Al fresco dining at Fortnum’s 45 Jermyn Street restaurant

Words by
Charlotte McManus

4th May 2021

Ideal for indulgent breakfasts, sun-lit lunches and relaxed summer suppers, the St James’s destination has also launched a special asparagus menu for spring

Since England's Covid-19 restrictions first began to ease in April, the capital started to flourish once more after the long winter lockdown, not least as the result of the welcome reopening of its thousands of bars, restaurants and hotels. After so many months subsisting on the hit-and-miss efforts made in one's own kitchen - occasionally punctuated by the odd takeaway - I'm sure many would agree that it's a true joy to dine out again in London. 

In amongst the swathes of top eateries on offer, Fortnum & Mason's 45 Jermyn Street is well worth considering for your next meal out. While spaces can soon be booked inside the swish St James's restaurant, the outdoor terrace makes for a splendid spot to dine at, whatever the weather - when we went late one evening, the heaters and blankets provided were more than enough to combat the springtime chill. 

Al fresco dining at Fortnum’s 45 Jermyn Street restaurant

The cocktail menu is pleasingly robust, offering champagne-themed serves and Bloody Mary manifestations as well as inspired alcoholic tributes to Beau Brummell, dandy "founder" of Jermyn Street - but we plump for a signature Martini 45 for two, which combines Hepple Gin, Noilly Prat Dry and Palo Cortado in a chilled bottle brought to the table that contains enough liquid for two martinis apiece. 

For starters, I opt for a round of Iranian Beluga 000 caviar, rich and nutty and served with a carb-tastic array of blinis, baked new potatoes and scrambled eggs on the side. However, fans of seasonal spring produce should be sure to catch the Asparagus Menu while the vegetable is still in season - you can enjoy fresh, tender spears in the form of a risotto with morels and wild garlic, as a soup topped with goat cheese croquettes, or simply lightly cooked with a creamy hollandaise sauce. 

Al fresco dining at Fortnum’s 45 Jermyn Street restaurant

Mains arrive in the form of a tender, harissa-roasted Devonshire lamb that comes with crispy seaweed potato and a fragrant chimichurri, as well as a rib-eye with béarnaise that's cooked to perfection. Then, it's a chocolate cake with ganache, honeycomb and hot chocolate orange sauce - which we share, being truly stuffed at this point - as well as a wickedly rich and sticky glass of Tokaji Aszú Puttonyos 2008. London, it's good to be back.