AL FRESCO BRI­TAIN

The 55 hottest places to stay cool this sum­mer

BBC Good Food - - Contents -

The 55 hottest places to stay cool this sum­mer, from rooftops to wa­ter­side idylls

Sum­mer’s here; time to get out on Bri­tain’s sun-baked streets and rooftop gar­dens and to en­joy its cute wa­ter­side idylls with some al fresco eats and booze. As the mer­cury rises, Good Food has the skinny on the coolest places to chill in our bustling cities and beyond words TONY NAYLOR

WA­TER­SIDE CHILL IN LEEDS

From the river gar­den at sub­ur­ban beer par­adise, Kirk­stall Bridge Inn (kirk­stall­bridge.co.uk), to the ter­race at Fran­cophile city-cen­tre stal­wart, Brasserie Forty 4 (brasserie44.com), there are nu­mer­ous places in Leeds where you can re­lax be­side the River Aire or Leed­sliv­er­pool canal. But, this sum­mer, it is all about the new­bies. Off Leeds Dock, North Star Cof­fee & Gen­eral Store, a col­lab be­tween roast­ers North Star and Noisette Bake­house (£5.50-£9; north­star­roast.com), is newly open for su­perb cof­fee, sunny sea­sonal brunches and ban­gin’ bread, tarts and scones. If you want to snack on the wa­ter’s edge, grab a take­out of Noisette’s sig­na­ture soured cream bat­ter Morn­ing Cakes. At Wa­ter Lane Boathouse, an ex-gra­nary that spills out onto a Canal Wharf ter­race, chef Ben Davy cre­ator of fa­bled food out­lets at Bel­grave Mu­sic Hall and Head­row House (Ox Club, Patty Smith’s etc.) – is serv­ing knock­out Neapoli­tan pizza. These sour­dough beau­ties are blast-cooked in an im­ported Ste­fano Fer­rara – the Fer­rari of hand­made clay pizza ovens–and topped ei­ther su­per tra­di­tion­ally, with, say, San Marzano tomato sauce and moz­zarella, or (echo­ing the cre­ativ­ity at Ben’s Ny-style slice bar, Dough Boys), fresh com­bos such as smoked aubergine, roast cauli and gre­mo­lata. ‘We’re mak­ing bread, too,’ says Ben, re­fer­ring to Wa­ter Lane’s menu of sassy sand­wiches.

‘We did some re­search and talked to Gra­ham [Faragher] at Bertha’s Pizza in Bris­tol, who bakes us­ing his Ste­fano Fer­rara. It in­spired us to do the same.’ Wash all that down with on-point craft beers, in­clud­ing ales from Leeds’ own North­ern Monk (from £4.95; wa­ter­laneboathouse.com).

MEDITER­RANEAN ESCAPES IN CARDIFF

True, there are cooler Med-flavoured joints in town. Check Dusty Knuckle’s (@dusty_knuckle) wood-fired piz­zas served in the court­yard at art hub, Printhaus. And pret­tier ones, too. The sun-trap gar­den at Roath’s Porro (por­ro­cardiff. com) is a sweet spot, even be­fore you get to its gutsy Ital­ian plates of pap­pardelle with braised ox cheek. But there is some­thing about Bar 44 (spoiler: it’s the food; ta­pas from £3.60; bar44.co.uk), which makes its hand­ful of pave­ment ta­bles the hottest of real es­tate over sum­mer. Pre­tend the Mil­len­nium Sta­dium op­po­site is the Nou Camp and you could be in Barcelona as you graze on ibérico cro­que­tas; braised lamb with charred onions & Navar­rese chis­torra sausage; or Moor­ish roast squash with mint, al­monds & spiced aubergine purée.

BREW-TAPS & BEER FOOD IN MANCH­ESTER

Cen­tral Manch­ester’s rail­way arches and in­dus­trial units are teem­ing with ter­rific young brew­eries (Run­away, Shindig­ger, Squawk, Track, Cloud­wa­ter), who throw ir­reg­u­lar brew-tap par­ties, bring­ing to­gether the city’s best beer and street food. You can check their dates on Twit­ter and Face­book, but first swing by Al­pha­bet Brew­ing Co. (meals £5-9; @Al­pha­bet­brewco), which every Satur­day, on a grimy street be­hind Pic­cadilly Sta­tion, show­cases four traders as di­verse as Di­a­mond Dogs and dosa dons, Chaat Cart. Dig in over a pint of Al­pha­bet’s bril­liant, chewy A-to-the-k oat­meal pale ale and, if the dates align, then head to Black­jack (25-27 Au­gust; black­jack-beers. com), which, at its lively tap nights, has given early ex­po­sure to many of the break-out stars on Manch­ester’s street scene.

HID­DEN SPA­CES IN ED­IN­BURGH

Par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the Fringe fes­ti­val (4-28 Au­gust), vis­i­tors to Ed­in­burgh need to know its hid­den out­door spa­ces; those places where you can swerve the crowds and take a breather. For drinks, try the back­yard beer gar­dens at Black­bird (the­black­bird­ed­in­burgh.co.uk) and the craft colos­sus, Salt Horse (salthorse.beer), but for guar­an­teed high-grade gas­tro thrills head to Tim­ber­yard (mains from £12.50, lunch; tim­ber­yard.co). In this hip, post-in­dus­trial space,

the Rad­ford fam­ily have cre­ated a New Nordic-in­spired restau­rant (ex­pect lots of for­ag­ing, smok­ing, pre­serv­ing and nat­u­ral wine), where chef Ben Rad­ford makes dis­tinc­tive use of some ex­cep­tional Scottish pro­duce. Sit­ting in the hand­some court­yard, you might en­joy raw Isle of Mull scal­lops so fresh they’re still pul­sat­ing, served with in­tense pea juice, fresh peas, radish and wild sor­rel. The only is­sue, laughs Ben, is the un­pre­dictable weather: ‘In Scot­land we can’t take book­ings for the yard, but on a good day it gets the sun from 10am un­til 7pm.’

SUN & SHADE IN BIRM­ING­HAM

There might not be many cool, shady nooks amid cen­tral Brum’s chaotic ur­ban sprawl, but seek and ye shall find. If you pre­fer gritty to pretty, the quirky rail­way arch ‘gar­den’ at next-level burger joint, Orig­i­nal Patty Men (from £6.50; orig­i­nal­pat­ty­men.com) – all fake grass, pot plants and tres­tle ta­bles – is great. As is its clas­sic ba­con cheese­burger: charred, moist Longhorn beef, peppy pick­les and Amer­i­can cheese. For a more re­fined ex­pe­ri­ence, head into leafy in­ner-sub­urb Edg­bas­ton, where the Miche­lin-starred Simp­son’s oc­cu­pies one of the area’s many white Ge­or­gian vil­las. The decked ter­race is the per­fect place to linger over highly cre­ative, sum­mery dishes such as chef Nathan Eades’ lob­ster & her­itage Eve­sham tomato salad. It comes with a chilled tomato & co­rian­der tea that, as you fin­ish, you pour into the bowl and slurp down (from £35; simp­son­srestau­rant.co.uk).

HIGH-RISE DIN­ING IN LONDON

City suits love the neatly man­i­cured rooftop gar­den at Coq D’ar­gent (co­q­dar­gent.co.uk), and Shored­itch ad ex­ecs the cit­rus-scented or­angery at Bound­ary (bound­ary.london). But when the Good Food team want to get high, we head up to the gor­geous rooftop gar­den at Spi­tal­field’s laid­back Culpeper. This neo-vic­to­rian boozer does a fine line in in­gre­di­ent-fo­cused, mod­ern Euro­pean dishes, such as cour­gette tart with pea shoots & ri­cotta, and there is a wood-fired grill on the roof, too (think lamb chops with chimichurri). The ad­ja­cent green­house sup­plies in­gre­di­ents for the pub’s sea­sonal herbal cock­tails, served along­side lo­cal craft ales and nat­u­ral wines. Try Am­peleia’s Tus­can red, Un­l­itro (mains from £12.50; theculpeper.com).

FIVE-STAR STREET FOOD IN BRIS­TOL

London aside, Bris­tol is prob­a­bly the only UK city where street food is an ev­ery­day ac­tiv­ity. In stel­lar sand­wich van Pickle ( pick­le­bris­tol.co.uk) or those ven­dors clus­tered in St Nicholas Mar­ket (try BBQ pit bosses Grill­stock and Le­van­tine wrap stars, Eat A Pitta; stni­cholas­mar­ket­bris­tol.co.uk), the city has an un­usu­ally high num­ber of per­ma­nent street food out­lets. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, nu­mer­ous weekly mar­kets – Wine Street (Tues­days and Fri­days), Tem­ple Quay and Finzels Reach (ca­su­sev­ents.co.uk) and the Tobacco Fac­tory (to­bac­co­fac­tory.com) – sup­port many more top-notch traders. From the wellestab­lished Bagel Boy to Pick­led Brisket

(now open at the food-fab­u­lous ship­ping con­tainer devel­op­ment Cargo), many of Bris­tol’s traders grad­u­ate to fixed sites rel­a­tively quickly, too. ‘Bris­tol is a fan­tas­tic in­cu­ba­tor,’ says Ah-ma’s Anita Che­ung, whose dumplings are in de­mand (ah­mas­dumplings.com): ‘There’s a re­cep­tive au­di­ence, the South West has ex­cel­lent pro­duce and prop­erty de­vel­op­ers are real­is­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties that sup­port­ing small in­de­pen­dents can bring.’

ES­CAPE THE CITY IN OX­FORD

On blis­ter­ingly hot days, es­cap­ing cen­tral Ox­ford’s traf­fic and tourists can be­come an ur­gent ne­ces­sity. Luck­ily, you do not have to travel far for tran­quil­lity. On the edge of town, Cher­well Boathouse

(mains from £17.75; cher­well boathouse.co.uk), is, per­haps, the only restau­rant in Bri­tain where you can hire a punt af­ter a classy lunch on its river­side ter­race. Fur­ther afield but equally unique is the sculp­ture gar­den at the The Sir Charles Napier (mains from £19.50; sir­charlesnapier.co.uk), a pol­ished Miche­lin-starred pub in the Chiltern Hills. At The White Hart near Abing­don (mains from £16; white­hart-fy­field.com), chef-owner Mark Chan­dler uses his kitchen-gar­den to bring a vivid edge to so­phis­ti­cated dishes such as roasted hal­ibut with clam cro­quettes, braised Lit­tle Gem & tartare but­ter sauce. In sum­mer, din­ing spills out onto a ter­race lush with green­ery.

BRIL­LIANT BEER GAR­DENS IN GLAS­GOW

There are a ridicu­lous num­ber of memorable open-air drink­ing spots in Glas­gow. For in­stance, the gar­den at Brel Bar is un­ex­pect­edly cute (brel­bar.com); West has pala­tial splen­dour to spare (we­st­on­the­green.com); and the Ubiq­ui­tous Chip’s wee rooftop sits above that iconic restau­rant (ubiq­ui­touschip.co.uk). But for craft beer lovers in par­tic­u­lar, Dry­gate is a must-visit. More stylish than it first ap­pears, this bar, restau­rant and mi­cro-brew­ery has an un­apolo­get­i­cally in­dus­trial vibe thanks to its lo­ca­tion within Ten­nent’s huge Well­park brew­ery site.what it lacks in soft edges, it makes up for in stag­ger­ingly good beer. 26 taps and 200 bot­tles cover all bases (try Dry­gate’s Seven Peaks mo­saic hop IPA), while the kitchen de­liv­ers up­scale burg­ers, 60-day aged feath­erblade steaks with roasted bone mar­row and luxe sides such as a cray­fish and chorizo mac ’n’ cheese (mains from £8.95; dry­gate.com).

BEACH BITES IN BRIGHTON

The Kings Road arches that run along­side Brighton’s prom­e­nade are home to a clutch of great beach­side restau­rants. This sum­mer’s big open­ing is Mur­mur, a ca­sual se­quel to chef Michael Brem­ner’s ac­claimed 64 De­grees. Sim­i­larly laid­back, Lucky Beach

(from £8.50; luck­y­beach.co.uk), is an arch café with a surf-y vibe that serves ter­rific or­ganic, grass-fed burg­ers topped with novel ad­di­tions such as chicken-fat fried onions, sam­bal or burnt green chilli but­ter. Al­ter­na­tively, stroll down to Rid­dle & Finns for spank­ing seafood and ocean views (mains from £14.50; rid­dle­andfinns.co.uk).

The Culpeper in London’s Spi­tal­fields A feast at Nan­car­row Farm in Corn­wall

Rid­dle & Finns in Brighton

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