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The best gardens in London restaurants

Get the buzz of alfresco dining and avoid the drizzle with our pick of the best gardens in London restaurants

You gotta love the British weather, it could be sunny when your starter arrives but torrential rain by the time you pick up your fork. Take your hands off the umbrella, peel off the raincoat and dip into the best gardens in London restaurants. Here, you'll find giant tropical palms, trailing hibiscus, dangling vines and not a raincloud in sight.

The best gardens in London restaurants

Blixen

There's an outdoor vibe throughout Blixen, but it's the covered garden where this comes out to play. Creeping plants curl around the naked dark wood frame and there's an abundance of tropical palms, their fronds almost bending over luxe conservatory-style seating. A very controlled and stylish take on the wilds of nature.

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Spitalfields

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

This latest venture from Bourne & Hollingsworth creates a modern interpretation of turn-of-the-century Englishness. Floral prints and cane furniture sit amongst full-grown trees, hanging baskets hover from elegant wrought iron, and all are set within sparkling white walls. It's like a pretty film set where you could imagine Maggie Smith entering stage left at any minute.

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Clerkenwell

Clos Maggiore

You can see why Clos Maggiore was voted the world's most romantic restaurant. The conservatory is very much in demand for its magical Narnia-like beauty, with an open fire, wood-panelling and flowering trees that stretch like a hug from floor to ceiling.

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Covent Garden
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The Dalloway Terrace

This hidden covered terrace in Bloomsbury is a real treat. Not only does it come fully heated and with a retractable roof, but it's also draped in foliage. And try not to be charmed when the sun drops and the fairy lights entwined in the wisteria start blinking. If you find yourself waxing lyrical, don't be alarmed – not only is this restaurant named after Virginia Woolf's eponymous character but the site itself is teeming with the memory of historical literary residents.

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Bloomsbury

Darwin Brasserie

Up on level 36 of the 'walkie-talkie' building there's the double whammy of an astonishing view of the City and the breathtaking sight of the Sky Garden, a terraced landscape with tranches planted in different themes that evoke a South African mountain range or a lush prehistoric forest.

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Aldgate

Verandah at Dishoom

Abundant hanging baskets and fertile planters are dotted around this indoor-outdoor restaurant – a throwback to traditional Indian verandahs with cane armchairs, terracotta floors, a pick'n'mix of faded rugs and the ever-present sprawling spider plants.

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Soho
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Frederick's

Venue says: “Frederick's is a family-run restaurant and bar in Angel, Islington. Fixed price menu from £15.50 for two courses, cocktails and a fab garden”

It’s easy to understand why couples choose family-run Frederick’s for their wedding reception; the large Garden Room is home to a full-grown tree that reaches up to the conservatory-style roof while the floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto a tasteful garden starring two Himalayan birch trees personally planted by Frederick’s MD Lou Segal.

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Angel

Petersham Nurseries Café

Set within the grounds of a garden centre, this extremely pretty and pricey Richmond restaurant thrives on greenery. Not only is it drenched in plants but the shrubbery and herb life directly inspire the dishes served. With the swagged roof covering, dirt floor and family photos, it's easy to imagine you have been magicked into the deep countryside.

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Petersham

The Ivy Chelsea Garden

Part of the Ivy family, this expansive former-American-grill has been completely revitalised with an elegant and light touch. The Orangerie is marble-floored with an upper class disarray of conservatory furniture and upholstered leather, a verdant ceiling, potted trees and trailing ivy (of course). A class act.

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Chelsea
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Salon at Spring

What an elegant, airy space. Large, crowded pots boasting tall trees and trailing evergreens stamp their presence between cane seating and stylish tables in this newish addition to Spring at Somerset House. The natural theme continues through an elegant gunnera leaf frieze repeating across the walls that somehow suggests an Ancient Egyptian or Babylonian temple.

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Charing Cross

The Winter Garden

Understated, cute and charming all have their place, but when you want to make a statement, book a table under the eight-storey glass atrium of The Landmark London. Between the sweeping staircases and curving wrought iron railings stand potted trees and some seriously huuuuge palm trees. It's the kind of scale and grandeur that Gatsby might have built to impress a peckish Daisy.

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Marylebone

Blue Elephant

Entering this spectacular Thai restaurant in Fulham is like arriving in Bangkok minus the jet lag. The décor is stunning and palatial; wide lush palm leaves stand to attention between gilt dragons and intricate woodcarvings. You can almost convince yourself of a balmy heat swaying the canopies of trailing greenery.

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Sands End
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Fancy braving the elements?

London's best outdoor dining

London is full of cafés, bars and restaurants that let you take it outside. Still, for every rose-trimmed terrace there's a caff with two tables plonked next to traffic lights – so it helps to know where the good outdoor spots are. Here's our area-by-area alfresco dining guide, including restaurants in central London.

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By: Nicola Arencibia

Comments

2 comments
Tom W
Tom W

Thanks for this information.  I run a website called the Gourmet Guide, would you mind if we use this information to contact the restaurants for their approval on www.gourmetguide.co.uk? 

Paolo V
Paolo V

A notable omission here: San Lorenzo Fuoriporta in Wimbledon had an absolutely delightful, fairy-lit, jasmine scented garden at the rear. It's very romantic and the generously proportioned tables are well spaced. The modern Italian food is excellent too.