Great barbecue eateries in London
No food evokes the ‘British summer’ quite like a barbecue. If you don’t feel like firing one up, some of the Capital’s eateries offer quality al fresco dishes, as Anna Zuchowski-Morrison discovers.
The Flask Tavern, Highgate
Set in the village of Highgate, the Flask Tavern embodies ‘good old English Pub’ charm. Outdoor barbecues are held every weekend in the large seating area, and the chef changes his menu each week to keep punters happy. The menu features such dishes as harissa marinated sardines, spatchcock wood pigeon, and lamb rump. Accompaniments are also well thought-out with a fine selection of homemade coleslaws, salads and couscous.
The 18th century pub has been lovingly restored and features mazes of snug interconnecting rooms; it’s also rumoured to have hid Dick Turpin in the cellar at one time. Ideal for Londoners living north of the river looking for a lazy weekend barbecue they don’t have to cook themselves.
77 Highgate West Hill, N6 6BU
Each weekend 12 -6pm, until September
Mains begin at around £12
The Drawing Room Café, Fulham
Housed in a stunning Georgian building, this cafe has a quintessentially English ‘tearoom’ feel. Barbecues are held at the weekend outside and guests can choose from a chalkboard menu serving down-to-earth barbecue fare, such as Scottish Buccleuh beef steak burger with cheese, marinated chicken burgers, and slow roasted belly of pork served in a bun with salad. Vegetarians can opt for the Portobello mushroom filled with goat’s cheese and red onions.
The all-important sauces haven’t been forgotten either; the choices are excellent, from chilli mayonnaise, to relish and organic mustard, all displayed in quaint glass jars. Tables and chairs surround the barbecue area but mostly guests spill out onto the wide stretch of lawn, seated on picnic rugs.
Fulham Palace, Bishop’s Avenue, SW6 6EA
Prices begin at £
Every weekend 12-5 until late summer, weather permitting
The Ship, Wandsworth
The Ship sets a benchmark for barbecue cuisine, with an eye-catching array of quality, hearty food. What used to be a tiny, working man’s pub and has been expanded to reveal a stylish, assorted mix of rooms and outdoor retreats. Barbecues are held on the large decked area and food is served fresh from the grill to your plate. The menu features mains such as full rack of West Country pork ribs, with Coca Cola barbecue bauce and spiced wedges and salad. For fish lovers there’s a whole grilled fish of the day. Vegetarians can try the pepper, basil and risotto cake with melted mozzarella.
The burgers are definitely worth a go, with the option to ‘pimp your burger’ and add accompaniments such as chestnut mushrooms and smoked bacon. Comfort, community spirit, and a gourmet barbecue menu – when the sun shines, it’s time to head to The Ship.
41 Jews Row, Wandsworth, SW18 1TB
Burgers begin at £10.45
Every day from 12-10pm, till late September
A Grehla, Docklands
Residing by the river’s edge, A Grehla is the perfect spot to feast on sumptuous barbecued food. This baby restaurant to stylish pub The Gun hosts a very special summer barbecue with a Portuguese influence. Diners are treated to tender spicy meats, freshly grilled fish and juicy seafood.
A Grehla is proud of its fish menu – whole sea bass, Cornish lobster and dorado are a permanent fixture. The owner personally chooses the fish daily from Billingsgate market, just five minutes from the restaurant. Seafood cataplana – a slow-cooked seafood stew – is well-liked and there’s the eternally popular chicken peri peri, which is served with a well-dressed salad and fries.
The enclosed terrace creates a tranquil, intimate atmosphere. When the day turns into evening, lanterns are bought to the table and waitresses offer guests blankets.
27 Coldharbour, E14 9NS
Mains begin at around £14
May-Sept, Wed-Sun 12-3pm and 6-10pm
1001 Cafe, Brick Lane
The carefree, Bohemian spirit and diverse foods associated with Brick Lane are captured at 1001 cafe. A huge charcoal grill lines the entrance of the cafe, wafting out smoky, chilli-laced scents. The menu is eclectic, popular beef and chicken burger options are balanced with a mixed meat platter of Polish sausage; there’s marinated chicken and spicy lamb. Vegetarians are offered grilled aubergine and haloumi burgers.
The building was once a part of an old brewery and, inside, a library and legions of huge sofas give diners a chance to unwind. Luckily, the barbecue burns from midday to midnight, delighting any barbecue enthusiast.
: 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL
: Burgers begin at £4.50
: Every day, 12-12