Food and sun are literally the only two things we live for.
But like most things we love, they let us down – food makes us fat, and sunlight is barely present in London (we’re not pretending that this summer is going to happen every year).
Alas, we still love them, so this week we’re looking at two exceptional restaurants where you can get both of your faves for the budget your best real life will afford you and the sunlight comes for free, how kind.
THE FOOD: A fusion of Japanese and European cuisine.
Ah, Four Degree… think of heaven on the riverbank, with food that literally makes you wonder what on earth you’ve been eating in your life previously. Now we know what you’re thinking… a restaurant? In Vauxhall? But where? The only things in Vauxhall to your knowledge are Fire, The RVT, a sauna and the Starbucks where you wait for your D appointment. But just down on the river, lies a huge terrace just waiting for you to come in your best oversized sunhat (and a kaftan depending on how extra you’re feeling) to soak up the best that this restaurant has to offer.
TOP PICKS: We literally ate everything on the menu, to the point where we asked the waiter if we’d ordered too much because we felt like it might be getting embarrassing. Two of the standouts of the evening (that we’re still talking about and we went a week ago) were the A5 Wagyu Sirloin with Ponzu Sauce and The Black Cod Miso. Seriously, we have never sat and savoured food like this in our lives (being the sorts of people that can inhale a pizza in 3 minutes), it was literally incredible to the point where we had to take a minute to reevaluate our entire existences. Other faves were the King Crab with Caviar & Avocado Four Degree roll and the Crispy Prawn roll. For those wanting something less fishy, the Warm Mushroom Salad with truffles is incredible on a hot summers day.
WHEN TO GO: Literally anytime, day and night, Monday to Sunday. As well as the beautiful restaurant which centres around a sushi and cocktail bar, the terrace is huge and the perfect place to enjoy the sunshine we’re currently being blessed with and soak up the views across the Thames. One of our fave things about the terrace is how peaceful it is; you’d never know you were just a hop, skip and a jump away from Central London.
WHAT TO WEAR: Although the food may be fancy, don’t feel like you have to roll up in a suit… or a gown and heels in your case (although no judgement if you do decide to turn out a lewk). Think smart-casual with a half tucked shirt and a great fitting pair of jeans. It is summer after all, so break out the pale shades and embrace the heat. OTT accessories and a great pair of sandals are always welcome.
THE FOOD: Locally sourced, fresh vegetarian/vegan food.
Whether you’re vegan for dietary reasons (aka you’re one of those unfortunate people who’s allergic to everything under the sun including gluten, wheat, dairy and joy) or just because last month’s Vogue told you that it’s becoming chic to care about what your food is doing to your body and the planet (it is pretty chic tbh), then boy have we go the restaurant for you. With a Bankside branch complete with summer-perfect garden room, or the Heddon Street location which has a garden terrace just off of Regent Street, both offer a chance to savour some of the delicious vegan alternatives while sunning yourself to bronzed perfection.
TOP PICKS: Who knew vegan food could be so good? The unique thing about Tibits is the way the food is served. Each restaurant centres around the food boat, where you can go up and choose as much of each as you like (the menus change with every season to keep things exciting) and then it’s weighed and priced accordingly. Our faves from the summer menu are the Moroccan Lemon Tagine, the Okra Tempura and the refreshing Moroccan Lemon Houmous. For those wanting something light (it is swimsuit season after all), their classic Caesar salad is a great option. One could not finish the faves without a shoutout to the Dodds Gin Garden Cocktail; a delicious blend of Dodds signature gin blended with elderberry, Tibit’s own fitness juice and finished with a slice of cucumber, We can literally hear it calling us back for another.
WHEN TO GO: Again, anytime, Monday to Friday, day and night. They serve breakfast during the week but the sun spots are best enjoyed in the afternoons for those peak hours and then spent lounging on the terrace with a cocktail in hand well in to the evening.
WHAT TO WEAR: Both restaurants are pretty casual but that doesn’t mean you have to be sloppy. Try some of this seasons more relaxed styles and a cute graphic tee.