Hip, pop-up beach chic in London's leafy Maida Vale
Where? The Summerhouse, opposite 60 Blomfield Road, London W9 2PD (020 7286 6752; summerhousebythewaterway.co.uk)
What’s the story? Idyllically located on the banks of the Grand Union Canal in Maida Vale, this Hamptons-style pop-up restaurant takes its inspiration from Long Island’s airy beach house retreats. All whitewashed walls and deckchair stripes, both the setting and menu follow a relaxed nautical theme.
What’s on the menu? Every gastro-pub style incarnation of seafood, from Swordfish Steak Ciabatta with Mango Salsa and Wasabi, to your traditional New England Clam Chowder and Beer-battered Fish ‘n chips. We were particularly taken with the Crispy Calamari, served by the bucketload (no, seriously – it comes in a generously-sized tin bucket) and ‘Best-ever’ Popcorn Shrimp.
What about the prices? Gastro-pub in style, gastro-pub in prices, The Summerhouse is the perfect spot for leisurely weekend lunches. We went in April, when the canal-side terrace was masked by a large plastic screen and temperatures were a little chilly, but the staff thoughtfully offered us blankets to snuggle under. In the summer, with the sunshine (well, hopefully), this would be the perfect venue for laidback, outdoor eating.
To drink? We loved the seasonal cocktails (the restaurant really does cater to summer, popping up from April-October), especially the Pimm’s Mojito.
We’re assuming the desserts aren’t fishy? No, indeed. Think traditional British summertime treats: Summer Fruit Trifle, Lemon Tart, Pimm’s Jelly and Ice Cream and Knickerbocker Glories.
Need to know? The Summerhouse is open Mon- Fri (12pm- 12am), Sat (10am- 12am) and Sun (10am-11pm), from now until October. Once closed, the venue will become a dedicated events space before re-opening next spring. Should you wish to arrive by barge (you can, honest) the venue has its own space for mooring.