The one thing you can rely on when it comes to the British weather is that it's unreliable. Last week I was in summer dresses; this week the winter coat I stuffed away at the back of the wardrobe is back out again. Luckily, for every meteorological eventuality, the newly re-opened Devonshire Terrace has you covered. Literally.
Venue and Atmosphere
I visited Devonshire Terrace on a Friday night. The day had been beautiful and warm, the week long, and we were in the mood for some alfresco drinks to start the night. The bar and restaurant can be found within Devonshire Square beneath a beautiful glass domed roof, which offers brightness on a summer’s evening along with protection from the elements when necessary. There are beautiful trees draped with fairy lights, plenty of comfortable chairs for drinks, and tables for dining. Patio heaters provide warmth when needed, but they were surplus to requirements on the night of our visit.
We sat on a separate terrace at the side of the restaurant, uncovered so we could get the full benefit of the uncharacteristic April warmth. Inside, the dining room is chic and beautifully decorated. In a contrast to the terrace, there is a cosiness to the rooms, with gorgeous furry chair covers and warm lighting. Outside, where we were surrounded by beautiful greenery and accompanied by a great soundtrack, we began to scan the menus.
Food & Drink
The cocktail menu is curated by Fabrizio Cioffi, aka “The Gardener”, who has cultivated his very own cocktail garden and with it, created a menu using a mix of British ingredients with flavours from his home town of Napoli. My best friend accompanying me for dinner chose to enjoy the experimental The Seal Maiden (£10.95), made with Selkie gin created in Cioffi’s own distillery, peach liqueur, lemon, peach bitters and egg white. This gorgeous drink was garnished with a dried slice of lemon, atop a thick, fluffy head and boasting a sweet, mouthwatering flavour. Meanwhile I chose the Brio (£8.95), found on the ‘Enchanted Garden’ section of the menu. Made with one of my favourite gins, Gin Mare, it was accompanied by the tangy flavours of grapefruit, and a sweet wildflower honey syrup, topped with rosemary tonic; refreshing and light and paired perfectly with that summer feeling.
To accompany our food, we ordered a bottle of Provence rosé, La Source Gabriel (£29), which had a beautifully pale blush to it. It complemented my starter of ricotta bruschetta (£7.50), which was creamy and light with a sweet drizzle of honey, as well as my friend's deliciously crunchy plate of salt & szechuan pepper squid (£7.25). We both opted for the pan-fried cod fillet special of the day (£14.95), arriving with a smooth and sweet prawn bisque with celery puree. The fish was juicy, flaky, and boasting a lovely crispy skin; basically, the triple threat of great fish dishes. But for me, the meal highlight came at dessert; the toffee-roasted pineapple topped with a lip-smacking and refreshing passion fruit sorbet (£5.95). The sweet, warm juice of the pineapple and the sticky, crispy toffee created a simple and beautiful dessert. The perfect sweet end to the meal.
For when you want to enjoy a summer’s evening in the City, or pretend that the British weather hasn’t just turned its back on you, Devonshire Terrace is the perfect spot for beautiful and masterfully created drinks and exemplary food. The service is friendly, attentive and welcoming; if you get Patricia as your waitress, you’re in great hands.