Selfridges’ rooftop reopens with hidden Italian garden and restaurant

Selfridges’ iconic rooftop has just reopened in partnership with the independent Italian restaurant brand San Carlo, and the result is one of the season’s most talked-about launches!

Open since Friday 27 April, alto by San Carlo brings Italy’s elegance and finest ingredients to the West End. As guests step out of the express lift at the top floor of Selfridges, they find themselves walking into a secret Italian garden high above the hustle and bustle of Oxford St. Greeted by a floral installation studded with Italian chinotto fruit, they continue their journey via an evergreen walkway before arriving at equally stylish and green landscaped space.

Guests can choose to dine in the restaurant, where the retractable roof makes it the perfect destination whatever the weather, or al fresco on the sun terrace. Here an equally charming bar offers a selection of expertly mixed cocktails along with wines, champagnes, beers and soft drinks.

Signature creations include Fillet of seabass cooked in black volcanic salt from Mount Etna, Truffle & pecorino ravioli and Basil & prawn risotto. These are accompanied by classic favourites such as Spaghetti cacio e pepe (Roman-style pasta served with pecorino cheese & black pepper) alongside meat dishes created using Chianina beef from Tuscany and fish grilled in a Josper oven. Alto by San Carlo also offers a fantastic array of fresh shellfish including oysters, baked scallops, lobster, crab and Mediterranean prawns.

A seasonal collection complements the main menu, with dishes inspired by the Italian seasons, among them Tagliatelle with broad bean, asparagus & black truffle and Lemon sole with baby clams & asparagus. The final touch is a decadent dolci menu featuring sharing desserts such as the Dolci Cicchetti (a platter of alto’s most popular mini desserts) and the ultimate crowd pleaser, the Coppa Golosa, a giant bowl of chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla gelato topped with crushed Ferrero Rocher and warm Nutella sauce.

The beef carpaccio and lobster are to die for, and they do a very fine rose by the glass. The terrace is at once elegant, in the classical sense, and casual in that way Europeans do so well. On warm days the whole roof retracts and the walls slide away, but in the drizzle and wind, you still feel as though you’re outside with bucketloads of interior foliage and natural light. There’s a more casual drinks terrace at the far end, which is totally open bar a few beach huts, and the ideal place to pop out for fresh air, a cigarette, or a reflective gaze across London’s skyline.

Offering an all-day lunch and dinner menu, alto by San Carlo is open Monday to Saturday 11.30am to 11pm and Sunday from 11.30am to 6pm.

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