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The Foodism guide to... summer in London

We love London in summer, and we'll bet you do too, which is why we consulted our favourite foodies to bring you a guide on the city's best bits, from rooftops to kebab shops

Summer in the city guide: Peter Gordon

The British inclination to talk about the weather goes pretty much hand-in-hand with our undeniable social awkwardness. But in the capital, when it turns for us, we don't just talk; we do. Ironic though it may seem in the most densely populated part of the country, how we spend our time in the sun is an icon of the London lifestyle. From March to September, if we're afforded even an hour or two of glorious sunshine, we flock to green belts and restaurant terraces, we convert empty rooftops into leafy wonderlands, and we barbecue and picnic anywhere that'll have us.

This summer, we wanted to find out the traditions of some of the people who shape our taste. Though chefs, restaurateurs and food writers might not be able to get out much, they know damn well how to make the most of the sun when they do. This is a celebration of summer in neighbourhoods all around London – hopefully it'll inspire you to make the most of yours...

Summer in the City

Clerkenwell Boy

Taste-making foodie Instagrammer

Sunny day spot

Rochelle Canteen – it's a brilliant café and restaurant hidden behind the gate of a converted school yard just off Arnold Circus in Shoreditch. The cooking is seasonal and honest, they're open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays, and guests can bring their own bottle of wine.

Summer drink

My summer drink of choice is cold-brew coffee from Sandows London – made by hand in east London. You can even mix it into a G&T if you like!

Barbecue/picnic essential

I usually bring a bottle of pre-mixed negroni to barbecues and picnics. Simply mix and pour three equal parts of gin, vermouth and Campari into a bottle until it's almost full, top up with a small amount of water, then pop into the freezer overnight.

Neighbourhood haunt

I love the village feel of Clerkenwell in the summertime. There's plenty of cafés and restaurants with al fresco options, and happy people eating and drinking in the sun.

Follow Clerkenwell Boy on Instagram at @clerkenwellboyec1

Peter Gordon

Fusion cuisine maestro and The Providores restaurateur

Sunny day spot

It has to be my back garden in London Fields. At this time of the year the garden is lush and green and gorgeous.

Summer drink

A Cynar spritz – it's basically the same idea as an Aperol spritz, but made with the bitter Italian artichoke-based liqueur Cynar instead.

Peter Gordon

Barbecue/picnic essential

A chilled New Zealand white or rosé. If a white, it'd likely be a chardonnay. If it were an evening BBQ it would be a New Zealand pinot noir.

Neighbourhood haunt

London Fields becomes a huge, open-air barbecuing community in summer. There's a whole section of the fields where everyone is allowed to cook in the open, and the variety of techniques is amazing. Turkish families with very elaborate set-ups and double-pot Turkish tea brewing, to hipsters with their little supermarket BBQs made from disposable foil. The food shops and the Saturday market on Broadway Market are some of the best in London, too, so you know the produce will be top-rate.

peter-gordon.net; theprovidores.co.uk

Emily Roux

Emily Roux

Restaurant Associates consultant, soon-to-be solo restaurateur, and daughter of Michel Roux Jr

Sunny day spot

I love eating at Source in Battersea – it's a real hidden gem. Situated just by the river, it's perfect for a tasty lunch under the sunshine. It serves simple British food that's beautifully seasoned and locally sourced.

Summer drink

My current tipple of choice at the moment is an elderflower and cucumber G&T.

Barbecue/picnic essential

I would definitely bring homemade bread – probably a baguette! I also have a secret stash of colourful and tangy homemade pickles (onions, cucumber etc) that are always a big hit in salads and sandwiches.

Neighbourhood haunt

I live in a lively, super-sociable community that comes alive over the summer. Clapham Common hosts absolutely loads of dance and music festivals over the summer and the atmosphere is always great.

restaurantassociates.co.uk

Summer in the City

Jon Hawkins

Editor, Foodism

Sunny day spot

The tiny Cutty Sark pub in Greenwich is right on the river – exactly where I want to be when the sun's out.

Summer drink

Even crap beer tastes half decent when it's ice cold and the sun's out, but given the proliferation of great summer ales made in London, it's Brew By Numbers' rooibos and lemon saison. Like iced tea in beer form.

Barbecue/picnic essential

The Butchery in Forest Hill's sausages are outrageous, whether straight off the barbecue or cold in a picnic – either way, you're winning.

Neighbourhood haunt

I can't believe I'm recommending hanging out in a car park, but Brockley Market's a great place to head on a sunny Saturday. Hit Tongue & Cheek for a Heartbreaker burger, Veasey & Sons for incredible fish and seafood, and Le Grappin for stunning Burgundy-via-SE23 wines.

Michael Sager

Michael Sager

East London-based restaurateur

Sunny day spot

I really enjoy hanging out on Paradise Row, be it in Paradise Garage, Mother Kelly's and of course at Sager + Wilde, where we've got a big terrace that's perfect when the sun's out

Summer drink

Any of Marcis Dzelzainis's cocktails.

Barbecue/picnic essential

Champagne! It always gets me going...

Neighbourhood haunt

There's so much going on around here: Broadway Market on Saturdays, Columbia Road flower market on Sundays, loads of exciting new shops and boutiques, new cafés, you name it. I really love it around here – around Victoria Park and along the canal are pretty much unbeatable in the summer.

sagerandwilde.com

Rosie Birkett

Rosie Birkett

Food writer, cookbook author and East London stalwart

Sunny day spot

Another vote for Rochelle Canteen in Shoreditch. It's in a really secluded spot with foxgloves and lots of other lovely flowers, so I'll nab a table outside and rip into something gorgeous from the menu like whole roast mackerel or roast chicken.

Summer drink

An ice-cold craft beer. I love Beavertown Neck Oil or Pressure Drop's Pale Fire.

Barbecue/picnic essential

A watermelon, because there's so many things you can do with it and it's so refreshing. The watermelon, feta and radish salad from my book A Lot On Her Plate is a real winner, but it's also great blitzed up with ice, lime, mint and vodka for a summer slushie.

Neighbourhood haunt

Having a picnic in the marshes where I live in East London. There's nowhere else I'd rather be on a really hot day than out in the wild with some cold beers and something I've made at home, like a spinach and feta pie with a panzanella made with really ripe tomatoes. I might even throw in some wild fennel and rocket I've picked up along the way, with a bag of British cherries to round things off.

'East London Food' by Rosie Birkett and Helen Cathcart is out now (£26, Hoxton Mini Press)

Josh Katz

Josh Katz

Levantine barbecue Berber & Q's founder and chef

Sunny day spot

I enjoy perching outside a number of Edgware Road's Persian and Lebanese restaurants, like Abu Said or Shishawi. It's less about the food and more about watching the world go by. At times it feels totally foreign, which I absolutely love.

Summer drink

It would be a tough choice between a negroni and an old fashioned.

Barbecue/picnic essential

A big bag of king prawns and some homemade aioli. A great combination.

Neighbourhood haunt

Edgware Road is packed with revellers spilling out onto the street smoking shisha until late into the evening. It has such great energy and with just a touch of imagination you can transport yourself to being on holiday.

berberandq.com

Mike Gibson

Associate editor, Foodism

Summer drink

Apart from the mandatory Aperol spritz, it's got to be a G&T with a grapefruit garnish, or a dark and stormy.

Neighbourhood haunt

I don't have a garden, but luckily for me I live 30 seconds from Clapham Common. South-west Londoners love the sun – it's like a festival there when the temperature creeps up, and a Saturday afternoon can quickly turn into a lazy few hours mixing drinks on the common and wandering around the farmers' market.

Sandia Chang

Sandia Chang

Bubbledogs' founder and sommelier-at-large

Sunny day spot

The Red Lion and Sun in Highgate. It's got a great beer garden where we can hang out with our dog Noodle and lap up the sunshine.

Summer drink

Riesling – I love its punchy, refreshing sweetness and it's so easy to drink. A particular favourite is Charles Smith's Kung Fu Girl.

Barbecue/picnic essential

For food I would bring corn. For drinks I would always bring champagne (mostly because my friends expect it from me!).

Neighbourhood haunt

We are so close to Hampstead Heath and I just love the energy there in the summertime.

bubbledogs.co.uk

Cat Ashton

Cat Ashton

Paradise by way of Kensal Green's super chef

Sunny day spot

Usually having a barbecue in my back yard with friends. But if I want to go out, my favourite is the Dock Kitchen for outdoor dining in west London. It's absolutely perfect for a sunny day, when you can graze through the whole menu with some nice wine.

Summer drink

I love the classic Aperol spritz. It transports me back me to sitting outside in little bars and cafés in Italy, soaking up the summer rays. Anything long and refreshing for this time of year.

Barbecue/picnic essential

I would pack a nice big roast chicken with some homemade lemon aioli and lots of fresh crusty bread. There's no better end to a party than cheese, so a nice summer selection – especially anything that's French.

Neighbourhood haunt

Heading to a local beer garden for some drinks in the sun or over to Queen's Park for a picnic. My new favourite is heading up to the Pergola on the Roof at the BBC Television Centre and relaxing with music and great pop-up food.

theparadise.co.uk

Lydia Winter

Staff writer, Foodism

Sunny day spot

The Faltering Fullback in Finsbury Park. It's got the most amazing three-storey rooftop garden that's covered in lush greenery, with plenty of nooks and crannies where you can while-away an hour or three.

Barbecue/picnic essential

You can't beat a great potato salad, and it goes with everything. Baby new potatoes, cornichons, chopped red onion and parsley, with a dressing made out of half mayo and half crème fraiche, and a generous amount of white pepper – make sure the potatoes are still slightly warm and it'll distribute more easily.

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