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23 July 2014

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Best for... restaurants — June 2006

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Archives for June 2006

Parks - Best for... restaurants Parks

Even if a restaurant isn’t located in a park, many boast their own garden. You’ll be surrounded by plenty of greenery sitting outdoors at The Ritz in Mayfair, or at Hammersmith’s River Cafe (left), or at Frederick’s in Islington. The gorgeous rooftop garden at Coq D’Argent is the perfect spot for sipping a G&T in the heart of the City, while in the heart of Soho the vine-clad courtyard at Aurora is quite a find. Brinkley’s and its sister restaurant Wine Gallery in Chelsea both have beautiful gardens tucked away at the back.

Water Works - Best for... restaurants Water Works

Nothing lifts an alfresco dining experience more than sunshine shimmering on water, and there are plenty of restaurants that take full advantage of the River Thames and its estuaries. Take a stroll along the South Bank and you’ll find a vast array of riverside treats, from the Oxo Tower’s eighth-floor balcony to big outdoor areas at Giraffe, Wagamama and Strada on the Festival Riverside. Moving along, you’ll the peaceful setting of Butler’s Wharf, boasting the polished Le Pont de la Tour and the more relaxed Butler’s Wharf Chop House and Cantina Del Ponte.

Docklands is another obvious destination for waterside dining. The best tables can be found out front at neighbours Royal China and Gaucho Grill in Westferry Circus, or on the huge quayside terraces of 1802 and Beluga Cafe in Hertsmere Road. Along the river, you can eye up millionaires’ yachts while dining on the patio of Aquasia in Chelsea Harbour. But veer off the beaten track to Fulham’s Imperial Wharf and you’ll find wide riverside terraces at fish restaurant Deep and swanky Thai Saran Rom. Head further west to for Gaucho Richmond (pictured above left) or south to Ransome’s Dock in Battersea for serene waterside surrounds. Or if you need to be closer to town don't miss Canal 125 which offers an unusual option in the King’s Cross area, where two decks overlook Regent’s Canal.

Water Works - Best for... restaurants Water Works

Docklands is another obvious destination for waterside dining. As well as at Gordon Ramsay’s new gastropub, The Narrow, the best tables can be found out front at neighbours Royal China and Gaucho Grill (left) in Westferry Circus, or on the huge quayside terraces of 1802 and Beluga Cafe in Hertsmere Road. Along the river, you can eye up millionaires’ yachts while dining on the patio of Aquasia in Chelsea Harbour. But veer off the beaten track to Fulham’s Imperial Wharf and you’ll find wide riverside terraces at fish restaurant Deep and last year’s Thai newcomer Saran Rom. Head further south for serene waterside surrounds at Ransome’s Dock in Battersea. Or if you need to be closer to town don't miss Canal 125 which offers an unusual option in the King’s Cross area, where two decks overlook Regent’s Canal.

Pick of the pubs - Best for... restaurants Pick of the pubs

Summer is all about wiling away afternoons in beer gardens. And London has a wealth of options to choose from. In Westbourne Park, take your pick from Grand Union Public House, which pack in the crowds to its canal-side terrace, or the courtyard at The Westbourne. Both Islington’s The Albion and Primrose Hill’s The Engineer serve fab food in their vine-clad gardens, and nearby The Freemason’s Arms has an alfresco area that does justice to it’s Hampstead Heath location.

Neither Henry J Beans on King’s Road nor Borough Market’s The George Inn are gourmet hotspots but both have great courtyards that pack in the punters for an after-work pint. If it’s a pint of prawns you’re after, though, go for The Gun's glorious riverside terrace (pictured above left) in Docklands. There’s a healthy range of outdoor activities at some of London’s pubs and bars. You’ll find croquet matches on the lawn at Corney & Barrow ’s Exchange Square outpost as well as popular summer barbecues at The White Horse in Parsons Green. Finally, you’ve got to hand it to those clever people who have installed a retractable roofs over their dining areas to deal with the temperamental English summers. Chelsea’s The Admiral Codrington and Glaister’s both have one, while Camden Town’s Gilgamesh can also tempt diners come rain or shine.

Pubs - Best for... restaurants Pubs

The George Inn isn’t exactly a gourmet hotspot but its large courtyard makes it one of the nicest alfresco spots in the Borough Market area, especially for sinking an after-work pint. If it’s a pint of prawns you’re after, though, go for The Gun's glorious riverside terrace in Docklands, or its next-door Portuguese neighbour A Grelha at The Gun (above left). There’s a healthy range of outdoor activities at some of London’s pubs. You’ll find croquet matches on the lawn at Corney & Barrow ’s Exchange Square outpost as well as popular summer barbecues at The White Horse in Parsons Green. Finally, you’ve got to hand it to those clever people who have installed a retractable roofs over their dining areas to deal with the temperamental English summers. Chelsea’s The Admiral Codrington and Glaister’s both have one, while Camden Town’s Gilgamesh can also tempt diners come rain or shine.

Courtyard chic - Best for... restaurants Courtyard chic

There’s something rather quaint and olde English about cobbled courtyards, and they offer some of the finest traffic-free alfresco spots that London has to offer. Hush pulls in the crowds with its charming courtyard slap bang in the middle of Mayfair, While just behind Oxford Circus, RIBA's paved terrace is a lovely secluded spot. Down in King’s Road, Manicomio (pictured left) serves fresh Italian dishes in a tucked-away alfresco area that’s prettiest when lit up at night.

In the City, Bleeding Heart offers tables and chairs in its quaint courtyard, while The Zetter now offers outdoor eating overlooking St John’s Square Securing an alfresco table isn’t always easy. When the sun is out you’ll find a rush of diners fighting over suntrap seats. So why not head to Mayfair’s foodie enclave, Shepherd Market? There’s a handful of decent restaurants in its cobbled courtyard, including rustic French food at Le Boudin Blanc, and Middle Eastern treats from Sofra and Al Hamra. Not far from there is Piccadilly’s Heddon Street, where Momo and Aubaine offer ample outside tables, and the newly pedestrianised Swallow Street where fishy stalwart Bentley’s harbours a fine alfresco dining spot.

Here’s to happy alfresco eating this year.

Click here for further alfresco dining options.

Courtyard - Best for... restaurants Courtyard

In the City, Bleeding Heart offers tables and chairs in its quaint courtyard, while The Zetter now offers outdoor eating overlooking St John’s Square Securing an alfresco table isn’t always easy. When the sun is out you’ll find a rush of diners fighting over suntrap seats. So why not head to Mayfair’s foodie enclave, Shepherd Market? There’s a handful of decent restaurants in its cobbled courtyard, including rustic French food at Le Boudin Blanc, and Middle Eastern treats from Sofra and Al Hamra. Not far from there is Piccadilly’s Heddon Street, where Momo, newcomer Aubaine and Gabrielle’s (above left) all offer ample outside tables.

Here’s to happy alfresco eating this year.

Click here for further alfresco dining options.

Delve inside earlier archives for October 2004 or browse through newer archives for June 2009.