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Lighterman King’s Cross
The Lighterman. Photograph: Jason Bailey

London’s best outdoor dining

Making the most of the autumn sun? Here’s our pick of the best places to wine and dine outside

By Time Out London Food & Drink
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All right, so the hottest months are behind us, but there’s still ample opportunity for alfresco feasting. Whether you’re in the mood for spaghetti in the sun or schnitzel by starlight, our big ol' list should have you covered. Just be sure to book ahead, yeah? A lot of people want to eat, drink and be merry outside at the minute.

For those planning a mainly liquid meal, our list of rooftop bars might also come in handy. Not fussed about the whole ‘sky’ thing? Dig into our directories of regular, Time Out-approved cafés, bars and restaurants. Either way: you’re getting fed.

London’s best alfresco restaurants

James Bedford
James Bedford
James Bedford

Angler

Restaurants British Moorgate

Bordered by lavender bushes and olive trees, Michelin-starred Angler’s chic outdoor terrace has a retractable roof that shields diners from summer rain and winter chills. Tables can’t be booked, but once you’re ‘in’, you can sip premium cocktails while scoffing big-money seafood snacks – Porthilly oysters, Cornish sea-bass tartare, Alaskan king crab cromesquis. Or push the boat out with a pot of oscietra caviar.

Venue says We are delighted to announce that Angler will now be open for lunch service every Saturday! Join us for an exclusive lunch or Tasting Menu.

Barrafina Drury Lane

Restaurants Spanish Covent Garden

In one of summer 2020’s more unexpected outcomes, the Drury Lane branch of Barrafina has become a seafood-specific restaurant, Barrafina Mariscos. It’s taking booking from October onwards. Hopefully it will preserve the outdoor parasols for any Spanish-style weather, and the heaters to combat the autumn chill. Whatever, it’s sure to be good: informal, sociable and great fun.

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Bellanger

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Brasseries Angel

The neighbourhood brasserie from Corbin & King (the chaps behind The Wolseley, The Delaunay and Brasserie Zédel) closed last year. Then they had a change of heart, and some positive local feedback, and reopened it, initially as a ‘pop-up’ until Christmas. Part of the appeal is the large streetside terrace. Food and decor-wise, it continues to nod to the French classics – coq au Reisling, steak-frites, moules – with a bargainous two-course menu for £10.95, and a ‘formule’ for nine quid more. For value, atmosphere, delightful staff and 
all-round local friendliness, it’s hard to beat.

Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

Restaurants Seafood Mayfair

Richard Corrigan’s immensely civilised but not-at-all-stuck-up seafood stunner has a chic, heated and covered terrace on a surprisingly quiet street just off the artery that divides Soho from Mayfair. It’s a year-round alfresco alternative to the restaurant’s clubby wood-and-leather cosiness, while the short menu offers highlights from the Oyster Bar menu (seafood platters, sushi salad bowls and fish pie). You can’t book here, so be sure to avoid peak times if poss.

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London's best outdoor dining, bleeding heart
London's best outdoor dining, bleeding heart

Bleeding Heart

Holborn

Reputedly the scene of a gruesome crime passionnel that wouldn’t seem out of place in a TV costume drama, Bleeding Heart Yard is now home to a buzzy bistro, elegant French restaurant and an informal tavern aimed at famished City types. Tables on the secluded courtyard terraces are bookable; should the weather disappoint, you can either huddle under one of the blankets provided… or just give up and head inside. Bistro now open Monday to Saturday. 

Thomas Alexander

Bluebird

Restaurants Contemporary European King’s Road

The main dining room of this King’s Road branch of Bluebird Café looks like it’s actually outside; it has a conservatory-style glass roof and loads, we mean loads, of plants. If you want to really get some fresh air, there’s a massive outdoor dining area with fake grass, umbrellas and garden-style furniture serving a Mediterranean menu. It’s the whole alfresco shebang. 

Café and courtyard open every day, 9am to 9pm. 

 

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The Botanist Broadgate Circle

Restaurants British Broadgate

Sit on The Botanist’s huge (bookable) terrace and you’ll get the full force of Broadgate Circle’s pumped-up ambience, plus a dose of vitamin D if the sun shows up. City boys and girls descend in droves to soak up some rays and the terrace is open throughout the year – although heaters prove no match for the cruel British winter, even when you’ve stoked up on honest British victuals.

BrewHouse_credit Jitka Hynkova_13.jpg
BrewHouse_credit Jitka Hynkova_13.jpg
© Jitka Hynkova

Brew House

Restaurants British Hampstead Heath

If you’re hitting Hampstead Heath, this casual café on the Kenwood House estate is great for some outdoor space. The two terraces can accommodate plenty of people and offer shady parasols and views of the sweeping lawns – plus soup, salads, coffee and cake, and bespoke afternoon teas.

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Bright

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Contemporary Global Hackney

Heard of P Franco? It’s a great Dalston wine shop that also happens to do a mean line in comestibles. Bright is from the same crew, but is a restaurant proper, with a light dining room and nice outside space (though you can’t book this, so say a prayer). It’s basically the best thing to hit the neighbourhood since sliced bread. Sliced bread also happens to be the makings of the cutest thing on the menu – a meaty take on a fish-finger sarnie, using Japanese katsu chicken. Bright’s a lovely, shiny place.

Café Bohème

Restaurants Brasseries Soho

Boasting a prime position in the heart of Soho, Café Boheme also finds just enough room for a few alfresco pavement tables for those who want to check out Old Compton Street’s frisky goings-on. Come for breakfast, morning coffee, small plates and French-focused wines – or sip an evening cocktail with the sounds of live jazz wafting out on to the street (it’s open till 3am, Mon-Sat). Be warned: outdoor tables get snapped up sharpish when the sun shines.

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Caravan Exmouth Market

Restaurants Australian Clerkenwell

The only thing better than getting a table inside this Exmouth Market hotspot is snagging one of the 20-odd alfresco seats. There are tables sheltered by an awning, although others are prey to the weather. You can’t book them at the moment, so trust to luck. Either way, this is a top shout for a ‘well-travelled’ breakfast, post-work cocktails, small plates and anything in between. The vibe is laidback, the house-roasted coffee is ace and service is warm – even if the weather isn’t.

Casita Andina

Restaurants Pan-South American Soho

Andina’s ‘little house’ in the West End is an all-round beauty, although we can’t resist its cute patio for a taste of the Andes in the open air. There are just three tables on this atmospherically lit courtyard space, which comes adorned with turquoise-painted walls and fronds of swishy potted plants. All under the cover of a practical, retractable awning, because – let’s face it – we’re still in weather-challenged London, not Lima.

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Courtyard at Chiltern Firehouse
Courtyard at Chiltern Firehouse
Photograph: Chiltern Firehouse

Chiltern Firehouse

Restaurants Contemporary European Marylebone

The initial mega-hype may have died down, but Chiltern Firehouse remains one of London’s hottest tickets and it comes with the bonus of a lovely sheltered courtyard complete with heaters and blankets. Either book a table in the restaurant proper (good luck with that) and ask for an alfresco spot amid the pot plants and lanterns – or simply or turn up on the day with everything crossed. It’s open for dinner only right now (or drinks and snacks in the afternoon).

Clerkenwell Kitchen

Restaurants British Clerkenwell

Although Clerkenwell Kitchen doesn’t take bookings for its outdoor tables, it’s worth trying your luck on spec. The secluded garden terrace has a lovely flower bed and perky sun umbrellas to enhance your enjoyment of the day’s menu – a roster of seasonal fare that shows a crusading commitment to organic and ethically sourced ingredients. There’s also a small perspex porch should the weather turn bad.

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The Coach
The Coach
Andy Parsons

The Coach

Restaurants French Clerkenwell

The Coach is an enormously elegant gastropub with a lovely garden space to dine in. Like a cross between a cottage and a conversatory, glass walls separate the garden, decked out with mirrors and winding plants, from the dining room. Expect a menu filled with proper French food.

Coal Office

Restaurants Middle Eastern King’s Cross

Sibling to The Palomar and The Barbary, Coal Office is a slick collaboration with designer Tom Dixon, plating up the flavours of modern Jerusalem. Adjacent to the very cool Coal Drops Yard development in King’s Cross, it has a breezy outdoor terrace space that’s open for business all day long.

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Coppa Club Tower Bridge

Restaurants Contemporary European Tower Hill

Boasting one of the biggest riverside terraces in London (now extended!), plus its famous igloos, Coppa Club occupies a prime spot with Tower Bridge in near-sight and The Shard just opposite. Whether you’re in the restaurant, café or central bar, tall windows mean you can soak up the view even when it’s too chilly for full alfresco. To eat? Sourdough pizzas, pasta and grills, as well as a few nibbles – if you’re just here for the vistas.

Crate Brewery
Crate Brewery
© Olivia Rutherford

Crate Brewery

Bars and pubs Breweries Hackney Wick

Things don’t get much more bucolic in London’s East End than at this totally hip warehouse-style pizzeria-cum-brewery on the banks of the Lea. In summer, arrive as early as decency allows to bag a reclaimed riverside bench, then proceed to order your first pint of Crate’s own craft beer, lager or cider (with perhaps a pizza on the side). After that, sun yourself, watch the birds and gaze at the boats bobbing past until last orders. You can book indoor tables; outdoor tables are walk-up only.

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Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer
Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer
Paul Winch-Furness

The Culpeper

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Whitechapel

The famous (bookable) rooftop garden/bar attached to this excellent City gastropub-with-rooms has been reborn as Piculpeper – an enterprise dedicated to seasonal pickling and preservation, complete with an eight-foot gherkin installation and a growing cast of veg destined for the jar. While the cooks do wondrous things with cucumbers and the like, visitors can sip herb-laden cocktails and graze from a menu of sharply seasonal pickle-themed ideas.

Dishoom

Restaurants Indian Shoreditch

When you’re dining alfresco in old Bombay, it’s called a verandah, dahling, not a terrace. And this stylish Shoreditch canteen has its own all-singing, all-dancing version dedicated to the serious business of lounging – complete with brocade fabrics and heavy vintage furniture, plus a retractable roof just in case the sun goes all subcontinental on us. Plus, they now take bookings! Kick back and order from the eclectic line-up of classic Indo-Irani dishes and East-West mash-ups. 

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The Dynamo

Restaurants Cafés Putney

Outdoorsy folk who like cycling can stay outside and eat alfresco at this laidback cycling caff in Putney. A big terrace dining area out front soaks up the sunshine (if any), and it’s regularly packed with punters. It does brunch Friday to Sunday and classic Neapolitan pizzas in the evenings.

Farm Girl

Restaurants Cafés Portobello Road

This casual Aussie-inspired café in a Notting Hill terrace house comes equipped with a quaint, leafy outdoor garden for dining in the sunshine. The food tastes as it looks: pleasantly healthy. Expect icy acai bowls and don’t miss the ‘immune-system-boosting’ Liquid Gold latte laced with turmeric. It’s walk-up only for now. Good luck!

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400 Rabbits

Restaurants Contemporary European Herne Hill

A brunch and pizza spot at the Brockwell Lido Café from the sourdough specialists. A waterside venue with a difference, this lovely alfresco space nudges up against the 1930s art deco splendour of the lido. Make no mistake: poolside seats just a splash away from the azure water are snapped up fast. Check out their ‘Tenner Tuesdays’ – a pizza and a beer for, you guessed it, ten quid.

Frederick's

Restaurants Contemporary European Angel

There’s no denying that Frederick’s lush garden and expertly tended plants are a thing of beauty for those who sit outside at alfresco tables. However, the owners of this Islington classic have also struck gold with a spacious conservatory-style Garden Room that offers the same gorgeous outlook, but with the bonus of a roof that keeps unwelcome rain, excessive sunshine and wind at bay. Appropriately, the menus change with the seasons at this dapper local treat.

Venue says We are delighted to be getting back to business with a Summer Pop up - it’s still Frederick’s, but in a slightly different format.

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German Gymnasium

Restaurants Contemporary European King’s Cross

This polished, all-day ‘grand café’ has a gigantic L-shaped terrace and a plum location on the pedestrianised bit between King’s Cross and St Pancras stations. There’s a year-round approach to alfresco dining too: the outdoor space is thoughtfully equipped with heaters, blankets and umbrellas.

The Good Egg Soho

Restaurants Middle Eastern Soho

The second branch of Stoke Newington’s hit Israeli joint is smack-bang in the middle of Carnaby Street, with a big terrace space in Kingly Court that’s heated in winter, heaving in summer. And while we don’t think the Middle Eastern-style food here is as strong as at the original, this is still one of the best spots on the courtyard, and certainly near Oxford Circus. Plus you can book.

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Ham Yard Hotel

Hotels Soho

The leafy garden of this swish boutique hotel is a prime Soho oasis complete with stone floors, gleaming modern sculptures, mature oak trees and cream parasols; there are even a couple of beehives tended by a dedicated beekeeper. What’s more, the tables are bookable (hooray!) – although you’ll be moved indoors if the weather’s bad. There’s also a cool terrace on the fourth floor. Check the hotel’s website for special ticketed pop-ups.

Harry’s Dolce Vita

Restaurants Italian Belgravia

Directly behind Harrods, Harry’s is a glamorous Italian bistro with a breezy European-style terrace out front that’s often packed with people enjoying a spritz and a plate of pasta after a day of shopping across the road. Foodwise, stick to the simple Italian things: seafood spaghetti and fresh antipasti plates.

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hicce
hicce
Photograph: Hicce

Hicce

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Contemporary Global King’s Cross

On the upper concourse of Coal Drops Yard, above Wolf & Badger, Hicce is a buzzy, good-time place. It’s a large, vibey space complete with affable service and a handsome industrial-chic setting that is buffed-up King’s Cross at its best: glorious arched windows, exposed brick and vaulted ceilings. Crucially, there is a terrace (which you can’t book as such, but can request) so you can nosh and people-spot. 

The cooking is from Pip Lacey, she of ‘Great British Menu’-winning fame, who trained at Murano. To kick off, you’re meant to choose a bread (we liked the delicately yeasty beer bread), then a little cheese or cured meat, some pickled veg and perhaps a pincho-esque bite or two, like vibrant honey-drizzled, goat’s-cheese-stuffed piquillo peppers.

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer
Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer
Paul Winch-Furness

The Ivy Chelsea Garden

Restaurants British King’s Road

Given its name, you’d expect this horticulturally themed venue to tick all the alfresco boxes, and the Ivy’s terrace doesn’t disappoint. By day, its leafy trellises, bloom-filled terracotta pots, water feature and velvet chairs will put you in an off-duty mood faster than you can order an Ivy Garden Royale; at night, fire pits, roaring hearths and lap blankets keep diners toasty and the vibe as chic as can be.

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New_LARDO textures 5.jpg
New_LARDO textures 5.jpg
© Stephen Barber

Lardo

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Italian Hackney

If a restaurant is named after the cured back fat of a pig, you can expect that charcuterie is among its specialities – and so it is here. Sit indoors and you can watch the pizzas being fired, meanwhile the outdoor space has a good amount of seating for those wishing to watch the world go by while chowing down on tomato and parmesan-covered eggs. Drinks run from cocktails to builders’ tea plus a brief, mainly Italian wine list. Hackneyites love this place – rightly so – and cram in from breakfast to late, so it’s wise to book.

 

The Lighterman

Bars and pubs Gastropubs King’s Cross

With its first-floor wraparound terrace and an alfresco area overlooking Regent’s Canal in King’s Cross, this capacious bar-restaurant hybrid is a magnet for waterside drinkers and diners. The Lighterman’s alfresco spaces all operate on a first-come, first-served basis, so prepare for a bun fight on hot days. There are parasols and heaters, so grab seasonal dishes, craft beers and on-trend cocktails all year round.

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Llewelyn's
Llewelyn's
Andy Parsons

Llewelyn's

Restaurants Contemporary European Herne Hill

There are pavement tables on the newly extended terrace outside this gastro-magnet next to Herne Hill railway station; if you get one, you’ll enjoy not only the chichi ambience of Station Square and Railton Road but peerless cooking and spot-on service from a trio whose joint CV includes The Anchor & Hope, St John and Rochelle Canteen. Hell, we’d even sit out this place in the rain. 

Modern Pantry

Restaurants Global Clerkenwell

Situated in a magnificent Grade II-listed Georgian building on St John’s Square, fusion queen Anna Hansen’s Clerkenwell flagship has some delightful alfresco tables tucked in among the resident mandarin trees. It’s back open and you can book tables now.  

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Moro

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Fusion Clerkenwell

Sam(antha) and Sam Clark’s Exmouth Market restaurant and cookbook set the benchmark for a distinctly British style of Iberian-with-a-North-African-twist Mediterranean cooking, and they’re still in the front rank 15 years later. Channel Continental vibes on one of its pavement tables, and expect bright, attentive service, a spectacular showcase of modern Spanish and Portuguese wines, and vibrantly fresh food that throws out surprising and pleasurable flavours at every turn.

Nutbourne
Nutbourne
Credit: Andy Parsons

Nutbourne

Restaurants British Battersea

With Rabbit and The Shed already under their belts, the go-getting Gladwin brothers have rolled out Nutbourne – yet another faux-rustic eatery with a similarly green and pleasant feel. If you’re in alfresco mood, take advantage of its 40-seater terrace and courtyard overlooking Ransome’s Dock – a space that really shines when the sun comes out. Where better to really enjoy some farm-picked seasonal ingredients and wines from the family’s namesake Sussex vineyard?

Venue says Grill Night every Wednesday night with discounted prices on our wood-fired grill menu!

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Ognisko

Restaurants Polish South Kensington

Hidden between Hyde Park and South Ken’s many museums, this revamped Polish veteran is a world away from the area’s tourist-packed mass-market joints. Its light-filled dining room is all old-school elegance with chic, modern touches, but you can also eat on the marquee-style covered terrace overlooking the peaceful tree-lined greenery of Prince’s Gardens (tables are first come, first served).

Venue says The beautiful Ognisko in South Kensington is open seven days a week and offers amazing, critically-acclaimed cuisine.

The Open Kitchen at Mare Street Market

Restaurants Global Hackney

Inside Hackney’s Mare Street Market is The Open Kitchen: a food hall-style, big, vibey and beautiful dining space with a huge beer garden attached. Order your wood-fired pizza, hearty pasta or fresh salad at the counter inside, then take yourself outside among the fairy lights to eat and while away the afternoon with a bevvie.

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London - Sunset View
London - Sunset View
Jonathan Reid

Oxo Tower Brasserie

Restaurants British South Bank

Eight floors above the South Bank, Oxo Tower’s restaurant and brasserie might not dish up rooftop dining per se, but it offers more height, fresh air and feelings of space than many of the capital’s rooftop terraces. It’s first-come, first-served for alfresco tables, so arrive on the dot for lunch and take your pick – there are corking views of the Thames and its landmark buildings, plus a menu of modern European food. As there’s no heating out on the terraces, you may need to time your visit carefully.

Peckham Bazaar

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Balkan Peckham

Pan-Balkan neighbourhood restaurant Peckham Bazaar is one of SE15’s stars. It’s hugely atmospheric and a genuine feast for the senses, with loud folk music from the region (which stretches loosely from Greece and Turkey up to Croatia and Serbia), plus rustic woods, flickering oil lights and smoke from the open kitchen. There’s a leaft, pavementside terrace, while the daily-changing small-plates menu is packed with equally sunny flavours.

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Pergola Paddington Central

Restaurants Pop up restaurant Paddington

Billed as a ‘botanical alfresco dining destination’, this summery rooftop behemoth accommodates 850 covered/heated seats, seven day-beds, two bars on different levels, weekend DJs and a rockin’ foodie offering – all in a luxuriant setting of trellises and heavy foliage, with communal tables and a roof in case it rains. 

Venue says Pergola Paddington returns as an urban winter forest this winter with a warm welcome as the nights draw in ~ BOOK NOW!

The Petersham

Restaurants Italian Covent Garden

Eating in this grand Covent Garden offshoot of Petersham Nurseries in Richmond feels a bit like dining alfresco – what with the palm trees in massive pots, the posies of flowers on each table and the general air of light and space. But the Petersham also has a splendid courtyard for that genuine outdoor vibe – complete with even more trees, plant-filled urns and other horticultural paraphernalia. Ideal for those rare moments when the sun peeps out.

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Petersham Nurseries Café

Restaurants Contemporary European Richmond

Open, with service extended until sundown on selected evenings. 

Although not strictly alfresco – you’re dining under a glass roof – this magical hothouse alive with palm trees, fragrant bougainvillea and scented jasmine feels as outdoorsy as can be. After joining the ladies who lunch for some seasonal Italian-inspired food, check out the adjoining nurseries, then walk across the meadows to Richmond. Reservations are essential and should be made up to three months in advance: this is no ordinary garden-centre restaurant.

Thomas Alexander

Le Pont de la Tour

Restaurants Grills Shad Thames

Day or night, summer or winter, this French fancy by the river has everything you could wish for in an alfresco terrace. A jaunty striped awning is rolled out in strong sun, while luxurious sheepskin chair covers taking the chill off during the evening. In hot weather, it’s perfect for sipping St Germain cocktails as you gaze out towards Tower Bridge, while the chilly months herald furry blankets and fondues.

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Pop Brixton

Restaurants Brixton

Combining the best bits of a street-food market, event venue and shopping destination, this motley collection of converted shipping containers is a Brixton innovator housing restaurants, stalls and bars galore. Pop has an open-air look in summer, with a large greenhouse space for communal dining, while weather-proofing keeps the punters toasty in winter. Weave past the trendy hordes and explore the foodie offerings as music pumps in the background. Who needs festivals?

La Poule au Pot

Restaurants French Chelsea

A classic French restaurant in Belgravia, La Poule au Pot has oodles of charm and a very summery white-tableclothed outdoor dining area that’s open during the warmer months. The food is gloriously old-school: think pan-fried scallops and foie gras terrine to start; tender, slow-braised beef bourguignon to follow.

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The Ritz

Restaurants Haute cuisine Piccadilly

Yes, London’s ultimate name-drop restaurant is for trust-funders or special-occasion spendthrifts, but on hot days, the sedate terrace is still one of the best alfresco lunch spots in London, with vast parasols, mosaic floors, floral boxes and (if you’re so inclined) buckets of champagne on ice. You can’t book a terrace table, but you can request one. Note: the Ritz’s strict dress code still applies, although gentlemen are permitted to remove their jackets. Result.

River Café

Restaurants Italian Hammersmith

Despite its name and riverside location, The River Café’s gorgeous gardens are what make dining alfresco here such a treat. If you snag an outdoor table (request this when booking), you’ll either eat under the awning on the heated terrace, surrounded by fruit trees, herbs and edible flowers, or in the garden itself – amid shady trees on neatly trimmed lawns. The menu is a study in seasonal Italian deliciousness, with some ingredients sourced direct from the growing patch.

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Rochelle Canteen

Restaurants British Shoreditch

Converted from the bike sheds of an old Victorian school, this unassuming canteen for Shoreditch creatives (and others) has half a dozen outdoor tables on its plant-filled patio within the grassy walled garden overlooking Arnold Circus. This chilled-out alfresco space is at the mercy of the elements, but whatever the weather, you can depend on the kitchen for a daily menu of colourful yet homely dishes featuring seasonal ingredients.

Saatchi Gallery Bar & Brasserie

Restaurants Contemporary European King’s Road

You can sit inside the Saatchi Gallery’s delightful brasserie surrounded by modern art, but on sunny days you can’t beat a seat in the museum’s equally well-curated grounds, with their first-come, first-served tables overlooking the green expanses of Duke of York’s Square. The menu is full of crowdpleasers (crisp plaice and chips, burgers) and it’s equally enticing for a sparkling sundowner come Pimm’s o’clock.

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Sager + Wilde Paradise Row

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Contemporary European Bethnal Green

Having enlisted the talents of Sebastian Myers (formerly of Chiltern Firehouse), Sager + Wilde produce British dishes with European flourishes. For dinner think grilled cuts of Iberico pork, black trompettes, beef-shin ragù and hispi cabbage, while brunch provides all kinds of egg dishes, sausage baps and salads. Combined with the cobbled alley-setting and a spectacular wine list, well, you're on to a winner here. 

Shoryu Carnaby

Restaurants Japanese Soho

We thought you couldn’t sit outside in an upmarket Soho setting and eat well without paying through the proboscis. Yet that’s precisely what the Carnaby branch of this ramen mini-chain allows you to do. A cut above its courtyard neighbours, it offers great-value bowls of its swoon-worthy signature tonkotsu amid the elegant parasols and outdoor heaters of its terrace – although you’ll miss out on the funky vibe and pumping rock soundtrack.

Venue says Open daily for alfresco ramen, socially distanced dine-in & Deliveroo. Book now at shoryuramen.com Walk-ins are also welcome!

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Stein’s

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Richmond

If you’ve never been to a German beer garden – and don’t fancy a trip to Munich – you could do worse than Stein’s, a live-wire outdoor restaurant promising ‘the Bavarian experience’ beside a stretch of the Thames towpath. Its huge riverside space can seat up to 300 alfresco diners at shared wooden tables, many of which offer some shelter from the elements. The name refers to the huge vessels (stone or otherwise) from which you glug litres of ‘bier’.

The Victoria

Restaurants Contemporary European Mortlake and Sheen

The Victoria’s Richmond Park location alone makes it well worth a visit. However, with TV chef Paul Merrett overseeing the show, plus a leafy walled garden complete with supersized heated parasols and an open-air bar, as well as a conservatory for in-between days, you’ll see why this smart gastropub is almost permanently packed to the rafters. The garden even has its own kitchen, fired up for summertime grills. Arrive early to guarantee an alfresco perch.

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Villa di Geggiano

Restaurants Italian Chiswick

Hidden away from the madness of Chiswick High Road, Villa di Geggiano’s huge, heaving outdoor terrace is a true hidden gem. More than 50 people can be wined and dined in this villa-style space, which serves Tuscan-style delights like grilled, flaky cod and plates of super-fresh veg.

Vinoteca N1
Vinoteca N1
Guy Dimond

Vinoteca

Bars and pubs Wine bars King’s Cross

The sleek, warm-weather terrace attached to this branch of Vinoteca overlooks the pedestrianised walkway leading from Regent’s Canal to King’s Cross and St Pancras stations. Life feels pretty good sitting here on a sunny day, sipping one of their affordable, well-chosen wines, nibbling charcuterie or tucking into dishes from the tantalising European menu. The only passing traffic is the occasional bike-riding commuter. City bliss.

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westerns laundry
westerns laundry
Jamie Lau

Westerns Laundry

Restaurants Contemporary European Highbury

Occupying what was once a not-so-beautiful laundrette, this sibling of Islington’s Primeur is also the kind of neighbourhood hangout where the menu is scrawled on a blackboard, the small plates are modish and fish is a strong suit. Yes, Westerns Laundry has a fashionably stark interior, an open kitchen and counter seating at the bar, but you can also eat alfresco on the Provençal-style terrace, surrounded by olive trees and rug-strewn wooden blocks.

Where the Pancakes Are

Restaurants Crêperies Southwark

You don’t have to wait till Shrove Tuesday comes around for your pancake fix – thanks to this bright and buzzy venue squeezed into one corner of Flat Iron Square. Sweet and savoury buttermilk varieties abound, and you can eat them in the airy, pastel-walled dining room or alfresco at one of the plain wooden tables and benches outside. If it’s sunny, of course, you can always take a stroll around and check out the other street-food vendors on the Square.

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Yauatcha City

Restaurants Chinese Broadgate

The City branch of dim-sum bobby-dazzler Yauatcha takes up the whole second floor in food-heavy Broadgate Circle, and is by far the best alfresco option in the complex. The restaurant is book-ended by two heated terraces that are perfect if you want to watch City slickers letting off steam (or blowing smoke) in the arena below.

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