Exterior of Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill in Mayfair, London

Al fresco feasting returns

‘If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring.’

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Spring, to us, sings of fresh opportunity. This year, that opportunity happens to come in the form of alfresco dining. It does not do to dwell on the doldrums of yesteryear, but to look ahead in excited anticipation at the thought of gathering in the sunshine once again, to feast to your heart’s content. 

For those seeking a place to pursue the long-prohibited practice of communal commensality, our terrace is a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus, and fully weatherproof. Don’t worry, we are not naïve to the possibility of a few April showers. 

And what better time to gather than April, a month of renewed abundance. The daffodils are out in full force, the forest floor is carpeted in bluebells and the potent whiff of wild garlic permeates any woodland walk. Richard Corrigan and the Virginia Park Lodge team have been busily prepping produce in the Gooseberry Gardens, and soon there will be a surge of asparagus, rhubarb, Jersey royals and more, to play a starring role in our specials. 

Our beloved natives are on the way out, so do try to catch them before we say ta’ra to the season. However, we will, as always, be shucking some rather spectacular rock oysters, to be slurped with careless abandon over a bottle of your favourite fizz. ‘Carpe diem’ is the aphorism of the season, and indulgence is top of the agenda! 

Picture the scene, it’s a balmy spring day, you’ve been for an amble around Green Park, which means you’ve earned a trip into Fortnum & Mason to pick up a box of those violet creams that have long been filling your dreams. All of a sudden, you find your appetite to be well and truly whet, and a spot of lunch might just be essential at this point. 

Off you charge towards Charing Cross, only to stumble across Swallow Street. The sounds of cutlery clatter and happy chatter first arouses your interest, and soon you find yourself being poured a rather magnificent glass of Cervaro della Sala, and tucking into a platter piled high with oysters, crab and langoustine. You while away the afternoon, and have all but forgotten your close proximity to Regent Street. Instead, you have been transported onto a Venetian terazza. Who needs a European break when you’ve got Bentley’s?    

What’s that? Could you be tempted by another glass? Oh, go on then. It’s a celebration after all…

Freedom is upon us dear friends, and we vow never to take these moments for granted again!

People dining in the terrace at Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill seafood restaurant in Mayfair, London

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