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dalloway terrace autumn
Photograph: Dalloway Terrace

Outdoor drinking and dining spots in London cosy enough for autumn

Continue the outdoor trend at these gorgeous terraces, restaurants and bars in London

By Laura Richards
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With the return of hospitality venues in July, we all took to the pavements, rooftops, gardens and terraces of London’s bars and restaurants. The great outdoors was deemed the safest space for socialising and the weather was, for once, pretty decent. Now, it’s not quite so balmy. But with London going into Tier 2, about the only way you’ll see anybody beyond your household and/or bubble this autumn is by meeting up in the great outdoors. So wrap up warm and head to one of these cosy outdoor dining and drinking spots in London, where you won’t even notice the chill thanks to autumn leaves, warm candlelight and – praise be – patio heaters.   

London restaurants and bars for outdoor dining in autumn

hawks nest garden
hawks nest garden
Photograph: The Hawk’s Nest

The Hawk’s Nest

Like many a cool thing in London, The Hawk’s Nest occupies a converted railway arch and goods yard. The indoor-outdoor space in Shepherd’s Bush allows for 120 seated guests under its new autumn-ready roof – that still counts as outdoors, right?! There are heaters, should you be worried about the chill, plus cocktails to warm the cockles including a barrel-aged Rum Old Fashioned. To suit west London, The Hawk’s Nest will also be screening the rugby.  

Terrace
Terrace
Dalloway Terrace

Dalloway Terrace

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Bloomsbury

All the leaves are brown, and the floor is grey. This autumn terrace at the Bloomsbury Hotel may well have been designed with Instagram in mind, but we’ll allow it since its leafy glow-up is so stylish, a collaboration with McQueens Flowers. It’s heated, it’s got fairy lights and there’s a Johnnie Walker cocktail menu (and even a Johnnie Walker crème brûlée on the menu) to put hairs on your chest.

Venue says Transformed into an enchanting woodland for Autumn, curated by McQueens Flowers in partnership with Johnnie Walker Black Label.

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Brat at Climpson’s Arch

Restaurants Global Hackney
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Brat’s outrageously good summer pop-up at Climpson’s Arch in London Fields has been extended through winter. It’s a joy for all seasons: hunky, seasonal, super-fresh fish, meat and veg are whisked up from Cornwall and Cambridge and transformed with precision and flair by chefs cooking with smoke and fire across a long barbecue counter or prepping from the corrugated hatch of a former shipping container that completes the north side of this convivial glass-roofed patio space. Outdoorsy, carefree and all about pleasure.

Double Standard terrace
Double Standard terrace
Photograph: Double Standard

Double Standard

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars King’s Cross

While we’ll never forget the King’s Cross hotel bar for getting us through a very weird summer with ingenious Aperol slushies, it seems the terrace is here for us in all the seasons. For autumn, it’s added a fire pit a million times better than the one you got for your garden via Amazon, plus sheepskin furs draped around the place for extra comfort. Who needs Aperol, anyway?

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petersham nurseries
petersham nurseries
Photograph: petersham nurseries

Petersham Nurseries Café

Restaurants Contemporary European Richmond

In a year where nature became our best friend again, it makes sense to continue the connection at this gorgeous Richmond destination. The prettiest garden centre going also has a far-above-average café attached, and in the great outdoors. Huddle inside its heated pergola and surround yourself with foliage and wild flowers. The menu features Italian produce across comforting plates made for the autumn months.

Sager + Wilde Paradise Row

Restaurants Contemporary European Bethnal Green

It’s perenially packed on the terrace at the foot of Sager + Wilde’s glorious archway dedicated to fine food and even finer wine. Pretty lights festoon the space and a warm glow extends from the glass-fronted restaurant. For the new restrictions on dining, S+W has gone all out by adding heaters and roof for ill weather. One thing is for sure: this autumn it’ll live up to its Paradise Row location pretty perfectly.

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Skylight rooftop igloo
Skylight rooftop igloo
Skylight

Skylight London

Things to do Event spaces Wapping

At the Tobacco Dock hangout you and your support bubble can get cosy in an ‘igloo-bubble’. It has 18 of these space-age domes erected across its two-level rooftop. For mixed groups there are loads of open-air, heated seating areas, and wherever you sit, you can order mulled wine straight to your table. 

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

Chiltern Firehouse

Restaurants Contemporary European Marylebone

A roof to protect you from the elements? Check! A roaring fire? Check! Crawling vines and pop-out palms? Check! It couldn’t get more snug under social distancing than at plush Marylebone hangout Chiltern Firehouse. The Courtyard is kept back for walk-ins, so in these surreal times when outdoor spaces are in demand despite the foulest of weather, you can always take your chances at this salubrious spot.

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