Summer in London is delightful and dining outdoors is one of the season’s greatest pleasures. To help you make the most of every opportunity we’ve created a list of our very favourite top ten Al Fresco venues in the heart of the city
Kensington Roof Gardens
High up above Kensington High Street you’ll be amazed to discover three themed gardens sprawling over 1.5 acres. Spanish Garden: Based on the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Tudor Garden: Filled with evergreen shrubs surrounded by fragrant lilies, roses and lavender in the summer months.. English Woodland: Thousands of narcissus, crocus, muscari and anemones in springtime and meet the four resident flamingos. Includes Babylon Restaurant with outdoor terrace and splendid views.
Boundary Rooftop Bar & Grill
Terence Conran’s Boundary boasts a large rooftop terrace, with an outdoor bar, seating around an open fireplace, a 48-seat grill restaurant and a designer garden. The 360-degree views take in Canary Wharf, the Gherkin, The Shard and the rooftops of East London.
From its penthouse position at the top of No. 1 Poultry, Le Coq d’Argent enjoys panoramic views over London’s Square Mile. The venue’s stylish roof terrace and beautifully manicured gardens make it the perfect upmarket al fresco destination. You can choose from a menu of classic French dishes with contemporary flavours.
In the heart of London’s West End, peaceful Heddon Street is home to a wide variety of eateries, including Momo and Mo Café, Aubaine, Piccolino, The Living Room, Room, Strawberry Moons, Tibits, BelowZero and the Icebar. Sit outside and enjoy pavement dining among the palms and olive trees.
Serpentine Bar & Kitchen
The Serpentine Bar & Kitchen opened in spring 2009, on the banks of the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Sit out on the waterside terrace and enjoy the all-day menu, much of it cooked in a wood-fired oven. The mouth-watering menu represents the best seasonal food – wild mushroom and artichoke risotto, sea trout with purple broccoli & the classic Waldorf Salad, whole roasted mackerel with green beans, and mussels with shallots and cider.
Inn The Park
Set in the middle of beautiful St James’s Park, Inn The Park is a great place for family dining or romantic evening meals. The proprietor, Oliver Peyton, sources ingredients from rare breed farms, specialist fishermen and artisan producers. On the menu, you’ll find traditional and modern British dishes, served up with Peyton’s own unique twist.
The Michelin-starred River Café is one of the best places in London to enjoy authentic Italian food. Signature dishes include wild mushroom risotto, wood-smoked fish, and the chocolate Nemesis cake. For a real taste of the Mediterranean, visit during the summer months and sit outside in the pretty riverside garden.
EV Restaurant, bar and deli
An exceptional Anatolian restaurant and garden hidden in the railway arches under Waterloo Station, with a bar and Turkish deli in the adjacent archways. Superb mezze, kebabs and grills – a quiet and secluded corner of Asia Minor just a couple of minute’s walk from Southwark tube station that’s a closely guarded secret by the regulars.
St Christopher’s Place
Just off Oxford Street, in St Christopher’s Place, you’ll find an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and coffee shops. The area boasts one of London’s largest concentrations of pavement dining. Whether you’re looking for Italian, Spanish, French or Japanese cuisine, or even a pub lunch, St Christopher’s Place has it all.
The Montague on the Gardens
Last, but certainly not least! Sunny and peaceful wood deck and terrace overlooking the totally enclosed gardens of the Bedford Estate – an oasis of peace and calm in the midst of bustling Bloomsbury. Enjoy the sizzling aromas of The Garden Grill, serving a selection of mouth-watering a la carte dishes and barbecues. Enjoy summer cocktails from the “Naughty Milkshake” menu (we’re talking Baileys, Vanilla Vodka and Piña Colada, not just calories!) and the “Pimm’s ten ways” menu. Perfect for Al Fresco breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, or fabulous private parties.
Let us know if we’ve missed your favourite.