Roof Deck Restaurant and Bar at Selfridges

The Roof Deck Restaurant and Bar Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB, UK Tel: +44 20 7318 3287

Photos: Roanne Monte

Balmy Californian-style may likely be the last thing on anyone’s mind when thinking about London. For all the city’s reputation of deadpan cool and dry wry humor, the almost year-round gray cloudy skies punctuated by bleak, damp cold winters can test the resolve of even the heartiest. Frequent trips to the pub (starting at noon, no less) may provide respite, but the newly opened Roof Deck Restaurant and Bar at Selfridges on Oxford Street may be an option worth exploring.

Weather permitting, you can dine al fresco with a view of one of London’s main shopping districts Cali-style, replete with succulents atop wooden tables. Mid-century utilitarian chairs on the seemingly worn, patinated wood floor add to the relaxed feel—the kind you might get from a beachside surf shop ragged from salt and sand. I have to admit to experiencing some cognitive dissonance being in such a setting amidst regional British and London accents. But the staff’s unfussy friendly attitude made me quickly forget and focus instead on the simple summery menu.

It was a quick pit stop lunch for me, so I started with The Deck sparkling wine—which was both fruity and dry—and went straight for the main of prawn a la plancha with blistered corn and pomegranate. The lime-based sauce gave enough zest without overpowering the pomegranate’s delicate yet acidic note. Juxtaposed with the brininess of the prawns and along with starch from the fresh corn, the sauce balanced out the dish perfectly.

In keeping with the West coast theme, I finished with the Meyer lemon cake served with tangy vanilla bean ice cream. Aesthetically, the plating of this iconic dessert was nothing short of lovely. Warmth from the lemon yellow from the cake, along with the cool blue from the floral plate was a lesson in color contrasts.

Short for time, I head back out to the bustle of Oxford Street feeling sufficiently Californian.

The Roof Deck Restaurant and Bar Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB, UK Tel: +44 20 7318 3287

Vibe: Lively.
Sound: If you want less chatter, sit close to the outdoor seating area.
Drinks/Wine: Some interesting cocktails for a late afternoon aperitif. Otherwise, the Deck sparkling white is a good table wine that goes with most dishes.
Price: $$ (moderate)

Roanne Monte
Founder and Editor-in-Chief at
I have lived (and still do) and spent time in major cities such as London, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, most Australian capital cities and, of course, New York. When I am not traveling, working, performing, or getting involved in causes I am passionate about, I can be found in the kitchen dreaming up cupcake combinations.
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