In the heart of central London, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street and tucked on the top of the famous former Dickins and Jones building, lies Aqua Nueva. The Spanish-inspired restaurant is part of the Aqua Restaurant Group family with its sister venue Aqua Kyoto, situated right next door. Being part of the Aqua family automatically tells you that this place will be nothing short of miraculous. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by the bursting with flavour Spanish cuisine. The highlight of Aqua Nueva, however, is its secluded rooftop terrace opening up the spectacular city views.
The entrance to the Aqua residence is at Argyll Street, which is where both the Japanese-inspired Aqua Kyoto and Aqua Nueva share an entrance. The first thing you see when you get off the lift is Aqua Kyoto, which may cause confusion to first timers, but my guest and I were quickly led through the corridor in the direction of Aqua Nueva. You know you are at the right place because right in front of you is a massive statue of a blue bull guarding Aqua Nueva’s entrance, looking as though it is ready to step out of the wall. We were seated indoors for our two-hour Spanish-inspired free-flowing brunch.
The restaurant was elegant albeit very dark. It has a tunnel-shaped ceiling with white tiled archways on it and a good use of red and gold colours. I enjoyed the little details such as the engraved q-like logo at the back of every chair, the metal gold tiles around the bar area, and the large selection of wines on display.
Not long after we were sat at our table the drinks started flowing. As part of our brunch we were entitled to a two-hour unlimited helping of prosecco, mimosas, bellini, or soft drinks. I opted in for the mimosas whilst my friend went with bellini. Our waiter came in with a jug in hand containing our cocktails of choice, and carefully poured our glasses whilst we thirstily watched the last drop go in – it was a Saturday afternoon after all!
The drinks were everything you’d expect, fruity, delicious and dangerously tasty. The staff were very attentive, and our empty glasses were refilled with seconds of being put down. When our first meals started to arrive, we realised we were not prepared for the feast that was ahead of us. Inspired by the Spanish cuisine, the brunch was tapas style, so a huge amount of small plates were coming our way every five minutes.
First, we started with the pan con tomate which was a rustic tomato bread served with grilled padrón peppers and a selection of croquettes. Oh, the croquettes!
If I remember one thing from that brunch that’d be the croquettes. We received a selection of three flavours – wild mushroom, Manchego cheese, and black seafood shaped in small crusty heavenly balls; which were devoured within seconds.
Following the delicious and rather filling appetizers, it was time for the mains. As it was a tapas-style brunch, the mains were small, but abundant in flavour and variety. We were presented with an avocado and toasted corn salad, classic tortilla topped with caramelised onion, and spicy chicken and potato skewers. After a couple of obligatory food pictures, we tucked into the flavoursome meals before we were served the last one – seafood rice with grilled tiger prawns. The seafood rice resembled a paella in taste but had a slightly juicier tomato-y texture.
The last component of our free flowing brunch was the dessert of crunchy pistachio churros rolled in a rustic newspaper served on a wooden board. Next to it was a small glass filled with a generous portion of chocolate sauce. There was something rather addictive to dipping the crunchy sugar-coated treats in the rich chocolate sauce until there was just sugar and a few drips of chocolate left on the wooden board.
The food part was done roughly two hours after the experience has started; our waiter kindly informed us that they were saving our last drinks for us to enjoy on the rooftop terrace. The terrace itself was cosy with only a handful of seating areas. The décor was simple – wooden decking, foliage around the edge, and olive trees dotted around, but the views were all the decoration it needed.
There’s always something special about sipping on a glass of mimosa in a sky-high bar overlooking the city. From up there the city feels like a sanctuary – the noise of the busy traffic and weekend shoppers is absorbed by the buildings and replaced with the cacophony of giggles and conversations from the nearby tables. So, all you can do is enjoy the delicious cocktails whilst soaking in the last rays of afternoon sun.
This experience was gifted by Aqua Nueva through London Rooftop Bars (@londonrooftopbars).
A ‘free flowing cocktails and bubbles’ brunch at Aqua Nueva starts from £65.
Address: 5th Floor 240 Regent Street, (Entrance 30 Argyll St) W1F 7EB, London W1B 3BR
Phone: 020 7478 0540
All imagery used in this article credit: Aqua Nueva