One Saturday morning, after fighting through the stamping and stomping of Marylebone market, and weighed down by an impromptu purchase or two (*slaps wrists*), it wasn’t long before I needed a caffeine injection and time out. Luckily the Rooftop Kitchen, perched atop of Alfies antiques market, was waiting with open doors.
A somewhat dodgy-looking lift took us up, up and away to the wooden-decked rooftop; my friend was on crutches, or else we would’ve braved the stairs. I felt a bit like I was sipping coffee (Monmouth, for the record) in a Brighton emporium, but with London views. Everything’s a bit of a mish-mash, but you’ve got to roll with it. This is a place where top hats straddle the walls, antiquated wedding dresses hang like ghosts from the ceiling, and the staff wear open smiles.
Somewhere between a vintage teapot and a dusty military jacket we found paninis and peppermint tea. The menu doesn’t serve up any surprises, but it’s got everything you need for a shopping pit stop, from tapas to a Full English. Too often when I’m entering the state of post-shopping delirium, I’ll collapse into the nearest Starbucks – mainly because the omnipresent franchise is always but a pebble’s throw away. But as an interval to a bargain hunt, this beats the chains hands down.
Defiant clouds invaded the skyline on the day we visited, but I can imagine that on a sunny day, it’d offer the perfect piece of peace amidst the sea of traders and treasures. Let’s hope they get a license for alcohol at some point, because this is the place to sip a quintessentially British gin and tonic (perhaps with a slice of cucumber) and watch the world go by.
When the sun rears its seldom-seen head, us Londoners unashamedly form pasty stampedes to the nearest park, roof, balcony or inch of outside space. Today it’s raining. But next time the herds assemble, between you and me, I’d trample forth to the Rooftop Kitchen.
Top Floor, Alfies Antique Market
13-25 Church Street
Tel: 0207 2583 300