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Al Fresco

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The weather is heating up and summer is just around the corner, so it’s time for everyone to embrace the warmer weather and take advantage of those delicious free moments when you can escape to soak up the sun, whether you are simply going for a walk, or enjoying a drink or meal in Covent Garden.

Start at the top with a visit to fabulously stylish Radio; the rooftop bar on the tenth floor of the ME London hotel. The views really don’t get much better than this; The Shard, the Walkie Talkie, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament, which all look better for being viewed in the sunshine. Relax here with a delicious cocktail or dip into their ‘Tapas con Vistas’ menu for a modern twist on some of your favourite Spanish delicacies, including Jamon Ibérico, Padron peppers, Jamon croquettes with paprika aioli and a selection of Spanish cheeses. You owe it to yourself to return in the evening to enjoy the same view, but lit by the bright lights of London.

Ahoy there! Coming straight down back to earth we recommend you climb aboard the Good Ship Benefit at R. S. Hispaniola, a permanently moored Ship on Victoria Embankment. The gals from Benefit Cosmetics will be there to welcome you aboard all summer long. It’s the place for lots of girly fun, glamour, beauty treats and pampering. There are three decks dedicated to the different worlds of Benefit from brows to primer to bronzing. You can do everything here from fitness classes on the Hawaii inspired Hoola deck, to sipping cocktails while the sun goes down and the Thames flows by. It’s time for both guys and girls to live the San Francisco dream with five months of cocktails, cuisine, cosmetics, brows, bubbles and beauty! (Guys you are welcome too, so don’t be shy). Pennethorne’s in Somerset House is embracing the spring sunshine having opened their al fresco area last month. The cocktail menu has summer tones throughout and the tempting tapas menu is available outside, so after work, you will feel as if you have been transported to Spain on a balmy evening. There’s plenty to choose from, including signature Mushrooms on toast, Ham and cheese croquettes and Cod and chickpea stew. On Thursdays, they are offering three tapas for £10 from 17.00. The Patio is also available for exclusive hire for groups of 10–40 guests. Please email for more information.

In the buzzing and vibrant Seven Dials area is the latest offering from Marcus Wareing the Winner of AA’s 2015 Restaurant of the Year; Tredwell’s brings modern London cooking to the heart of the West End and is an ideal venue for locals, Londoners and visitors to the capital. The small outdoor terrace is the perfect spot to spend a few hours enjoying a cocktail followed by a delicious meal with fine wine.

Just up the road is Kopapa a café and restaurant featuring the innovative, creative cuisine of Peter Gordon, the ‘godfather’ of fusion food. There are a small number of al fresco tables and the restaurant is right in the centre of Seven Dials next to the Monument itself. Peter Gordon’s Spring menu includes Steamed dumpling of Scottish lobster, scallops & cod, shaved fennel, grilled pineapple & Israeli couscous salad, kalamansi kaffir lime dressing. A rare treat indeed.

A visit to Suda in St Martin’s Courtyard promises a peaceful al fresco experience, sitting in the courtyard outside the restaurant is the perfect place to share the very best of Thai street food with your friends, family and loved ones; drop in to enjoy a break mid-shopping, a pre-theatre meal or an evening out with friends. The menu offers classics such as pad Thai, red and green curries and the more contemporary flavours and combinations that you might find today on the streets of Bangkok. The menu is based around sharing bowls and bites, allowing you to try, discover and explore all the tastes of Thailand.

Once again the BP Big Screen returns to Trafalgar Square on Wednesday 18 May at 19.30 for a free open air performance of The Royal Ballet’s brand new ballet, Frankenstein, drawing out the themes of compassion and friendship from Mary Shelley’s iconic gothic novel. So bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy Liam Scarlett’s exciting choreography.

Getting there

Travelling to and from an event is an important part of the overall experience. Covent Garden, the heart of the UK's the most exciting place, is opened to all routes wherever you are, whatever you want.




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