Fancy lingering somewhere new and al fresco this weekend? Course you do. And Coal Drops Yard, that shiny new hangout just north of the Regent’s Canal, has indeed been spruced up rather hopefully for the balmy months.
You can’t miss the dazzling sea of velvet-red geraniums, seemingly filling every corner of the piazza in stylish, sturdy grow-bags. Outside both Alain Ducasse’s Le Cafe and Morty & Bob’s all-day diner are expanded pavement terraces to sit and watch the action. Whilst sipping a brew (or something stronger), of course.
Upstairs – above the cavernous Wolf & Badger – is critics’ darling Hicce, owned by ex-Murano chef Pip Lacey. It’s just unveiled a “living botanical terrace” overlooking the courtyard and Heatherwick Studio’s showpiece ‘kissing’ roofs. And it’s a corker.
The terrace’s green and cream tables were packed on our visit with carefree, sun-worshipping punters pontificating over posh cocktails, wines and the house IPA (courtesy of Hackney Brewery).
Yep, it’s that most precious of things: west-facing. Grabbing a spot outside as the sun dipped, we realized this has to be one of the best spots for sundowners in the area.
Not to mention some of the best sundowners, in fact. We can vouch for the short list of half a dozen made with botanicals-based artisan vodka Ketel One: most pleasing (at least for our sugar-dodging palates) was the Pampelle Spritz, whose bitter-sweet notes of pink grapefruit, lemon and sparkling wine came over like a grown-up, classier Aperol Spritz; while a drier cucumber and elderflower fizz packed a serious alcoholic punch, soothed slightly by a sprig of mint.
To soak it all up, soon there’ll also be a decent range of snacks, buns and hot sticks from the main menu, including courgette flower tempura with peas and hazelnuts, and sea bream ceviche with orange, chilli and pine nuts.
Oh, and from the first weekend in June expect the launch of the Sunday Sunset Sessions with a bunch of Ibizan chill-out DJs creating the vibes. Get there early to nab the best seat (we’re not saying what that is, of course).