So the sun is shining and it’s gearing up to be the hottest day of the day, but you’re probably stuck in work right? There’s going to be a good number of people around the capital today strategising on where to nip out for a cheeky little tipple at lunch to make the most of the sun. Your WhatsApp group could be going in to meltdown trying to figure out what park to meet up in after work depending on which tube station is closest for you all. Your other half could be rushing about the Tesco express grabbing a baguette, ham and cheese in a cluster not knowing what they need for a picnic.
Truth be told; it’s incredibly easy to find a cheeky little spot to enjoy a tipple or two today here in sunny London. So where should you go and what should you be drinking on a school night that looks as good as this? I have you covered on the blog today.
Spot No.1 – The Driver
Just got in to town by train and wondering what to do now you’ve got off the platform at Kings Cross or St Pancras? Take a left down to York Street and then turn right after the Pret on to Wharfdale Road. Walk down until you see a building with a lot of greenery coming out of the walls. You’ve just come across The Driver. Now run up them stairs and get a seat on the rooftop. It’s a cracker of an open bar and not one many people know is so close to the station. It’s the ideal mid-afternoon spot if you’re sneaking out of work for a cheeky pint and don’t want to get noticed. When the weather is as good as it is today, the bar will usually have their chef up on the roof getting involved with a little barbecue action.
I really like because as you can see in the photo, they actually have walls and a little skirting around the top, so it blocks out a lot of the usual noise you get from traffic and brings a little bit of intimacy; something that it very hard to find around King’s Cross.
Spot No. 2 – The Wine Pantry
Any oldie but a good here on the blog, I expect the open doors of The Wine Pantry to catch many an eye walking by today. I blogged about them a while back but they have a cracking selection of chilled wines that you can purchase by the glass; so if you’re the type of person who wants a “road wine” to quench your thirst on such a hot day (and who could blame you) definite head down to Stoney Street
Spot No.3 – Harrod’s
For a lot of people heading to Hyde Park today to really soak up the sun, the chances are that you’ll jump off the tube at Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch and just look about for the nearest supermarket to grab a lunch meal deal and whatever the coldest drink in the fridge is. So many people forget that if they just stay on the Piccadilly line to Knightsbridge, they’re only a few hundred metres from Harrods.
It’s a spot that a lot of people often forget has an amazing food hall inside because so many tourists staying in hotels near Harrods will be looking a bit awestruck outside. And when I say it has everything, it has just about everything you’d need for a perfect picnic basket. Fresh fruit and veg to make fruit salad bowls, perfectly cooked batons to make an extra tasty sandwich, and (if you’re lazy like me) ridiculously tasty pizza that I will argue is some of the best in SW1. If you disagree, just tweet me and let me know where does better crust. Back to the tipples though. For that perfect picnic drinks that you can only get at Harrods, I suggest the small Premier Cru Champagne 20cl bottles because why not celebrate the sun in style?
Just make sure you don’t buy nay of the chocolate truffles. I once did on a day like this, strolled only five minutes to the park and then opened the bag to find the heat had not be kind to what ended up becoming a mini chocolate fountain in my bah.
Spot No 4 – The Riverfront
Don’t really like the idea of sitting in the park in case you get grass stains on your good work clothes? Happen to be near Southbank? Well then you best best on the outside deck of The Riverfront before it gets rammed chock full of people later on. The BFI adjacent bar is always a busy spot but on days like this as people walk by and notice how lovely it looks in the sun, you’d be hard pressed to find a seat of indeed standing room. For an avid people watcher, this is the ideal space to get a glass of bevvy and hide behind your sunglasses.
The pub grub they serve here is typically all very above board and fancy. Having a quick look through the menu online to get myself reacquainted with what’s on offer, their buffalo dog is pretty good. Many place in town don’t really have buffalo sauce flavours so it’s always a nice little surprise. And if you’re with a bunch of friends, get those loaded nachos!
Spot No 5 – Queen of Hoxton
Sure it wouldn’t be a list of places to go in London this year without mentioning somewhere in Shoreditch. And while Queenie may not have the same fabulous views that other higher rooftop bars do, but you’ll hardly be spending much time looking elsewhere with such a crazy looking decoration job done here. The rooftop bar often gets a makeover of sorts roughly once a year and I read in The Standard that this is supposed to be a psychedelic 1970’s trippy look. They also have a Dr Strangelove themed cocktail menu on the go right now with such delights as The Limes they are a Changin’ and Dr Strange’s Fruit Liquor.
ALSO! See that big screen int he top of the picture? The bar will frequently show classic 80’s films most nights of the week, so don’t expect a rowdy one on the roof around sunset but more rather a group of people fully invested in Top Gun or Pretty Woman.