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The Serpentine Bar and Kitchen, Hyde Park

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
The building The Serpentine Bar and Kitchen makes its home in is apparently one of the most famous in London. It looks a bit like a space ship sort of crouching by the side of the Serpentine in Hyde Park (apparently the roof is supposed to look like a bird?). And when I first moved to London this was one of the worst tourist traps in town – like a school cafeteria that doesn't have enough tables to go around. The outside isn't any less 60s-70s modernist, but these days the inside is a lot more welcoming.

And it's not just the décor that's improved, though the battered country pub chic look is a lot more inviting than the old plastic tables and chairs with the legs that made awful scraping sounds. The quality of the food and drink has also shot into the present. Gone are the over priced plastic snacks wrapped in 100 more layers of plastic and in their empty places are some hearty sandwiches and pub style hot meal options, as well as some tastes-like-home-made-cakes and sweet treats. Including some decent brunches, morning and afternoon teas.

They say their menu is inspired by the gardens surrounding the cafe – which would suggest that duck or goose should be on the menu all the time – but in all seriousness these guys have clearly made an effort to work with what's available seasonally and locally. It's very pub grubby, but in a good and hearty way – but when you add the view of the park to the mix though those floor to ceiling windows then everything gets a lot rosier. There are few places in London with a more green and pleasant view.

Proving that even a tourist trap can be brought back.
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Why? There aren't enough places to eat al fresco in London!
Phone: 020 7706 8114
Where: Serpentine Road Hyde Park, London W2 2UH, nearest station Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner
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