The hotspots London’s celebs can’t wait to visit once doors are reopened

Joanna Taylor
·8-min read
 (The Standard)
(The Standard)

Haven’t booked a table for the end of lockdown yet? Perhaps these famous Londoners will inspire you...

Matilda Goad, designer and creative consultant

I can’t wait to visit Joy. Last summer Stevie Parle arrived at the forgotten, once-loved home of Tom Dixon on the canal in North Kensington. The site with its vast terrace serves food cooked on its outdoor wood oven, while a row of pagodas creates intimate and more importantly, warm, spaces for outdoor dining.

Portobello Dock
Portobello Dock

Portobello Dock, 344 Ladbroke Grove, W10

Ravneet Gill, chef

There are so many places that I can’t wait to visit from 12 April, I couldn’t possibly choose just one. There is Llewelyn’s in Herne Hill which is right by the station and perfect on a sunny day. I just love Wild By Tart and they’ve decked out the courtyard for really lovely outdoor dining. I also love heading to Netil Market for the best pita at Pockets or equally incredible tacos from Sonora, plus I’m eagerly anticipating the opening of Mike’s in Peckham, which sounds great.

Wild By Tart terrace
Wild By Tart terrace

Llewelyn’s, 293-295 Railton Road, Herne Hill, SE24; Wild By Tart, 3-4 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, SW1; Netil Market, Westgate Street, Hackney, E8; Mike’s, 133 Copeland Road, Peckham, SE15

Clara Amfo, presenter

I’m really looking forward to going back to St John’s Lodge in Regent’s Park. I was introduced to it by Alice Levine and have daydreamed of going back there since my first visit. Once you step in, it’s hard to leave because it’s pretty enchanting. Perfectly maintained lawns, beautiful flowers and hidden away just enough to make it a not so secret garden. It’s ideal for a solo afternoon of reading, an overdue catch-up with a friend or a low-key date.

St John’s Lodge
St John’s Lodge

Regent’s Park, NW1

Taj Atwal, actor

I absolutely love Brixton Market. There’s a place called Okan that does the most delicious, home-made comfort food from downtown Osaka. It’s absolutely tiny and you can watch the chefs make the food. You’d be lucky if you can grab a bench for six outside as there’s always a queue. They also have a zero food waste policy, so it’s a win-win!

Okan
Okan

Unit 39, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, SW9

Alexandra Roach, actor

On the 12th, as we all scramble to see our pals again I will be suggesting we keep it classy and central at the Double Standard terrace in The Standard hotel. It oozes style but with a sprinkling of convenience. Its hot dog is enough to push past the anxiety of having to actually leave the house. The menu suggests we pair one with a glass of Moët and after the year we’ve had… we’d be fools to say no. We deserve it, babes.

Double Standard terrace
Double Standard terrace

10 Argyle Street, King’s Cross, WC1

Otegha Uwagba, author

The first place I’ll be visiting as soon as it’s safe to do so is Duck Soup in Soho. I intend to run to them with open arms and take up residence on one of their outdoor tables until I am forcibly removed. It’s my favourite London restaurant — the food is sublime, the cocktails pleasingly strong and the service is always on point. I can’t wait to return.

Duck Soup
Duck Soup

41 Dean Street, Soho, W1

Charlotte Mensah, hair stylist

Babajani is without doubt my favourite spot. It’s right next to my salon, too. What’s not to love about a family-owned, Kurdish-meets-Caribbean eatery? The owners, Ghino and Khris, are personal friends of mine but above that, I just love what they’ve done with their space and more importantly, the communal spirit that burns so brightly in everything they do. Nothing beats Portobello Road in the sun and nothing beats their date jerk chicken Mesopotamian bowl with a San Pellegrino to wash it down. If it’s not me there, then it’s my clients. Trust me — Babajani is a must this summer.

Babajani
Babajani

322A Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W10

Clym Evernden, artist

Remember that scene in Jurassic World where the velociraptors are wide eyed and snorting, ready to be released from their constraints? That’s me right now in anticipation of hot-footing it to the terrace at Claridge’s Bar. I think it will offer the ultimate remedy after lockdown as it’s both comforting yet shimmers with a discreet and heavenly glamour, and I can’t wait to bask in front of a cocktail or two there.

Claridge’s
Claridge’s

Brook Street, Mayfair, W1

Russell Tovey, actor and podcaster

I can’t wait to get to Rochelle Canteen, off Arnold Circus, which is well established within the art community. The owners, Melanie and Margot, are the best and the food is delicious. Then follow that with a wander through Maureen Paley’s Studio M soaking up some much-needed culture to cure these lockdown blues.

Rochelle Canteen
Rochelle Canteen

Rochelle Canteen, 16 Playground Gardens, Shoreditch, E2

Alex Eagle, entrepreneur and designer

As a young child, where I lived backed on to Chiswick House and Gardens. The house is a Palladian villa built in the 18th century by the Earl of Burlington and the grounds created by William Kent are an early example of the English landscape garden. There is a lovely mixture of wild areas to explore and neatly mown grass. It felt magical when I was little and I still get a tingle when I visit. Portland stone statues of Greek gods and animals decorate the manicured lawn in front of the house and hedge-lined paths connect one secret garden to another. My children love feeding the ducks, geese, herons, swans, moorhens and coots, taking great delight in naming them and tossing them bird seed. We’ll sit on the banks of the lake and enjoy an impromptu picnic. It connects my childhood with theirs and is top of my list.

Chiswick House and Gardens
Chiswick House and Gardens

Burlington Lane, Chiswick, W4

Bronagh Waugh, actor

I love sitting outside the Royal Festival Hall or the National Theatre on a sunny day but I’m most looking forward to seeing my mates perform back at the Underbelly Festival on the Southbank. We could all do with a proper good belly laugh right now and I’ll even settle for no alcohol for the time being just to see my pals (I’m eight months pregnant!). I can’t wait to head to the Ham Yard Hotel for a daytime meet-up before going on to The Yard in Soho to bump into old friends and stay out too late. If I’m feeling really fancy I’ll head to the rooftop for a treat and a view!

Ham Yard Hotel
Ham Yard Hotel

Ham Yard Hotel, One Ham Yard, Soho, W1; The Yard, 57 Rupert Street, Soho, W1

Portia Freeman, model

The Red Lion and Sun has been our local for as long as I can remember. With not one but two gorgeous beer gardens, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to catering for those long lazy summer lunches with either a chilled bottle of vino or an ice cold pint of Stella Artois, who are launching Stella Tips to tip the staff £1 from every pint when pubs reopen. Celebrations for all!

Not to mention it’s kid and dog friendly! Offering an impressive and incredibly extensive wine list, legendary landlord Heath always has an extra trick hidden up his sleeve (down in his cellar). Like everyone right now, Pete and I cannot wait to grab a slice of normality and as soon as April 12th flies round that’s exactly where you’ll find us. Cannot wait!

Red Lion and Sun
Red Lion and Sun

The Red Lion and Sun, 25 North Rd, Highgate, N6

Yinka Ilori, Artist, designer and creator of one of this week’s four ES Magazine covers

Shoreditch House rooftop reopens on 12th April for outdoor dining and is where I will be heading for a Saturday afternoon with friends. The views from the rooftop pool deck show off the changing skyline of London and has a great relaxed vibe, particularly at sunset. For food, I go for the pizzas and for cocktails it’s the signature Negroni - but the menu is extensive, so it’s rude not to try quite a few.

Shoreditch House
Shoreditch House

Shoreditch House, Ebor St, Shoreditch, E1

Greentea Peng, musician

The first place I’ll be heading when things are back to any relative state of normality, will most definitely be The Railway Tavern, Tulse Hill. With a big buzzing beer garden and numerous comfy hideaway spots, the afternoon can easily escape you.

They have a tasty affordable menu, friendly staff and the tunes. I’ve spent a few saturday nights playing records down there myself and always enjoy it as it’s such a mixed bunch.

The Railway is a melting pot of all, old and young, there’s even some local poets about, who you’ll often find in song. I can’t wait to spend an afternoon there as we once did, with the band in the sun and a couple of spliffs. I love South [London] because it encompasses all creeds!

The Railway Tavern
The Railway Tavern

The Railway Tavern, 7 Station Rise, West Norwood, SE27