Seabird at The Hoxton, Southwark
Seabird sits on the 14th floor of The Hoxton hotel in Southwark, the latest addition to The Hoxton’s folio of hip boutique boltholes. The rooftop restaurant has been designed by the team behind Williamsburg’s acclaimed Maison Premiere and serves a similarly cool combo of oysters and atmosphere. Settle in among piles of plush velvet cushions and wafting palms and enjoy panoramic views over London, with the Thames, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul's and The Shard all in scope. The brunch offering spans lavish seafood platters and charcuterie boards, as well as razor-sharp Mediterranean small plates, accented by Portuguese and Spanish flavours. There are no less than five Bloody Mary cocktail options, as well as a zesty marmalade-infused Bucks Fizz. Dishes are served on Instagram-perfect marble tables, adorned with a chic scallop-shell pattern.
Time: Saturday and Sunday weekend brunch menu, 11am-3pm Location: The Hoxton, Southwark, 40 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8PB Closest Station: Southwark
B&H Garden Room, Clerkenwell
Following the success of its Clerkenwell brasserie, last year Bourne & Hollingsworth opened a biophilic breakfast spot with floor-to-ceiling windows in a building that most Londoners don’t even know exists. Just far enough from Leicester Square, where overpriced restaurants tend to cater to clueless tourists, the laidback Garden Room is on the 10th floor of the Assembly Hotel, and offers respite from the ticket-touts and selfie-takers below. Unlike some of the city’s loftiest dining spaces, the Garden Room doesn’t seem to charge extra to eat and drink at its prime piece of real estate – which means you can spend a bright, leisurely morning here ordering fresh miniature patisserie, vegan drop scones and seasonal smoothie bowls beneath a canopy of greenery. Gather a group or go it alone – there’s enough to keep you occupied from the inspiring interiors to the city street view below.
Time: Saturday and Sunday weekend brunch menu, 10am-4pm Location: Bourne & Hollingsworth Garden Room, 10th floor above Assembly Hotel, 31 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0LS Closest Station: Leicester Square
Ting at Shangri-La, The Shard, London Bridge
It had its fair share of detractors when it topped out in 2012, but compared to 22 Bishopsgate, that out-of-scale megalith that rose monster-like from the bowls of Bank last year, Britain’s tallest building looks positively elegant. Occupying levels 34 to 52 of Renzo Piano’s 95-storey The Shard is the Shangri-La, the second European property (after Paris) from the Hong Kong-based hospitality group. The hotel’s signature restaurant and bar, Ting, takes its name from the Chinese word for 'living room'. It’s located on level 35 and offers hands-down the best view of any of London’s skyscraper-restaurants (the next best vista is seen from Sky Garden).
The Ting Breakfast (as lofty as the restaurant itself at £34) is a sumptuous Western and Asian buffet that spans from yoghurts and cereals to noodles and curries. Alternatively, you can opt for the Full English. It’ll set you back £22, but that’s three quid less than the View from the Shard, a harried, human-conveyor-belt of an experience that doesn’t come with a serving of baked beans and black pudding.
Time: Daily from 6.30am-12midday Location: Shangri-La, 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9QU Closest Station: London Bridge
Duck & Waffle, The City
Perhaps not best suited for acrophobics, a visit to Duck & Waffle begins with a speedy ear-popping ride to the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate. If you can handle the height, the views will be worth it: perched in the heart of Square Mile, the building has one of the best vistas this side of The Shard. Short of whipping out your binoculars, opt for a window seat for a chance to spy on revellers in the neighbouring Gherkin. Scott’s and The Ned alumni Elliot Grover heads up the kitchen, where he cooks up British-European dishes based around an all-day dining concept. Don’t miss the restaurant’s namesake waffle dish, a crispy duck leg confit served with a fried egg and lashings of mustard maple syrup.
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Time: Daily from 6am-10:30am Location: Duck & Waffle, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY Closest Station: Liverpool Street
Portrait Gallery Restaurant, Piccadilly
The Portrait Restaurant's celebrated views stretch from Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square down Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, with such close proximity to the sites you don’t even have to take out a pair of binoculars. Plentiful and courteous staff waft around the lofty space, serving breakfast classics such as chargrilled hanger steak with fried egg, grilled kippers on buttered toast and buttermilk pancakes. And if the view isn't enough, then there are more than 215,000 works of art to peruse below.
Time: Daily 10-11:30am Location: National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE Closest Station: Charing Cross, Leicester Square