Executive head chef David Ridgway on where and what to eat this summer
My top three summer food trends
Organic tea: Hot drinks don’t usually spring to mind when it comes to sunshine drinking, but they can be extremely refreshing – especially on sultry, summer evenings. Organic teas have become very popular and the excellent Camellia Tea House has an amazing selection that’s sure to satisfy most Pekoe purists and Oolong enthusiasts
Elegant afternoons: Nothing showcases British summertime better than a delicate, but equally decadent, afternoon tea. Think dainty finger sandwiches and scones slathered with clotted cream and homemade jam. One of my favourites comes from the Meringue Girls, who create brightly coloured meringues and desserts that are guaranteed to provide a vibrant impact to any spread.
Reassuringly rustic: We’re starting to see a rise in dining with a very casual approach, perhaps harking back to that other great summer past-time: the picnic. Simple preparations of fresh, heritage ingredients ensure that none of the great flavours of the produce are masked. It’s very much a case of ‘less is more’, food prepared with the minimum amount of fuss.
What we’ll be seeing on the menu
- Tea cured salmon, buttermilk, shaved heritage radish and trout roe dressing
- Smoked cod with warm bean salad, roast tomato vinaigrette
- Anchovies dipped in pistachio praline
The hottest places to eat this summer
- Forzawin: Unit 4.1, 133 Copeland Road. Scrumptious Italian food using British ingredients, what’s not to love about this Peckham pop-up?
- Percy and founders: 1 Pearson Square. The accurate cooking and casual atmosphere make this a top summer’s pick.
- Prawnography: London EC1Y 1BE. A seafood lover’s haven coming to Old Street roundabout this summer.
- Taberna Mercado: Old Spitalfields Market, 107b Commercial St. The latest venture by the renowned Chiltern Firehouse chef Nuno Mendes.
- Kitty Fishers: 10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair. Ice cream lovers are sure to fall head-over-heels for this intimate restaurant in Shepherd’s Market.
My signature summer dish and cocktail
- The Dish: Warm buttermilk fried chicken salad with saffron potatoes, pickled radish and mustard seed vinaigrette
- The Drink: Apple and Elderflower Fizz
Ingredients & method: Take a tall glass with cubed ice, squeeze a fresh lemon wedge over the ice and drop into the glass. Add 50ml of Sourz Apple, add 10ml of Elderflower cordial, top up with lemonade, stir and serve. Summer in a glass.
Ingredients of summer
- Medjool dates
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