lying on a cushioned deckchair or squishy sofa right on the river and sipping on cava while a live flamenco artist strums his guitar. Candles and fairy lights will glow over the water's edge at night, and – get this – the waiters will come around to guests with a wine cart. Sangria sharing cocktails and Spanish ciders will be on offer. Also expect tapas treats like meatballs, chorizo and manchego cheese bocadillos, and prawn salad with paprika and lime.
From May 10 until October
Read the full review: DoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands Riverside, Canary Wharf
The Montague Beach Bar at The Montague on the Gardens
Think the Bahamas in Bloomsbury. The Montague's thatch-roofed, surfboard-strewn beach bar is returning this June. There will be palm trees and real sand. Cocktails are suitably tropical, and there will naturally be a barbecue – the tuna burgers are a must – along with ice creams in cones. The jet ski selfie station is also returning; those that hashtag #SurfMontague will be entered into a prize draw for a two-night stay at the five-star Dorset sister hotel, Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Spa.
May 25 - September 24
The Garden of Live Flowers & The Bar of Nature at Sanderson
The one to head for when the stress of summer sales on Oxford Street proves too much. The Sanderson's Long Bar and courtyard are turning into a champagne secret garden. The areas will be festooned with perfumed jasmin bushes, giant plants and dramatic flower displays by horticulturalist Kitten Grayson; there will be a table in the centre of the courtyard accommodates up to six people for private dinners too. Blanc de Blancs, a floral champagne by Perrier-Jouët, will be the main tipple on the menu, along with 'Not as Nature Intended', a new cocktail menu by mixologist Stuart Bale that is pitched as 'an exploration of the beauty of nature and how we can play with it and alter it to suits our needs'. Hmmm.
Read the full review: Sanderson, Soho
From May 17
Secret English Garden at Brown's Hotel
Another secret garden. This time in the bar of the oldest hotel in London, and favoured haunt of Winston Churchill. The late war-time prime minister would probably appreciate the makeover; he used to love painting flowers during his spare time. The hotel's resident florist Ellie Hartley has decked the Library lounge out in sweet peas, delphiniums, flaming peonies and fleshy English roses. Cocktails are, surprisingly, rather floral, with flavours like violet and dandelion. The marinated scallops with cucumber flowers are the bar snacks to order here. Enthusiasts should nab a place on the champagne tasting and floral masterclass with Ellie Hartley on Tuesday May 16 from 7pm (£45).
For the whole month of May