Named after the character of the eponymous novel by Virginia Woolf, Dalloway Terrace, within the elegant Bloomsbury hotel in London's literary heartland, is an indoor-outdoor space that offers an oasis of calm just minutes from the bustle of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road.
I was meeting an old family friend for dinner who has known me for longer than I care to remember, and who I don't see often enough, and the pretty, secluded al fresco terrace was the ideal environment to catch up over delicious food. We pored over the new seasonal menu devised by head chef, Hans Louis, for quite a while before we decided on what to choose!
For starters, I opted for the Scottish aged beef carpaccio with grilled artichoke and parmesan, which was fresh and melt-in-the-mouth moreish, while my friend chose the Roasted organic baby beets with goat's curd, which she said was lovely.
Mains for us were the pan-roasted sea bream with tapenade and cherry tomatoes and a side order of chicory with stilton and walnuts, and the risotto with spring vegetables, edamame and wild garlic. There was a wide selection of fish, meat and vegetarian options, including whole Dover sole, Aberdeen Angus dry-aged beef, and the obligatory burger and club sandwich, which I had a moment of food-envy over, as I glanced at it on a neighbouring table, but my sea bream was full of flavour and pan-fried with a delicious buttery finish, and it was more than good enough!
There's an extensive wine list and choice of cocktails – I went for the Elizabeth, a low-alcohol concoction of seedlip garden, chase elderflower, mint, cucumber, dried peas and soda, which was mighty cooling on a sultry summer's evening, while my friend chose a glass of Pinot Grigio, Conto Vecchio 2015 – crisp and refreshing.
Profiterole with pistachio cream and salted caramel ice cream, and a lemon tart with marinated raspberries were the sweet treats at the end of our meal, and we sat there for a while longer, after the plates had been cleared by the friendly and efficient waiting staff, listening to the relaxing jazz-fusion playing in the background and swapping stories of times gone by.
Dalloway Terrace's afternoon tea offering will be tempting me to return; highlights include mango and passion fruit dome, lemon éclair, corn-fed chicken in brioche and freshly baked, plain and sultana buttermilk scones, from £35 per person. Sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon!
Find out about #DallowayFilmClub, showcasing movies through wireless headphones and a 30-foot screen including a selection of dishes that can be ordered from the Dalloway Film Club Menu paired with a bespoke cocktail inspired by the film being shown. Plus, join Lululemon Athletica for yoga classes beneath the beautiful blossom.