Best places to eat outside in London
Don't stay in when the sun comes out. Savour fair weather with our guide the best London restaurants with outside space.
Hidden from the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden is a glorious spot that will transport you all the way to… well, possibly Richmond, where the original Petersham Nurseries garnered so many fans.
In fact, this leafy oasis channels Italian charm alongside English garden loveliness. Sink into la dolce vita surrounded by handmade terracotta pots frothing with verdant fronds, and enjoy an Italian-inspired breakfast of espresso and Poached rhubarb with ricotta di bufala and honey from La Goccia. Or taste the seasonal produce from The Petersham, where dishes are inspired by the their family home in Richmond. Guests from both restaurants make a beeline for the courtyard when clement weather beckons.
Cleverly tucked away from the street, you really could forget you were in central in London, with not a vehicle or wandering tourist group in site. Bliss.Read more ...
Looking to watch the world go by in Chelsea? Well then, look no more. This new restaurant from chef of the moment Adam Handling provides the perfect respite from flexing your credit card on the King’s Road. Although with a £270 seven course wine pairings menu, there’s more than enough opportunity to do that here, too.
The modern British dishes keep the buzzwords that made Handling so popular in the first place – seasonal and sustainable are still high priorities. As for the interior, it’s all tasteful, muted tones with a side of respectability. Handling is bringing grown-up elegance to the table.
The outside tables are glorious when it’s wine o clock and the only thing for it is a bottle of Chablis in the sun, watching the beautiful people go by, and treating yourself to some rather spectacular food.Read more ...
The new member’s club to take centre stage in Shoreditch is The Curtain. Boasting a co-working studio, swanky cocktail bar, screening room, soul-food restaurant and even a tattoo studio, plus hotel rooms, there’s actually no need to ever leave. What’s more, The Curtain has a rather lovely rooftop terrace and dining area, so when you’re not swimming (yep there’s a pool) you can enjoy Mediterranean cuisine at LIDO.
Sink into a wicker chair, nibble on a bowl of crispy squid, and channel Riviera style with the biggest sunnies you can find. In the evening you’ll find yourself dining beneath a string of glowing lights, watching the city throb below.
The only drawback? It’s members and hotel guests only. Better get filling out that membership form. Or befriend someone who already has one...Read more ...
An invitation to ‘the shed’ might not seem the most alluring of options for al fresco dining, but hear us out. This cosy bolthole in Notting Hill is from the Gladwin brothers, who also brought us Rabbit and Nutbourne. They champion seasonal farm-to-table fare, and it’s the best way to taste the joys of the Sussex countryside in London.
Inside is all shabby farmhouse chic, while there’s also an intimate, enchanting outside area with a few tables. Tucked behind a trellis strewn with climbing plants and twinkling fairy lights, it’s a little hub of conviviality. Order the divine 48 day aged, slow braised short rib of Sussex beef, and image you can almost hear the humming of a combine harvester on the warm air.Read more ...
If you like your al fresco dinner with a side of literary references, then head to Bloomsbury and nestle yourself into this floral paradise. Inspired by the beloved garden of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, there’s a reason this spot constantly lights up the Instagram feed of visitors.
We’ve all heard of seasonal dishes, but how about seasonal décor? Dalloway Terrace boasts both. In winter it becomes a glimmering, icy wonderland, and in summer erupts with rainbow-hued petals. Spring brings a touch of tropical glamour with hot pink flowers and banana plants inspired by Woolf’s husband’s Sri Lankan set novel, and the cocktail menu follows suit.
Their grilled asparagus is hard to beat. Topped with a wobbling poached egg, silky hollandaise and the indulgence of fragrant truffle, it’s just perfect alongside one of the many English sparkling wines available.Read more ...
Sometimes you want to be tucked away in peace, and sometimes you want to be in the thick of it, feeling London life buzzing around you. For moments like these, head to Franco’s. This Jermyn Street institution has been around since 1946 and still manages to draw diners looking for splendid Italian dishes and a touch of old school pizazz.
The pavements tables are ideal for people watching – playing spot the celeb is almost mandatory in this part of the world. The jovial atmosphere of inside spills outside, so we recommend taking a white-clothed table beneath the bright green awnings, ordering the saffron and quail risotto, and simply soaking up the energy of London.Read more ...
This gorgeous new roof terrace at boutique luxury hotel Vintry & Mercer is ideal for anyone who doesn’t mind being distracted from their dishes by the view. Located in the City, you can quaff oysters and treat yourself to blue Lobster while watching the sun set over iconic architecture such as St Pauls and The Shard.
The inside restaurant is warm and inviting, with a touch of coastal country club appeal – think sea-blue walls, whitewashed wooden furniture and floor to ceiling windows that flood the room with light.
The newly opened roof terrace is a prime location for al fresco dining when wanting to escape the clamour of working life.
There are plenty of spots for dining under blue skies in the thick of Covent Garden Piazza, but for something a little more special set your sights higher. By this we mean Opera Terrace, where you’ll find the newest SUSHISAMBA.
This Japanese/Peruvian/Brazilian hybrid is known for its vibrant food and funky approach to dining, and this recently opened restaurant is no different. The beautifully glazed bar has a ‘living ceiling’, but it’s out to the terrace that you’ll want to head. Order the wagyu gyoza and a sake cocktail, and gaze out on the masses thronging below.Read more ...
You have reached the limit of free articles.
To enjoy unlimited access to Culture Whisper plus a pair of free tickets to a London event sign up for FREE.
Find out more about Culture Whisper
Sign up by Email or Facebook.
Thanks for signing up to Culture Whisper.
Please check your inbox for a confirmation email and click the link to verify your account.
You’ve clicked to view the best of our content that we
save exclusively for our members.
If you liked what you saw, subscribe from just £15 and get
unlimited access to our unique culture service as well as
all of our membership benefits.