We know there are many reasons you might fancy booking an outdoor restaurant in London. One obvious catalyst is that the sun is shining, because frankly we need to make the most of the good weather when it’s there, don’t we? But what about when winter rolls around (or actually any other time of year aside from August)? Although we aren’t blessed with the best weather in the world, for the majority of the calendar year London’s diners are a stoic lot and like nothing more than enjoying a meal outside, even during those ever-present cooler days. It’s here that the true merit of an outdoor restaurant in London is exposed. Are there heaters, blankets and rain covers on hand to make dining out in the depths of December feel more of treat than torture? Also, is the full menu available to diners, or is it a shortened offering? All very important questions we hope you’ll agree.
And then – of course – there are the events of 2020. Since lockdown more and more people have been searching for the best outdoor restaurants in London as a safe haven in which to socialise with friends and family. In this vein many of our favourite al fresco restaurants have added measures in place to make sure guests are not only warm and comfortable, but also safe. Some of our top picks have widely spaced tables and strict diner limits in place, while others have had special screens installed to help guests feel relaxed when choosing to eat with them. Below you’ll find notes on all of the above, so you can easily make the best choice for you. We’ve also tried to include options for all kinds of occasions, from fine dining spots to the perfect place for small plates.
SKIP TO THE BEST SECTION FOR YOU
So, whether it’s in rain or shine, if you want something more appealing than a chair on the pavement, then our pick of the best alfresco restaurants has got you covered. From hidden courtyards to rooftop vistas, you’ll find a ton of great restaurants with outside spaces in London right here.
Best outdoor restaurants in central London
If you’re just visiting the capital, or meeting friends from all corners of the city, you might want to find a nice outdoor restaurant in central London. Luckily, the odds here are in your favour as we happen to think that across areas like Soho, Fitzrovia and Mayfair there are some of the top terrace spots to be found in the whole of London. Enjoy!
The Dorchester Rooftop
What: Never one to rest on its laurels, The Dorchester has responded to the reintroduction of alfresco dining with a new outdoor rooftop restaurant (in normal times, the space is actually the balcony to one of the penthouse suites - oh how the other half live!). The rooftop boasts views across London, while the menu currently features highlights plucked from The Dorchester Grill’s a la carte (headed up by chef Tom Booton), with other chef takeovers planned for later in the summer. On our visit, we were most impressed with a dish of egg and black pudding on toast, while a volcano of melted Waterloo cheese wrapped in pastry and served alongside truffled honey was the ultimate indulgence. Live music, plus water bottles and blankets for when the sun goes down, are welcome touches too.
Where: 53 Park Lane,W1K 1QA
What: Found just a stone’s throw from Oxford Circus station, this central spot is the perfect place to recuperate after a busy morning shopping. With a Spanish menu at Aqua Nueva you can expect tapas sharing plates like a classic tortilla with potatoes and caramelised onions as well as rich and creamy croquettes. The terrace has comfortable lounge-style seating and plenty of planting on the peripheries for a laidback garden feel. Wonderful views of central London’s skyline complete the experience.
Where: 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, W1B 3BR
What: With a partially covered and heated outdoor terrace, Aqua Kyoto makes a great dining destination whatever the weather. With options for brunch, lunch or dinner, there are menus for every mealtime. Sushi fans will be pleased with the extensive selection from the in-house bar which makes each piece in front of diners, while the robata grill throws up more substantial fare like truffle yakitori skewers.
Where: 5th Floor, W1B 3BR
What: With a cracking view of Tower Bridge, Gunpowder offers some of the best terrace seats in London for soaking up the sights of the capital. When booking request one of the seats near the restaurant’s entrance, as these come complete with heaters and blankets. Fear not if you find yourself across the walkway though, the helpful team are always on hand with hot water bottles if the weather gets chilly. The Indian menu champions sharing plates, and we’d recommend one of the feasts which ensure you get a taste of everything from the kitchen. A venison doughnut has a meltingly soft meat centre and a crunchy, crisp exterior, while saag with tandoori paneer is wonderfully spiced and deeply savoury.
Where: 4 Duchess Walk, SE1 2SD
What: Achingly cool Aquavit has a terrace which is quietly – and unexpectedly – tucked up just off Piccadilly Circus. This central spot is a great place to meet friends travelling from different corners of the city thanks to its proximity to all sorts of transport hubs. Here you’ll have the choice of tucking into hearty Scandi plates like the house meatballs and mash or plumping for cocktails and small plates from Head Chef Jorjon Colazo (our favourite - if you're asking - is the langoustine bao).
Where: 1 St James's Market, Carlton Street, SW1Y 4QQ
What: Offering an escape from reality, the Corinthia London’s garden will transport you to sunnier climes (so even if you can’t get away on a holiday imminently you can at least get a few minutes of adventure here). This secluded courtyard has a distinctly Mediterranean feel to it, with lemon and olive trees as well as jasmine, lavender and bougainvillea planting surrounding the huddle of tables. The menu combines a raw bar with gourmet pizzas and small plates. Expect things like fritto misto or yellowtail tartare with apple, lemon and coriander.
Where: Whitehall Place, SW1A 2BD
Alto by San Carlo at Selfridges
What: This hidden gem on the roof of Selfridges offers sweeping views across central London. Depending on which mood strikes, there’s a comfortable lounge area where you can enjoy cocktails and snacks in the sun or a full restaurant setup for relaxed all-day Italian dining. Over the next few months Alto by San Carlo will be putting on live entertainment to welcome guests back and there will be a walk-in policy in place to help manage capacity.
Where: 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
What: Forgive us for a pretty sweeping statement here, but Chinatown is to become a mecca for outdoor dining this season, allowing guests to pick from a plethora of specialist restaurants. Tables will spill out from old-timers like Four Seasons and Shanghai Modern as well as newer kids on the block such as Opium and will offer a wonderfully atmospheric spot to enjoy the energy of central London from. Expect classic cookery, speedy service and the buzz of a busy dining destination.
Where: Wardour Street, W1D 6BZ
Poppies Fish and Chips
What: Fancy terraces, balconies and gardens are all well and good, but can you beat a good old-fashioned feast of fish and chips? Removing all airs and graces from the outdoor dining scenes, Poppies is offering customers the chance to enjoy one of their suppers outside in the heart of Soho. This is casual dining at its best with all the favourites on the menu, from cod and chips through to scampi, curry sauce and pies. An added bonus of this spot-on Old Compton Street is the excellent people watching opportunities.
Where: 55-59 Old Compton Street, W1D 6HW
What: Having trained under the legendary Heston Blumenthal, the owners of Fallow have that keen experimental edge which lends itself to their environmental ethos. The kitchen takes oft-overlooked ingredients like dairy beef and cod’s head and transforms them into something really special. With a covered and heated terrace just off Regent Street, and some of the friendliest staff we’ve come across recently, this is the perfect place to unwind after a long day pounding the pavements of central London.
Where: 10 Heddon Street, W1B 4BX
What: With quite a tight corner spot in Soho, you may not have expected Folie to have space for outdoor dining. However, proving where there’s a will there’s a way, this trendy eatery has carved out some outdoor dining of its very own, offering guests an al fresco bite to eat on its petite terrace. Meals have a Mediterranean lean, so expect dishes such as aubergine parmigiana and Côte de bœuf.
Where: 37 Golden Square, W1F 9LB
The Nest at Treehouse
What: If 360-degree views of the capital’s skyline aren’t enough to tempt you here, how about all-day dining that delivers some real crowd-pleasers to boot? Found at the top of the trendy Treehouse hotel, this spot will give you plenty of social media fodder and then some. Expect plush furnishings, serious amounts of foliage and sharing plates like meze platters or crispy squid with a jalapeno, coriander and avocado sauce.
Where: 14-15 Langham Place, W1B 2QS
What: Having positioned itself as one of London’s premiere dining destinations way back when, Scott’s has managed to stand the test of time by maintaining an old-school class which is hard to find elsewhere. Defying the laws of ages doesn’t however mean being uptight, and the restaurant’s terrace affords guests a breezier (both literally and metaphorically) experience than eating in the dining room. Take your seat at one of the crisply dressed tables under a warm heat lamp. Be warned though, with the good people of Mayfair to observe, conversation with companions can take a bit of a backseat.
Where: 20 Mount Street, W1K 2HE
What: Somewhat of an institution, Quo Vadis’ allure lies in its historically focused dishes and seamless service. Both the food and the service translate well to the outdoor dining offering which finds its home out front, on Soho’s Dean Street. If of an adventurous nature, stick with the perennially popular eel sandwich or for a safer bet choose something along the lines of the restaurant’s hake with lobster in a tomato and tarragon broth served with a punchy rouille.
Where: 26-29 Dean Street, W1D 3LL
The Northall at Corinthia Hotel London
What: The newly spruced-up, alfresco Garden restaurant at the Corinthia boasts the same floral opulence as you find inside and really hits the mark. In winter you'll find Alpaca blankets, a couple of roaring fireplaces, heaters, cyclamen and decorative snow globes that add warmth to the setting. “We’ve developed a menu of hearty favourites” explains executive chef André Garrett. “Try a decadent macaroni cheese with a choice of braised beef, shellfish or shavings of truffle.” The traditional cast iron Staub dishes add further authenticity, and don’t miss a good selection of hot chocolates, fine spirits and cocktails.
Where: 10a Northumberland Avenue, WC2N 5AE
What: Momo’s little sibling, Mo Diner comes with a novel American diner twist (interiors are designed by the man responsible for Sketch’s infamous pink dining room). Here, however, we’re more concerned with that’s on the outside. Settle onto Mo Diner’s Soho terrace and pick from a Mediterranean menu with a distinct Middle Eastern edge. Mains include the likes of chicken giros, falafel or beef-filled brick pastries.
Where: 23 Heddon Street, W1B 4BH
YOPO at The Mandrake
What: When sitting out on this serene, partially covered terrace, it’s easy to forget that you are mere moments away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. Boasting walls covered in foliage and a relaxed vibe, YOPO is a great spot for post-work drinks, serving up herbaceous cocktails and a concise menu of tacos and nibbles, followed by refreshing sorbet for dessert.
Where: 20-21 Newman Street, W1T 1PG
What: A riot of colour, Kolamba’s menu offers up the tastes and textures of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine with a contemporary twist. Small plates are designed to share, and the helpful team are always on hand to explain any unusual options. Think hot butter cuttlefish fry or a Ceylon chicken curry. The outdoor dining space here spills onto pedestrianised street Kingly Street – which means great people watching comes as a complimentary extra.
Where: 21 Kingly Street, W1B 5QA
What: One of the most Instagrammable spots in London, in-demand Dalloway Terrace is a truly gorgeous space, decked out with vibrant florals for each of the seasons. While sitting among the lush greenery, you can enjoy a spot of afternoon tea or cocktails, as well as the usual à la carte offering – think beer-battered fish & chips or pork belly with an apple jus.
Where: The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN
What: From the infamous Big Mama group, Circolo Popolare brings the company’s signature Instagrammable interiors and an Italian menu which is just as picture perfect. Think a carbonara where your pasta is tossed hot into a wheel of cheese to create a thick, silky sauce, and a lemon meringue pie with a marshmallow-like top ten times the size of any other we’ve seen. The outdoor terrace faces onto a sweet little pedestrianised square, so is relatively peaceful.
Where: 40-41 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HX
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill
What: One of the buzziest outdoor dining spaces in the capital, the terrace at Richard Corrigan’s Bentley’s is a top choice for discerning Londoners looking to enjoy an al fresco atmosphere. The restaurant’s full menu is available outdoors, meaning you can enjoy the the sea-faring likes of lobster spaghetti or Dover sole (with an additional side of skinny chips!).
Where: 11-15 Swallow Street, W1B 4DG
Best outdoor restaurants in north London
There is a wealth of really good outdoor restaurants in north London which cater to this neighbourhood’s ritzy crowd. Clustered around King’s Cross and Islington, expect plush soft furnishings and modern menus from this cool crowd.
What: This modern pub found at the heart of Camden’s iconic market (and holds the accolade of being the market’s only pub by the by) and is led by a three Michelin star trained chef. The building is a former horse hospital and stables building and hides a secret courtyard out the back which is furnished with heating and a cosy fire pit. The menu offers modern pub grub, with fish, chips and mushy peas being given a modern twist with the addition of sorrel, while a rack of lamb is flavoured with foraged meadowsweet and reindeer moss for an intriguing update on a roast.
Where: Camden Stables Market, 87/88 North Yard, NW1 8AH
Arenella at The Chapel Bar
What: Found on the Chapel Bar’s terrace in Islington, this small outdoor restaurant offers guests both heaters and a roof, so is perfect for that good old fashioned British weather. Plants and hedges make for a pretty backdrop to the modern Italian menu. At the weekend there’s a popular bottomless brunch. For £35 per person, diners are treated to free flowing spritzes or prosecco as well as two courses. Expect dishes like steamed mussels with fregola and lemon or lobster and crab tortellini with arrabiata sauce.
Where: 29 Penton Street, N1 9PX
What: Long before Coal Drops Yard, Rotunda was flying the flag for King’s Cross’ cool factor. The expansive venue benefits from a charming terrace which overlooks the canal and has a buzzy atmosphere. Rotunda’s shtick is its impressive commitment to butchering all its meat on site, resulting in some of the best burgers and steaks that you’ll find in the capital.
Where: Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG
St Pancras Brasserie & Champagne Bar by Searcys
What: A brief encounter at the St Pancras Brasserie might be just the ticket in the Covid era on account of the open-ended nature of the platform setting and the awe-inspiring glass roof protecting you from the elements. Private booths for up to six add further appeal.
Where: St Pancras International, Kings Cross, N1C 4QL
What: Found at hip King's Cross development Coal Drops Yard, the terrace at Hicce joins several other restaurants in the Yard with outdoor space, so on a nice day you really feel part of the buzz here. While watching the crowds go by, you can tuck into a menu of wood-fired cooking curated by chef Pip Lacey (a finalist in 2017's Great British Menu) – we're fans of the intensely meaty lamb shoulder burger, topped with slithers of courgette, while fun cocktails are made with a base of Ketel One vodka.
Where: Unit 102, Stable Street, N1C 4DQ
What: Frederick’s is a true London classic, benefiting from a charming garden at the back of the restaurant and the kind of jovial service that is typical of family-run joints. While dining here, you can enjoy the likes of pan-fried duck breast with an orange and cherry jus, and a white chocolate crème brûlée with strawberry sorbet. Don’t forget to explore the 200-bin wine list.
Where: 106 Islington High Street, Camden Passage, N1 8EG
What: Found on bustling Granary Square, The Lighterman’s outdoor terrace is often packed to the rafters on nice days, so make sure to get there early. As well as the enviable outdoor space, crowds are drawn in by the seasonal cocktails and impressive wines. On the food front, expect flatbreads, sharing boards and mains from a wood-fired grill.
Where: 3 Granary Square, N1C 4BH
Best outdoor restaurants in east London
Known for its trendy crowd and artsy vibe, it’s only natural that east London would be home to some buzzy outdoor terraces. From the delicious Indian plates of Dishoom to the fine-dining fare at Angler, east London has an outdoor restaurant for every occasion.
What: Expertly crafted dim sum is the order of the day at Yauatcha, and you can now enjoy these wonderfully precise parcels from the comfort of the City branch’s newly revamped outside space. The restaurant’s double wraparound terraces have been given a makeover to allow for a comfortable spot to enjoy lunch or dinner with friends, family or colleagues come warmer days. The Soho branch also has a patio, if central London is more suitable for your get together.
Where: Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS
COYA Angel Court
What: Escape the buzz of the city with COYA’s Peruvian inspired terrace at the restaurant’s Angel Court site. This cool, tranquil space makes a lovely spot to wile away a few hours, while enjoying the popular small plates which feature modern twists on South American classic combination. If you’re doing things properly there are pisco sours to enjoy too, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Where: 31-33 Throgmorton Street, EC2N 2AT
What: Okay, we may be stretching the definition of ‘restaurant’ here, but if there’s anything better than a meal out it’s multiple meals out, and that’s achievable at the Skylight Rooftop in Wapping. Since lockdown the team here has created more space and spread tables out more widely to help with social distancing. With a street food vibe, you’ll find stalls offering everything from Asian to American cuisines, as well as a pop-up bar serving cold beers. Book one of the garden booths for a good photo opportunity or reserve a round on one of the garden games which include Pétanque and croquet.
Where: Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street, E1W 2SF
Brat at Climpsons Arch
What: Brat is a breakout success story from last year, earning a Michelin star for its clever cookery. The daily menu changes to showcase the best of British produce and might feature things combinations such as roasted game rice, fried pork chops with anchovy & hay butter and tomatoes with aged mutton and grilled cep mushrooms. This outdoor restaurant gives diners a seat on a cosy terrace which is covered to protect guests from the elements, while still allowing for plenty of fresh air and space to give a degree of social distancing.
Where: 374 Helmsley Place, E8 3SB
What: For wonderfully fragrant, modern Thai food you can’t beat the Smoking Goat. While the original was in Soho, this Shoreditch site is much more spacious, and with that comes outdoor dining. The covered terrace extends out onto Redchurch Street and has space for up to sixty diners at any one time. Dishes include spicy seafood creations and meat cooked over open coals on an open barbecue. If you do end up here, don’t pass up an opportunity to try the crispy fried fish sauce chicken wings, which sound all wrong but in reality are a wonderfully sweet, salty and sour snack.
Where: 64 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, London E1 6JJ
Casa do Frango Shoreditch
What: Portuguese food was made to be enjoyed outdoors. Luckily, the Shoreditch outpost of London piri piri favourite Casa do Frango benefits from an enclosed 100-seat al fresco terrace, where you can tuck into the classic chicken on offer alongside a few Portuguese-inspired cocktails. There's no doubt that this is as close are you'll get to a slice of the Algarve in the heart of London.
Where: 2 King John Court, EC2A 3EZ
Boisdale of Canary Wharf
What: At this branch of Boisdale, you’ll find a Jamaican-inspired terrace to take you to the beach without leaving the capital. On the terrace menu, you'll find tempting barbecue food, including the likes of smoked pork sausages, skewered tiger prawns and jerk chicken. There's ocassional live entertainment too, taking the form of live reggae tunes.
Where: Cabot Place West, E14 4QT
Cinnamon Kitchen City
What: Another gem in chef Vivek Singh's ever-expanding portfolio, the City branch of his Cinnamon Kitchen brand is blessed with outdoor decking. Weather-proof, thanks to its covered courtyard, the space is ideal for lunch or dinner. Tuck into a menu of tempting Indian dishes, including the likes of tandoori chicken breast with fennel and coriander, or perhaps a mutton curry served with pilau rice. Kulfi with a honeycomb crumble or the sorbet of the day are a dreamy end to an al fresco meal.
Where: 9 Devonshire Square,EC2M 4YL
What: Seven floors high at South Place Hotel, Michelin-starred Angler sits in the middle of the City’s skyscrapers, rather than floating above them. It’s a romantic spot and you can eat your meal out here, but we’ve always found it’s a great spot for pre- or post-dinner drinks – a great excuse to explore Angler’s impressive collection of wines, spirits and cocktails.
Where: South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF
What: Ok, so this one isn’t technically outside, but dining on Dishoom’s veranda (no ‘terrace’ talk here, dahhling) feels like you are outdoors, and the retractable roof opens up on sunnier days. Decorated with quirky trinkets and works of art that have all been sourced in India, this is the perfect spot to enjoy signature Dishoom dishes, including its now legendary bacon naan.
Where: 7 Boundary Street, E2 7JE
Best outdoor restaurants in south London
What: Blessed with #InstaGoals interiors, Seabird is found at the very tip top of The Hoxton hotel in Southwark. Leave any preconceptions you have about hotel restaurants at the door and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The frequently tweaked menu includes flavours of Portugal and pleasantly smoky cuts of chargrilled meats, as well as seafood platters and cracking cocktails. The terrace gets booked up, so make sure to plan ahead. Here you’ll find sofas, blankets and heaters all at the ready to make your meal a cosy and comfortable one.
Where: 40 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8NY
What: The Laundry in Brixton offers a fun menu of comfort food classics that have been updated with contemporary techniques. A sausage roll – for instance – is given a face lift with spicing from chilli and fennel and an accompanying tomato chutney. We also love the chicken kiev which comes with a Caesar slaw, or the bavette steak and chips. The terrace space is large and generous, with plenty of tables for mixed groups of any size. There are umbrellas, heaters and blankets, and the friendly staff are on hand to ensure you’re cosy and comfortable throughout your visit even if the sun isn’t shining.
Where: 374 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PL
What: Clapham’s Michelin star restaurant already had two levels to it – its formal downstairs dining room and its more casual offering upstairs – and Trinity is now adding a third dimension. This comes in the form of an alfresco terrace that will stretch out across the pavement in front of the restaurant. With space for 35 covers this fun, buzzy space is being put on in conjunction with Ruinart Champagne, so it’s safe to say you can expect top-class bubbles. To help line your stomach there will be small plates and salads, as well as a barbecue on the go serving up fish and meat.
Where: 4 The Polygon, SW4 0JG
What: They say when one door closes another one opens, and that’s certainly true of the Bermondsey Larder, which is Robin Gill’s next venture following the closure of his popular restaurant The Dairy. This spot, a stone’s throw from Tower Bridge, champions a produce-led menu that flexes with the seasons. Enjoy creations like Farmer Tom Jones’ lamb with Jerusalem artichokes or pulled aubergine and mushroom flatbreads. The terrace is bookable for groups of up to six people.
Where: Bermond Locke, 153-157 Tower Bridge Road, SE1 3LW
What: Sitting under the watchful eye of the American Embassy in Vauxhall, Darby’s is an all-day restaurant and bakery serving up Robin Gill’s wonderfully honest food. Expect seafood and dry-aged meat as well as breakfast pastries and a whole range of delicious desserts. The sweeping indoor bar will also be serving the terrace this year, so make sure not to miss out on cocktails. The small waterfront terrace has been extended to accommodate twenty guests, and places are offered on a first come first serve basis – so is great for an impromptu date.
Where: No .3 Viaduct Gardens, SW11 7AY
What: This fine-dining restaurant (which also has a casual small plates sidekick next door) has transformed its outdoor offering to give diners the chance to enjoy its unique food in a safe and comfortable space. The kitchen’s USP is that it uses the world-class produce from its Borough Market stall of the same name. This means veg is king here, with meat in the supporting role. Combinations include things like onion squash, walnuts and Iberico pork as well as borlotti beans with seaweed and shellfish
Where: 43 Borough Market, SE1 9AH
What: The Paladar Winter Garden is a tasty refuge away from the highways of Elephant & Castle. A passion for food courses through the whole operation while the recent construction of a temporary roof and countless heaters speaks volumes for their natural warmth and instinct for hospitality.
Where: 4-5 London Road, SE1 6JZ
What: Opulent Chokhi Dhani followed its launch by adding a riverside shisha terrace to its repertoire. Here, you can enjoy cocktails and tapas-style plates, alongside an extensive selection of shisha (ask the dedicated shisha sommelier if you’re struggling to make a decision). Flavours range from strawberry and apple, to red gummy bears and pistachio breeze.
Where: Unit E2, 2 Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Lane, SW11 8AW
Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea
What: Part of the regenerated Battersea Power Station development, Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea is home to a riverside al fresco dining space, where guests can relax outdoors and take in the views of the Thames. Top shouts from the menu include king prawns in Bengali turmeric curry, and chargrilled achari cauliflower served with a hot garlic chutney.
Where: Arch 758, Railway Arches, Battersea Power Station, SW8 5BN
Le Pont de la Tour
What: If you’re looking for an al fresco restaurant with wow-factor, Le Pont de la Tour is a worthy contender. Boasting riverside views and in a handy location, Le Pont de la Tour has legions of fans, and it’s not hard to see why. Tuck into a menu of French-leaning dishes while drinking in those hard-to-beat views of Tower Bridge.
Where: Butlers Wharf, 36d Shad Thames, SE1 2YE
The Terrace by Megan’s
What: Long a favourite of London’s brunching crowd, Megan’s is keeping up to date with the latest wants of its hungry customers with a new outdoor dining concept. The Terrace by Megan’s will pop-up on Clapham Common, taking over what used to be the Recovery Kitchen. Outdoors and completely covered, this makes the ideal spot for a meetup with friends al fresco and the menu covers everything from brunch and lunch through to dinner, with an alcohol license to boot. If you’d prefer to get back to nature and enjoy a feast spread out on the grass you can also grab takeaway here in the form of one of the restaurant’s picnic boxes.
Where: 10 Rookery Road, Clapham Common, SW4 9DD
Best outdoor restaurants in west London
There’s no denying the allure of west London. This high-end neighbourhood is home to some of the swankiest and swishest outdoor restaurants in London - not to mention some really, really good people watching. From the terrace at the infamous Chiltern Firehouse to the green glade of the Ivy Chelsea Garden – these gorgeous spaces are the perfect spots to celebrate something special at (even if that’s just making it through Monday).
What: Ayllu is one of London’s most unique outdoor restaurants in London, boasting a menu that fuses Peruvian and Japanese flavours. These two cuisines are deftly combined to produce light, vibrant plates of food. From cevice to sushi, this is the perfect sharing-style food to enjoy with friends on the restaurant’s little terrace oasis.
Where: 25 Sheldon Square, W2 6EY
Granger & Co
What: If you’ve ever trawled the lists of London’s best brunches, you’ll no doubt have come across Granger & Co. This Australian spot is the perfect place to enjoy a midday meal with friends, where small plates include classics like ricotta hotcakes or sweetcorn fritters. While there are a few different locations across London, the Chelsea Pavilion Road site has a terrace that is surrounded by lush planting, and makes for a wonderful base for some of the best west London people watching.
Where: 237-239 Pavilion Road, SW1X 0BP
What: Where better to soak up that quintessential west London atmosphere than in heart of Knightsbridge at Dinings SW3's gorgeous hidden courtyard. The restaurant's small terrace area almost has the feeling of someone's back garden, with the added bonus being that you can enjoy a menu of top quality Japanese dishes here from ex-Nobu chef Masaki Sugisaki.
Where: Lennox Gardens Mews, SW3 2JH
Terrace at Harry's Dolce Vita
What: Want a true slice of Italy in the heart of London? Knightbridge's Harry's Dolce Vita has a glorious outdoor seating area where you can enjoy the tempting menu, packed full of hearty Italian classics. Whether you want a big bowl of pasta followed by the famous Harry's toadstool dessert, or simply want to sip on a spritz after a day shopping in Harrods, you'll be sure to quickly slip into a holiday mood at this spot.
Where: 27-31 Basil Street, SW3 1BB
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
What: The garden terrace at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is separate from the main restaurant, but it's more than worth the extra minute's walk. A truly serene outdoor space, the terrace benefits from lush greenery, while the typically inventive menu and charming furniture remind you that you're in of the most renowned restaurants in Knightsbridge. Serving a five-course menu, you can expect to try some of Dinner's signature dishes such as Meat Fruit.
Where: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, SW1X 7LA
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
What: This branch of The Ivy collection comes complete with a stunning garden which is replete with greenery and flowers. Sit outside in the fresh air to enjoy the please-all international menu, which features everything from a crispy duck salad with watermelon, to traditional fish & chips served with mushy peas and tartare sauce.
Where: 197 King’s Road, SW3 5ED
What: On the corner of Sydney Street and Fulham Road, Stanley's is an exciting new restaurant, run by a young team, which has quickly established itself as a Chelsea darling thanks to its verdant and well heated garden. Evening tables are at a premium, while weekend brunch is equally as popular.
Where: 151 Sydney Street, SW3 6NT
The River Café
What: The long-standing River Café is legendary among London circles, known for its high-quality food and equally as high prices. The real jewel of the venue though is the expansive riverside terrace, which is filled with lush greenery and overlooks the Thames. Serving up rustic Italian dishes, some of our favourite orders include the ravioli with zucchini, buffalo ricotta and mint, and the oh-so-indulgent ‘chocolate nemesis’ for dessert.
Where: Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, W6 9HA
What: Chiltern Firehouse might not have the same buzz around it as it once did, but you’ll still find this place packed most nights. The venue’s outdoor terrace is truly dreamy, decked out with a monochrome colour scheme, marble-topped tables and festooned with twinkling lights come sundown. On the weekends, you can enjoy brunch outside, with dishes on offer that include Chiltern’s signature fluffy pancake stacks.
Where: 1 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PA
What: Known for its plum King’s Road location, Bluebird’s outdoor terrace is a great spot for people-watching, attracting the well-heeled local clientele. The menu majors in crowd-pleasers – stop by in the week to enjoy buttermilk fried chicken and barbequed prawns, or visit at the weekend for brunch dishes including eggs any style and avocado on toast.
Where: 350 King's Road, SW3 5UU
Villa di Geggiano
What: Villa di Geggiano is a Chiswick hidden gem which serves up a Tuscan menu, and the gorgeous terrace might lead you to believe you’ve actually escaped the capital. The kitchen here really shows its Italian prowess when it comes to the pasta. Options to try include potato gnocchi, wild boar pappardelle and lobster spaghetti.
Where: 66-68 Chiswick High Road, W4 1SY
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