Ever since the Government’s plan for lifting restrictions was announced, we’ve been dreaming about where we’ll eat and drink again, which friends we’ll rush to see first, and the parents, siblings and colleagues we’ll get to embrace and laugh with this summer.
We are remaining cautious on behalf of our clients, and we know the next few weeks may be some of the toughest yet, but rest assured if you’re a hospitality business within reach, we’ll be spending our money with you in the not-too distant future…
In light of all this, we thought we’d share our pick of the best al fresco venues for you to enjoy this April, and some at-home kits to get you through until then too.
Stay safe and hang in there, we can’t wait to see you soon.
London’s biggest outdoor drinking and dining space will reopen on 12th April. More details to be announced, but what we do know is there will be food from Nanny Bill’s, Baba G’s, Nik’s Kitchen and Sugo, and to be honest, that’s already more than enough to get us there. Booking lines open soon here.
Let us have more Joy!
One of last summer’s biggest hits (just ask Giles, Marina, Fay and Grace) and a pivot we definitely took advantage of was Joy, Stevie Parle’s dahlia-strewn destination that housed a brilliant restaurant (Flora) on the terrace at Portobello Docks. Stevie’s revealed that although he's optimistic, it's not confirmed that they'll be allowed another summer there, which is pretty heartbreaking to hear, but we have our fingers firmly crossed for some good news and more Joy soon...
The Standard, London
We cannot wait to bag a table on the Terrace at Double Standard when it reopens on 12th April. Slushies, cocktails and some of London’s best burgers will all be on offer, while big tunes and good vibes will come as, well, standard. It was the hit of last summer, so our advice: get those reservations in now.
Udon specialist Koya has launched a doorstop dashi service, so you can get their freshly made udon and vegan or fish dashi delivered direct to your home. All you need to do is heat it up and - the fun part - choose your toppings. Top picks at Tonic HQ include mussels and hake, soy-glazed roast pork, and super-simple spring onions and toasted sesame seeds. At £14 per kit (which is enough for two), we think it’s the most accessible way to enjoy the expertise of a great Japanese kitchen in your own home. Buy your kit here.
The Ninth Made Simple
Jun Tanaka and his team from The Ninth have launched several brilliant kits in the last year, but this new and easy dinner for two option could well be one of our favourites. The Ninth Made Simple goes from box to plate in under 15 minutes with virtually no washing up. Expect vibrant Mediterranean salads, a choice of marinated sea bream, caramelised lamb neck or chargrilled Delica pumpkin for the main event, and a divine chocolate fondant to finish. Feeds two generously. £75 (with the option to add wines at brilliant prices). Place your order here before 6pm on Tuesday for nationwide delivery that same Friday.
Launching this week is a gorgeous seasonal special - the Calçotada kit from Tapas Brindisa. The Calçotada is an annual tradition that sees Catalans meet in the countryside to cook and feast together on calçots, a hyper-seasonal vegetable similar to a giant, sweet spring onion. This menu features the calçots served with a romesco sauce, as well as other traditional dishes from the feast such as lamb chops and mojo rojo potatoes. Each kit costs £55 and serves two, available nationwide (and vegan option also available). Click here to purchase.
The Laundretters Overnighter
The Laundry - Brixton's favourite neighbourhood bistro - has launched The Laundretters Overnighter box, which contains absolutely everything you need to make a restaurant quality three-course dinner on Friday, brunch on Saturday, AND cocktails (for dinner and the following day’s brunch). There’s also a choice of wine (matched by the wonderful Mel Brown) and a playlist included too. Priced at just £45 per person, the menu changes weekly, and this week’s features marinated bavette with Café de Paris butter (vegan version also available). Available for collection or delivery within an eight mile radius on Fridays - just get your order in by 9pm on Wednesday here.
Stay safe, keep eating well, and we look forward to welcoming you onto our clients' terraces in just a few weeks. Get those reservations in now...
Frances and the team at Tonic