Winston was a winner and so will you be after a few hours idling away the day at the Pop-up Summer Terrace at The Churchill. One of London's most celebrated cocktail bars is heading outdoors and we're here for it. Literally. That's how reviews work.
The theme is nautical: so placemats depicting harbours, ornamental shells, waitresses dressed up as mermaids wheeling themselves from table to table in portable bathtubs.
OK, the last one isn’t true (at the time of writing): the summer terrace does a nice job of selling its concept without slipping into the realms of gimmick, and I fear such restraint rules out anything involving sequins and a tail.
How’s the food?
The terrace’s nautical theme is unsurprisingly reflected in its menu. The Octopus Burger on a brioche bun is a very welcome alternative to the standard beef or chicken options. Octopus is good with anything and, yes, that includes burgers as well. Excellent chips, too.
If you fancy something a little more European, the Squid Ink Linguine both looks cool and tastes delicious: you’ll be wanting some bread for that sauce.
You’ll be wanting some bread, full stop: the Rosemary Sourdough is baked fresh, comes as a warm bun, and frankly counts among the finest bread I’ve ever eaten. My friend took the leftovers home to her family. Apparently even cold, it’s still great.
What to drink?
You’ll want a white or a rose, assuming you’re going for seafood: we got a bottle of the former, a Roussanne that went down a treat.
There are plenty of options – including red, if you must – so all palates should be catered for. Plus champagne, if you’re feeling flush.
Why not end the meal with the signature Churchill’s Tot? The cocktail is aged in an oak wooden barrel and inspired by Churchill's time in the Mediterranean: Rebel Yell Rye Whiskey, Benedictine, Martini Gran Reserva Rubino.
Raise one to the big man. Or even two – Winston wasn't known for abstinence.
Will it bankrupt me?
The aforementioned burger and linguini set you back £19 each so it’s not cheap; even less so if you share a lobster and fries for £68. The bread is a steal at a fiver.
Wines range from £32 - £75 a bottle, with the cocktail £15. I imagine – although no guarantees – you’ll be able to order booze from the main bar if you request.
There’s no way you’re spending less than £60 but you’ll struggle to break three figures unless you go really rogue. Or you order a bottle of champagne – anywhere from £85 to £350. That’ll do it.
Anything else to note?
The bar was initially called The Montagu Summer Terrace but changed its name due to the other assorted Montagus in the area.
But if one of your mates was raving about a cute little outdoor bar called Montagu something or other, a bar which cannot be found on Google, it’s probably this one.
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