In the summertime when the weather is fine, you can stretch right up and touch the sky. When the weather’s fine. You got cocktails, you got cocktails on your mind. That’s how the song goes in my head at least, so here’s a smattering of London’s many outdoor watering holes in which to soak up the sun.
THE CITY: SKYLOUNGE
Skylounge has launched Nantucket Beach Club, an ode to East Coast island living. That’s New England island living, not Essex’s Canvey Island living, just to avoid any awkwardness. There’s a lighthouse, swing-bench and vodka slushies (a cranberry one is pictured right) to wash down the lobster rolls and clam chowder.
KNIGHTSBRIDGE: GREY GOOSE BOULANGERIE FRANCOIS TERRASSE
The fifth floor of Harvey Nichols now has a pop-up terrace serving a summer martini and food-pairing menu – that’s four colourful mini martinis with as many mini patisseries. On a sunny day, it’s all the fun of the French Riviera, without the need to dig around in the back of your head for your O-level/GCSE French. It also hosts masterclasses on Thursday evenings.
KING’S CROSS: CARAVAN
If you’ve not been here yet, it’s time to book. You could even make a day of it and check out Grain Store, too. Overlooking the fountains of Granary Square, try the Lime Leaf Margarita. It’s a sophisticated way to imbibe what’s secretly your second favourite cocktail (your favourite is the Piña Colada).
MAYFAIR: HENDRICK’S BOTANICAL GARDEN AT MR FOGG’S
It may be bijou, but like Mr Fogg’s cocktails, its botanical garden packs a punch. If you manage to nab a seat, while away a summer evening sipping the Symphony of Peculiar Deliciousness, which is made with Hendrick’s Gin, rose-infused jasmine tea syrup, Briottet bergamot liqueur, lychee juice and lime juice.
SOUTH BANK: THE FEVER-TREE GIN & TONIC GARDEN AT THE GREEN ROOM, THE NATIONAL THEATRE
Fever Tree, the near ubiquitous tonic water, has opened a G&T garden at the National Theatre. But ditch the gin and try the modestly named Ultimate Vodka & Tonic, which uses Black Cow Vodka paired with Fever-Tree’s Mediterranean tonic and is garnished with pink grapefruit.
Alternatively, walk a bit further down the embankment to take in a Martini at the Oxo Tower’s 250ft outdoor terrace (Martini Day is apparently on 19 June, but who’s counting?) Kensingtonians should kick back with Hendrick’s Summer Mule or Raspberry Rose Royale in the Horticultural Oasis at Blakes Hotel. And Sushisamba is always worth a visit for Richard Woods’s superlative Tom Yam cocktail.