Even with a kill-me-now hangover stomping around behind your eyes, the brunch at Fields has the power to nurse you back to full health. Use every fibre of your booze-battered soul to utter the words “house-made crumpets and peat-smoked lardy cake”, before slumping onto an outdoor bench, re-wiring your system with Workshop coffee, and letting this second outpost from Balham’s golden child M1LK do the rest.
Look at its roof shaped like an over-microwaved plastic lid. Like a GCSE ceramics catastrophe. Like an airborne pancake. You’d expect the menu inside this Zaha Hadid-designed, Serpentine-hugging structure to be all foams and fusions and nonsense. You’d be wrong, son. The Magazine is a vibrant home-grown affair that’s nowhere near as wallet-decimating as it could have been (eg £9 for smoked salmon and scrambled eggs).
You’ll see a lot of people rushing to use the ‘Gram at Pavilion. It’s a hashtag mecca. Like-earning gold. The arty coffees in these leafy, watery surrounds are #todiefor. Get all your indignation out of the way quickly, though. The menu of ever-changing eats deserves your full attention, with mind-blowers like pastrami and sauerkraut sandwiches with beef gravy dip.
Is the fun-killing “no BBQing in parks” rule one of those EU laws we’re about to get rid of? Are we free to grill in our city’s great green spaces again? Until we find out for sure, there’s Smokehouse – Regent’s Park’s only BBQ stop. OK, the food will never reach the God-league levels of Pitt Cue et al. But hey, the meat’s hot, the craft beers are cold, and the most expensive thing on offer – the double smokehouse burger – is just £8.50. Can’t argue with the numbers, pal.
A lesser pub would have taken its foot off the pedal in a location like this, churning out trash beer and trash food because people, silly people, would be sucked in by the epic park views alone. Pub On The Park is not a lesser pub. If, by winter, you’re an open-fire-and-an-ale kind of guy, by summer you could do a lot worse than ordering up its salami plate, a frosty bottle of something crafty, and kicking back with some uninterrupted greenery in your eyeline.
Words: Chris Sayer
An international festival of light
Dinner in a decommissioned 1967 underground carriage
Half-price brunch and a HUGE fried chicken burger