Published 8 April 2021
by the CODE team
Joy at Portobello
After four long months, restaurants are finally able to open their doors, terraces and patios again from Monday. Here the CODE team shares their favourite outdoor dining spots and where they’ll be booking first – now we just need to keep our fingers crossed for good weather.
When Stevie Parle went back to the site of his former restaurant Dock Kitchen to create Joy at Portobello, I was one of the first to book a table on the terrace – and not just because it’s 10 minutes from home. It’s a clever mix of urban and bucolic – the busy roads are just out of sight and there are flowers and plants everywhere. Plus, the menu is sublime – can’t wait to get back to clams and bacon, whole lobster and chips and pretty much anything else on Parle’s creative menu.
Lisa Markwell, editor
You can’t help but love 45 Jermyn St – the old-school glamour of the restaurant and stellar service makes any meal there feel special. Although the best seats are definitely in one of the cosy terracotta booths inside, a spot on their terrace will gladly do. You’ll find me a few negronis down (with probably another on the way) merrily tucking into something from their (pretty epic) dessert menu; most likely the lemon tart with creme fraiche ice cream that I’ve spotted on the restaurant’s Instagram page…
Minna Gabbertas, partners & memberships
45 Jermyn Street will be back on the CODE app soon.
Back when we were allowed Casa do Frango, London Bridge was my go to spot to get a group of mates together. Big tables, great atmosphere, friendly on the wallet and who doesn’t love piri piri chicken…? So, if there is one benefit of the past 12 months it’s the rise of outdoor dining options (for when we aren’t allowed inside), whether on one of the many temporarily pedestrianised streets, or the expanding outdoor terrace that popped up at their sister site in Shoreditch. Bring on the port & tonics.
Will Lake, COO
Casa do Frango is now taking bookings for dates from April 12 with a great industry offer via the CODE app. Click ‘Book now’ on the app to find out more.
Need I say anymore…
Adam Hyman, founder
The long-drawn-out wait for restaurants to reopen for dining-in (or out as the case may be) puts great pressure on the choice of that all-important first booking. For me it had to be in Soho, the vibrancy and general hubbub of the area has always made it one of my favourite places in London, and an al fresco evening there is sure to be the antidote to months of lockdown inertia. It was no surprise then that my thoughts fell to Frith Street and the Gladwin Brother’s wonderful Sussex. Naturally, I’ve been poring over the menu since I made the reservation and must say I’m particularly excited about kicking-off the evening with dry martinis and fresh oysters from the new Noilly Prat pop-up bar…
Molly Wade, memberships manager
Sussex is now taking bookings for dates from April 12 with an exclusive offer on the CODE app. Search Sussex on the app for more details.
We can’t talk about outdoor dining and not mention Forza Wine. When it opened at the tail end of summer 2019 it was quick to secure itself amongst one of the best drinking and dining spots in London and there was plenty of autumn sunshine to sustain the buzz. A year in and out of lockdown later, the outdoor space with its knockout view has become even more precious. They’ve since built a covered patio structure with heaters to ride out all weather conditions and there’s a new sound system with a bluetooth connection specially for group bookings which is fun. My table on the terrace is booked and I can’t wait to be back.
Chloë Hamilton, head of partners & memberships
There is no denying the Pizza in the Post kits have been a smash hit, and a fair few have made their way to my front door in the past year. Still, I can’t wait to enjoy a proper pizza, made by a proper chef, in a proper restaurant again. A Canary Wharf local prior to the pandemic, Pizza Pilgrims terrace in West India Quay was my go-to spot for a fun and buzzy atmosphere and perfect pizza after work. Complete with table football (and heaters, don’t worry), it will be one of the first places I return to order a mushroom and truffle pizza (with garlic dip, naturally). I’ve waited four months, so sharing is absolutely off the table.
Harriet Prior, staff writer
Pizza Pilgrims is available on the CODE app for takeaway. Visit the app listing for more information.
Come rain or shine, this is THE place to be – for me and most of the rest of London, according to the scarcity of tables. I jumped on the reservations link the minute it was possible because there’s such an energy about the place – the staff are fantastic, it’s a cosy, stylish setting despite the openness and the food is pretty much perfect. I fully expect to spend all the money I’ve saved in lockdown on one big blowout (think turbot, smoked potatoes, all the flatbreads and a whole Basque cheesecake), but it’ll be worth it.
Lisa Markwell, editor
Come April 12, you’ll find me perched on one of the rickety, foldable chairs outside Fortitude Bakehouse carbo-loading on a Berber omelette sandwich followed by a fresh-from-the-oven apple and custard morning bun. This hole-in-the-wall daytime spot tucked away on a cobblestone lane in Bloomsbury isn’t the fanciest, nor do they offer table service, but chatting to the friendly bakers behind the counter is always such a treat and the no-frills outdoor seating is reminiscent of the curbside dai pai dongs back home!
Roxy Yuen, marketing consultant
It’s quite simply been too long without bowls of black daal, trays of samosas and plenty of naan bread. The many Dishoom fans out there will be delighted that both the terrace at the Kingly Street site and the wonderful verandah at Dishoom Shoreditch are back next week. Sure the queues might be longer than ever, but after four months without restaurants, an extra hour or two can’t hurt. There will be chais, coolers, tipples and more ready to celebrate the return of restaurants – hopefully for good this time.
Harriet Prior, staff writer