1 | Explore: The Ned
Yes guys and girls, London has a new landmark. And though you might already be tiring of the fiendishly stylish Instagram pictures taken from The Ned, you know there's only one way to beat the crowds: join them.
It may be in the heart of the City and it may look like a bank on the outside (indeed, it was one for a very long time) but the owners of the Soho House and Sydell hotel groups have spent the past eight years making this Grade One listed beauty designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens into a veritable playground. It contains a hotel, spa, gym, members club, rooftop pool and eight restaurants on the ground floor alone. We'd start there if we were you.
Amid the imposing pillars of the former banking hall there are old favourites like Cecconi's and new concepts, like the healthy Malibu Kitchen, New York deli Zobler's, poké bowls to take out from Kaia, or Millie's Lounge, which is pretty as a picture and serves food 24 hours a day.
27 Poultry, London, EC2R 8AJ; thened.com
2 | Hideaway: Blacklock
If that's all a bit much, then pop round the corner to the second branch of Soho chop joint, Blacklock. Much like the original, you are led downstairs to a moody dining room with wooden tables and chalky scribbles up the walls telling you what cuts of meat are left, but this venue also boasts a charming bar where you can take advantage of the cocktail list. The site was, appropriately enough, London's first meat market – the perfect excuse for a carnivorous feast, kicked off by pig's head on toast with gravy (a thing of genius, fired up by pickled chillies). As well as the famous chops, this Blacklock also has some cuts served off the bone. Try it all, with beef dripping chips or their 10-hour ash roasted sweet potato on the side. And leave room for the white chocolate cheesecake, served directly from the dish just like at home.
13 Philpot Lane, London, EC3M 8AA; theblacklock.com
3 | Dine Amongst Cherry Blossom: ROKA Charlotte Street
Every year, the Fitzrovia branch of Japanese restaurant ROKA celebrates spring with a truly stunning array of seasonal cherry blossom. And we don't mean a vase or two of the stuff – we mean a full-on canopy draped over the basement bar, Shochu. Get one of their limited edition Suntory whisky cocktails in hand, and simply marvel at the sight. The restaurant's main menu is available (yellowfin tataki and black cod are failsafe winners) and, in case you hadn't realised, this is absolutely prime romance territory.
37 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 1RR; rokarestaurant.com
4 | Embrace Summer: Pergola On The Roof
Last year saw the BBC's old Television Centre house a rooftop bar to rival all rooftop bars. And the good news is that it's back. This time, with a Hamptons theme, which makes for a light, bright and clean aesthetic. Foodwise, you can have those fabulous tacos from Breddos, burgers from Patty & Bun, Mediterranean fare from 8 Hoxton Square or posh fish 'n' chips from Salt 'n' Sauce. Or all four – who's to judge? The vibe is incredibly chilled, with big communal tables to eat at and plenty of space to mill around with a cool beer or a few glasses of bubbly. What's more, the novelty of standing atop that super-famous building takes a very long time to wear off.
Wednesday – Sunday, until October
Multi Story Car Park, Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, W12 7RJ; pergolaontheroof.com
5 | Treat Yourself: Blondie's Kitchen
The two women behind Blondie's Kitchen are confectionary wizards – there's no two ways about it. And their first pop up, at Old Street station last year, was a roaring success. Now they've stepped things up and can be found within Selfridges on Oxford Street. So if you find yourself hitting a sugar low whilst out shopping, you know where to find help. And if you just want the childlike comfort of milk and cookies, this is also for you. They have normal, almond and cereal infused milk, and the cookies themselves include a classic chocolate chip, a new raspberry and coconut, double chocolate with tahini, an Oreo cookie filled with Nutella, an ode to the Kinder egg, and a fandango of two cookies sandwiching a honeycomb chocolate mousse.
Until 29th May
400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB; blondieskitchen.co.uk