Seafood bars are the de rigueur gourmet accoutrement on London terraces this summer, so it’s in keeping with the mood that a crustacean pop-up has appeared on Portman Square, at The Churchill Bar.
Expect Loch Fyne rock oysters, dressed Devon crab and Scottish lobster cocktail on the exclusively end-of-week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) lunchtime menu – a celebration of the best of British fare. Not as patriotic, but no less delicious for it, will be the choice of rosé champagnes and wines to match the food. Among the selection is Bollinger Rosé, 2012 Holden Manz Rosé from South Africa’s Franschhoek, and the heavenly 2012 Domaines Ott, Clos Mireille, Côtes de Provence – summer in a bottle.
New cocktail concoctions are also on offer, delivering modern twists on old favourites. One of them is Gin Blitz: a contemporary take on a G&T made with City of London gin, distilled on Fleet Street at the first new distillery in the City for over 200 years. Combined with star anise, fresh lavender flavours and house-made tonic, it promises to be a heady summer pick-me-up. Vodka devotees might prefer a London Iced Tea, in which vodka and gin are mixed with Cointreau, tequila, rum and lemon juice, together with house-made English Breakfast tea.
No bar named after Winston Churchill (who graces the terrace as a life-sized bronze) would be complete without a selection of cigars. A choice of 28, including Havanas – the Behike 52 or Behike 56 – and the limited-edition Petit Belicosos by Bolivar and Cohiba 1966, sits within a bespoke stained-oak humidor.
Increasingly popular as a venue for a chic after-work tipple, and a grazing spot of choice for ladies who lunch, The Churchill Bar has added a welcome alfresco string to its bow. Let’s just hope the sun finally gets the memo that it’s summer.