I’m sorry but Summer in the UK is usually a non-affair. As a South African who has lived here since 2004, I feel I can say this with some sort of authority on the matter. But last weekend? Amazing! Problem is… everywhere with outdoor space in London is usually crammed or you simply can’t get a table. We recently discovered The Summerhouse in Warwick Avenue and it’s (as the name suggests) the perfect place for lunch when the weather is favourable as it’s situated right on the canal, near Little Venice.
We took a punt and arrived without a booking, bracing ourselves for the ‘sorry, we have no available tables’ only to find we were in luck. And you, dear reader, are also in luck because this is a seafood restaurant – not Italian (for once)!
The restaurant was busy, as expected, but it was so lovely to sit and watch people walking and paddling (on paddle boards) along the canal. We started with a refreshing Aperol Spritz (of course we had to have something Italian!) whilst we took a look at the menu.
For starters we ordered the mezze and a ‘super healthy salad’. As it’s a seafood restaurant we probably should have ordered a fish starter but we fancied more of a sharing dish. The mezze had olives, halloumi, hummus, tzatziki, baba ganoush and a red pepper dip all served with pita bread. The dips were delicious! My favourites being the baba ganoush and the red pepper dip.
The super healthy salad had manouri cheese, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, blood orange segments, snap peas, fennel and chicory. It was very light and fresh but it could have done with a more exciting dressing…
And as with most of our meals, we had a bottle of prosecco (chilling in a gorgeous Laurent-Perrier champagne ice bucket). There is something so decadent about sparkling wine – especially at lunch.
For our mains we both ordered the same – a whole lemon sole served with crushed new potatoes, samphire and a delicious seaweed butter sauce. The fish was beautifully cooked and the sauce was rich and tangy – the perfect accompaniment.
We sat at a counter table right by the kitchen with a perfect view of the canal, so we enjoyed the atmosphere of the busy kitchen with the tranquility of the canal. I loved seeing all the plates leaving the pass and thinking, ‘next time we come, I’m ordering that!’. The restaurant is light and airy and I loved the decor. They also have a little bar area that’s like a deck.
I highly recommend giving The Summerhouse a try – especially on a warm Summer’s day (although they are open all year round). The service was excellent and the food was great. Next time I’ll skip the super healthy salad in favour of the calamari!