Serpentine Bar & Garden
‘Public space eating’ implies rubbery canteen food for unsuspecting, easy come, easy go tourists, but when bar dining in London here we beg to differ. Patrick Gwynne’s 1960s’ winged structure with the idyllic Serpentine lake for a backdrop has seen all that. Then in summer 2009, brothers Ben and Hugo Warner (aka benugo, the caterers reversing the fates of so many public-space eateries, among them the V&A, Natural History Museum and the BFI; see Drink) came along, bringing with them a wood-fired oven, a baby grand (do play if you really can), and locally sourced food and speciality British beers and ciders. Think nostalgia and doing things properly, albeit on a scale. With 300 covers inside and out (no booking, no table service, but then nothing is over £10), there’s an all-day a` la carte-lite menu (think British revival-lite – posh roasts, ham hock, potted shrimps, sticky puddings) served on floral Burleigh crockery at vintage wooden tables, plus pizza, afternoon tea, grab’n’go sarnies, hampers and breakfast. Unfortunately, you will not be alone in thinking how nice it would be to watch the sunset here with a glass of wine in high season.