Enjoy London’s Waterfronts
If you can’t fit in a trip to the seaside, then stroll the Regent’s Canal to Little Venice and visit The Summerhouse instead. Navy and white banquettes and cushions with anchors on them line a white painted brick wall decorated with shells, paddles, fishing nets and photos in driftwood frames. There’s even a port hole. On a sunny day, grab a table on the covered terrace, which has views of swans, kayakers and canalboats drifting on the water. The terrace has a canopy, with blankets and heaters for the evening, when it glitters in candlelight.
The restaurant serves well-presented seafood such as fish and chips; catch of the day with samphire; clam chowder; seared scallops and oysters. You can also opt for sharing platters. Save space for a knickerbocker glory – a British seaside sundae (www.thesummerhouse.co).
If The Summerhouse is full, try its nearby sister restaurant The Waterway – which has a large deck and garden with parasols, blankets and heaters overlooking the canal. The European menu includes tuna tartare, chargrilled squid and confit Gressingham duck, alongside Pimm’s Eton mess (www.thewaterway.co.uk).
Meanwhile, The Bingham in Richmond is a hotel with an interesting history. Built in 1740 as two houses with stables and a coach house, its beauty drew the attention of King George III. Try the courgette risotto with broad beans, asparagus and lemon ricotta, followed by blackberry trifle.The raised sun-trap terrace overlooks a manicured lawn, plus kayakers and yachts bobbing by. Parasols provide shade, while fairy lights and heaters come on at night. The garden has a secluded area beneath trees, which can be booked for private dining (www.thebingham.co.uk).