This is the season for alfresco dining, and these five outdoor eateries in London boast fabulous open-air spaces for you to tuck into a sumptuous meal.
Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner under the stars, here’s where to go when eating indoors won’t cut the mustard. Why not make a weekend of it and book advance train tickets to London Paddington to get the cheapest deals.
The Ivy is one of London’s most iconic restaurants and has been serving supper to the stars since 1917. With seasonal menus, glamourous décor, bespoke cocktail creations and a growing collection of chic cafes and brasseries throughout London and the UK, it’s difficult to pick which Ivy establishment is our favourite, though we’re leaning towards The Ivy Chelsea Garden on King’s Road.
Offering all-day dining in a relaxed yet luxurious setting, eating here feels like a real treat (better yet, an affordable one). With a spacious terrace and garden brimming with antique mirrors, luscious plants and flowers, velvet chairs, cushions and flickering candles, you’ll never want to dine indoors again. The terrace is open from 10am to 10pm, and the garden from 12pm to 10pm, every day. Book a table in advance to avoid disappointment.
French food gets real fancy at Farringdon’s Bleeding Heart Bistro. Serving traditional French dishes such as Coq au Vin and Steak Frites this awesome eatery is one of the capital’s hidden gems. Expect quirky and eccentric décor indoors, as the exposed brick walls boast gigantic 19th-century French posters and shelves stacked with bottles of wine tower over the dining area.
From spring through to autumn, the bistro throws open its doors into a secluded courtyard terrace that seats over 30 diners. Eating here is proper romantic and a far cry from the hustle and bustle of nearby Hatton Garden.
Nestled in the heart of Bloomsbury, Dalloway Terrace is part of the magnificent Bloomsbury Hotel and is a beautiful restaurant with an outdoor terrace decorated like a secret garden. Its décor changes throughout the seasons and in the summer you can expect to dine on a delicious breakfast, afternoon tea or dinner with an almighty backdrop of flowers and foliage for company (just think about all those Instagram opportunities!). This is a popular weekend brunch spot so do book ahead if it’s elevenses you’re after: the Dalloway Croque Madame is not to be missed.
Let’s be clear, dinner at Le Pont de la Tour doesn’t come cheap (a Sunday Roast costs £25!) so a trip might be best saved for a special occasion or a spontaneous, just-because treat. Serving delicious French cuisine including a mouth-watering crustacea menu, this Parisian-chic restaurant offers unforgettable views of the City and Tower Bridge, which are best appreciated from the terrace; so make sure to reserve a table way in advance to enjoy the best of London’s alfresco dining scene.
Pergola is the ultimate destination in the capital for alfresco drinking, dining, daybeds and DJs. However, dinner isn’t quite the three-course sit-down affair, as you order food for yourself from one of the self-service restaurants, including Smash Patty, serving burgers, and kebabs from Babek Brothers. What this laid-back outdoor venue does offer is a relaxing and fun atmosphere all year round.