Close to the stars
In London, if you are booking a table at the Coppa Club, let them know you want to be on the terrace. Be warned, this is no ordinary terrace with a few tables, quite the opposite! As you arrive, you will discover eight transparent capsules with stunning views of Tower Bridge. From autumn to early spring, these pods, which look like igloos, are warm and welcoming. Dine in the cosy atmosphere of a mountain chalet: thick cushions, sheepskin, not to mention the heating... All that is missing are snow-capped peaks for a complete change of scenery.
But if you come in the summer, the décor is completely different. You won't find any mountains: instead enjoy beach-style vibes on the Thames! The heated cocoons have now turned into surfers' huts. You will be surrounded by the obligatory surfboards, tropical plants and even an old camper van that reminds you of those carefree holidays. Welcome to Coppa Beach Club! Woolly hat or swimsuit, it's up to you! Choose from a veggie burger, linguine with crab or a Caesar salad revisited with kale.
3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street
London EC3R 6AH
+44 20 8016 9227
People in the courtroom please stand!
You won't find any skiers or surfers here. And if there was a dress code, it would be a barrister's gown or judge's robes, depending on your table. Silk Restaurant occupies the former courtroom of Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court, which has itself become the Courthouse Hotel. You find the classic, elegant vaulted glass ceiling and the original oak panelling from this bygone era, along with the original judge's bench, witness stand and dock where the defendants sat. Some of these are familiar: Oscar Wilde, Mick Jagger and John Lennon... quite famous names! A venue that has witnessed some solemn and serious scenes welcomes you today with a distinctively warmer and romantic atmosphere.
In terms of gastronomy, by browsing the menu, you will start to understand the choice of the name Silk. It is indeed a reminder of the importance and richness of the former Silk Road in Asia. This will help you appreciate the refined and exquisitely fragranced Asian fusion cuisine on offer… with red wine sauce, teriyaki beef and vegetables deglazed with balsamic vinegar.
19-21 Great Marlborough Street
London W1F 7HL
+44 20 7297 5555
Would British naturalist and palaeontologist Charles Darwin have gotten his bearing among fig trees, luscious palm trees and birds of paradise, all at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, a 37-storey London skyscraper 150 metres high? Nothing could be more unlikely. You are also in for a big surprise when you exit the lift to head for his eponymous Brasserie. There you will discover "Skygarden", a superb free public garden – thanks to the developers – overlooking the roofs of the City with a breathtaking 360-degree view: The Shard, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Canary Wharf towers, St. Paul's Cathedral, Big Ben, London Eye... You can view all the major sites while surrounded by abundant, colourful tropical flora.
And this is where Darwin Brasserie is nestled. Settled at one of the tables, you order some sunkissed Mediterranean-inspired gourmet dishes: green gazpacho, fresh burrata or tender lamb with herbs will delight you. If you are an early riser, come and have breakfast in this unique setting: in the early hours, the exuberant garden and the breathtaking panoramic view of waking London seem to belong to you alone. What a privilege!
20 Fenchurch Street
London EC3M 8AF
+44 333 772 0020
A radical altitude change. After experiencing London's skies, here you are in the basements of Soho. Cahoots bar is located in a former underground station - Kingly Station - which itself served as an air-raid shelter during the Second World War. Once down the steps, you are literally transported into 1940s décor and spirit. Everything is in period style: the tube train in which tables are installed, decorative objects dotted around, and waiters are dressed accordingly – gingham dress for women – waistcoat, braces and cap for men. You close your eyes, listen to jazz music (live concerts from Friday to Sunday) and let swing work its magic.
You wake from your daydream when the server brings you your order, as you discover your cocktail served in a flask. Others are served their drinks in a vintage milk bottle or a mismatched mug. "Swing For Victory" (beet, vodka, rose garnished with an Oxo Cube) or "Judy Garland", (lemon, tea, gin, Aperol, grapefruit and chamomile) have a distinctly friendly retro charm.
13 Kingly Street,
London W1B 5PG
+44 20 7352 6200