This week London officially became the urban beach capital. Three beaches opened in time for the return of the sun on Saturday: Beach Park East (Olympic Park), Camden Beach (Roundhouse) and the Urban Beach (Royal Docks). These add to an already extensive list of sandy summer retreats, including beaches in Chiswick Park, Brent Cross and the National Trust’s Westway beach to name but a few.
A more alternative - albeit more exclusive - beach experience can be found at Gordon Ramsay’s Beach Hut. Situated in the courtyard at the rear of his famous Camden gastropub, York & Albany, the hut is available for private bookings and comes complete with sand, starfish, shells, nets and deckchairs to set the scene, along with speakers to play your own tunes. The main event, however, was the selection of classic British seaside-themed cocktails and miniature nibbles.
My sweet tooth was looking forward to the deserts most of all and they did not disappoint. Caramel popcorn, doughnuts, gooey chocolate cookies and banana split ice cream would probably have sufficed, but no, strawberry cheesecake ice cream was also on the menu. Two ice cream deserts in one sitting might seem a tad intense, however National Ice Cream Day is but a day away, and the cheesecake dairy delight was probably the best of the lot; with breadcrumbs and strawberry flakes atop of the strawberry cheesecake flavoured ice cream and strawberry sauce sitting at the bottom of the cone. Unfortunately I got too carried away indulging to prevent a splurge of strawberry sauce landing all over my legs...but hey ho, such is the predicament of beach life!
Pimm's frozen alcolollies containing frozen pieces of fruit finished the afternoon off nicely, although the flavour could have been a little stronger. My only other criticism, or rather suggestion, would be to replace one of the sugary snacks with an additional savoury one as I shock myself to admit that there was a little too much sugar to handle. That said Beach Hut is a pop-up with a difference, offering the chance to have your own private beach experience with top notch grub and tasty cocktails. Well worth booking for a sunny afternoon!
Author: Sarah Moor
The Beach Hut is available for exclusive bookings for up to 12 guests, and includes a selection of savoury and sweet snacks and two cocktails each for £30 or three cocktails each for £40. A Beach BBQ menu is available for an additional £25 per person.