There’s nothing better than dining alfresco during the summer months. When the British weather decides to play ball, you’ve got to make the absolute most of the sun by finding the best outdoor spots around the big smoke. King’s Cross has plenty going on, with everything from the free outdoor cinema and Regents Canal tours to all the fabulous restaurants you can find hidden away down Coal Drops Yard. We were on the hunt for something a little away from the crowds, and Rotunda ended up being the perfect spot.
The restaurant is situated inside an unassuming office building, making it a little tricky to spot (especially when your navigation skills are subpar at best - like mine), but we managed to find it with a couple of minutes to spare. Its interiors are very stylish, boasting a chic rounded bar, orange velvet seating and floods of light from the large, glass windows.
Excited to see how the outside compared, we stepped out onto the newly opened Tulum terrace, which sits on the edge of Regents Canal. With its Venetian charm and romantic atmosphere, the deck was the perfect place to watch canoes, barges and rowing boats saunter past in the summer sun. They’ve also got a mini outdoor bar, plenty of comfy sofas to relax on, and an entanglement of fairy lights for when the evening settles in.
Our table was situated just a couple of metres away from the water's edge, giving us an amazing view of the canal. As it’s so set back from the madness of London’s central districts, this place is certainly a great choice for those wanting a little peace and quiet.
As the evening was a sunny one and we’d just spent the last 45 minutes on the hottest tube imaginable, it was only right to cool ourselves down with a refreshing cocktail as soon as we could. I had a craving for something fizzy and fruity so opted for the Spiced Granada Spritz (£12.50) which was recommended to us by our server. It was exactly what I needed, the bubbles from the prosecco was the perfect kicker to refresh me after a long day. My boyfriend went for a Rio Rosa (£11.50), a cheeky twist on a classic paloma. Being a huge fan of tequila, it was safe to say this one also went down a treat.
After we’d enjoyed our first tipple, our eyes were immediately drawn to the starters, all of which tickled my fancy. After much umming and ahhing, I landed on the tacos filled with refried beans, tomatoes, olives, avocado and pico de gallo salsa (£9.50). They were so lovingly presented, with a mountain of guacamole in the middle of the plate obviously stealing the show. Naturally, I stuffed a tonne of avo inside each bite and although some of it landed on my trousers (very classy), the hearty taste more than made up for it.
We also ordered a portion of the sticky corneyside farm beef croquettes (£9.50) with a side of lime mayonnaise which was far less messy, but equally as enjoyable. The meat was so tender and completely dissolved in my mouth. Safe to say, I was a little upset when the plate was empty. We decided to order a bottle of Domaine Horgelus, sauvignon blanc (£35) whilst we were waiting for the next course - it would be rude not to, right?
I'm not really the biggest meat eater or the strictest veggie, so tend to label myself as a bit of a ‘flexitarian’. However, as Rotunda is a very meaty eatery, I decided to lean into my carnivorous side for the evening. I took a deep dive into the main menu and landed on the ribeye steak (£36). This was perfect for me as I love a more tender and juicy cut, which this certainly was. Even better, I decided to smother on some chimichurri sauce for a garlicky kick which absolutely hit the spot. Although I usually stick to the classic peppercorn, I don’t think I’ll ever have anything different now. My dining partner decided to go for the sirloin (£39), which was a slightly thicker cut but still very enjoyable.
We also ordered a portion of truffled parmesan fries (£6.50) on the side. I’m a bit of a turophile, so the fact that they were only sprinkled with a few shavings of cheese and not completely covered wasn’t ideal. But they were still a fabulous addition, and soaked up the excess chimichurri perfectly. Additionally, we nibbled on some sweetcorn wings (£5.50) which were totally new to me. They also came with the lime mayonnaise dip, which I'd grown incredibly fond of throughout the evening. For me, these were definitely up there with regular chicken wings. The seasoning had a lovely kick to it, and the corn was incredibly sweet, creating a banging combination.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Rotunda makes for a fabulous drinking and dining spot away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Tulum terrace is a stunning location where you can watch the world go by, with one of its perfectly sweet and refreshing cocktails in hand. If you’re looking for a special place to celebrate a special occasion, or wish to have a couple of tipples, this alfresco dining scene will cater to your needs.
💰 The damage: Around £150 (possibly a bit more if you’re wanting a cheeky dessert)
📍 The location: 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG.
👌 Perfect for: Special occasions, alfresco drinks and indulgent dinners with friends.
⭐ Need to know: This place is dog friendly and they have plenty of treats on hand to spoil your fur-baby rotten.