What do we need to know about Vintage Salt?
This is the latest iteration of the rooftop space on the top of Selfridges. For the summer it's been given a Cornish fishing village makeover - so think lots of driftwood and beach hut decor and a distinct seafood bent to the menu. It's run by Des McDonald, who was behind the previous pop-ups and who also owns Q Grill, Fish & Chip Shop and Holborn Dining Room. To get to it, you have to take the dedicated lift to the left of the Chanel franchise on the ground floor.
We turned up on a typical on-off-on-again British summer's day, which meant it was raining when we arrived, so the roof was up. But the first sight of sunshine and in a flick of a switch the retractable roof was gone, making this a pretty great place to be on a sunny day.
Where should I meet friends for a drink first?
The restaurant does have a small bar area indoors, but if the weather's good (and there's room) then the obvious choice would be the rooftop terrace here complete with beach hut bars and plenty of outside seating. Alternatively, head for the Harry Gordon's Bar & Kitchen on the lower ground floor of the store for a glass of fizz or craft beer.
Where's the best place to sit?
If there's two of you - the tables next to the window are the must-haves. There's also some rather nice banquette tables along the wall for larger groups. If we had any quibble about this place, though, it's that they've rather crammed the room. It would have been nice to have a little more space between the tables.
And the food?
We enjoyed so much of our meal here it's actually hard to single out star dishes, but of the everyday a la carte items, we'd urge you to try:
- The Camden Hells fried fish and chips - light, brittle batter and an exemplary chip shop cod and chips (£15)
- Cornish lamb chops - super sweet little chops served up with spring vegetables and a minty, green sauce (£25)
- Truffled chips - we could develop a serious addiction to these truffy, parmesan cheesy fries (£5.50)
- Chocolate burger - clever little dessert featuring choux buns with white chocolate cheese, chocolate patty and served up with churros for chips (£8.50)
- Vintage Salt cigar - brandy snap filled with salted caramel with shards of honeycomb (£7.20)
What about the drink?
If you're thinking of taking the kids here - there's a lot of rather lovely soft drinks on the menu. The pink lemonade in particular went down a treat with our pre-teen testers. As for the grown-ups, we had a gorgeous bottle of Chateau Miraval - better known as Brangelina's rose (£50). While it may have a celebrity provenance, it's actually very good and the perfect thing to be drinking here on a bright day. Although we may have to go back for a go at the seaweed martini.
For a rooftop restaurant in a department store, you might presume that the food would be of secondary importance to the setting. But we were blown away by our meal here. Fantastically fresh seafood, friendly staff and next-level desserts, no wonder this place is packing them in every day.
Vintage Salt is on the roof at Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB. Find out more about Vintage Salt.
Hot Dinners were invited to Vintage Salt. Prices were correct at the time of writing.