When the city experiences those rare moments of glorious weather, London’s outdoor restaurants come into their own, with picturesque riverside spots and captivating rooftops providing a haven of sun-drenched dining. The only catch is knowing where to find them.

Fear not, because we’ve created the ultimate al fresco guide for drinking cocktails, indulging in delicious food and soaking up that glorious vitamin D. From hidden courtyards to rooftop vistas, these are the best al fresco dining spots that London has to offer.

Alto by San Carlo

Perched atop one of the world’s most prestigious department stores, Alto by San Carlo, is one of London’s most iconic alfresco dining spots. Escape the bustling streets below and discover an enchanting foliage-laden little Italy, high in the sky. With a fully retractable roof, diners will delight in a traditional Italian trattoria with freshly prepared and beautifully presented plates designed to share, alongside refreshing spritzes, wine and cocktails. Open seven days a week from lunch through to dinner, a stunning rooftop sanctuary, terrace bar and restaurant await.  

Where: 400 Oxford St, London W1A 1AB
Website: www.sancarlo.co.uk

Lima London

Lima London stands out from the rest by making Peruvian cuisine both approachable and delicious, and the outdoor dining option and lively atmosphere make it a must-visit destination. To start, sip on a refreshing Pisco Sour and sample the homemade bread and tuna nikkei tartare.

Let the staff guide you through the menu and choose from dishes like hand-dived scallop tiradito with olive oil and lime emulsion, plantain, and coriander; and red quinoa with passion fruit, palm hearts, and feta cheese.

WHERE: 31 RATHBONE PL, LONDON W1T 1JH
WEBSITE: WWW.LIMALONDON.COM

NYX Hotel Holborn

Boasting the exclusive Glasshouse rooftop on the 10th floor, the rooftop restaurant offers panoramic views of London. With the launch of its new brunch menu, the rooftop restaurant will be serving its infamous bottomless brunch every Saturday from the 6th of April.

Guests can choose from a selection of sweet and savoury dishes from their new brunch menu, including pulled pork flatbread, smoked salmon gravadlax, and French brioche toast, alongside an array of classic cocktails.

WHERE:  50 – 60 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AR
WEBSITE:  nyx-hotels.com

Seabird

Venturing south of the river, Seabird is an enchanting rooftop haven with breathtaking views that stretch across the city. Prepare to be impressed by the extensive selection of oysters, boasting the title of London’s longest oyster list.

With captivating views in the open air, you’ll soon understand why it’s an alfresco dining destination worth seeking out.

Where: 14th Floor, South Bank, 40 Blackfriars Rd, London SE1 8NY
Website: www.seabirdlondon.com

The Athenaeum

Relax and watch the world go by on one of London’s most iconic streets,  at this beautiful haven away from the hustle and bustle of Central London. Enjoy a refreshing drink or dine on a three-course meal from its seasonal menu, which champions quality ingredients and provenance. 

Standout dishes include the Club Sandwich with chicken, bacon, egg, and tomato, and the Vegetarian Platter with grilled halloumi, feta cheese, house pickles, cheddar, olive & thyme bread stick.

Where:116 Piccadilly, London W1J 7BJ
Website: athenaeum.com

Parrillan

Located in the heart of Coal Drops Yard, Parrillan is the stylish al fresco dining spot that’s oozing with Spanish charm and scenic views. Celebrating the rich flavours of Spain, indulge in grilled dishes prepared and served with a touch of flair as you bask in the chic surroundings – from Pimientos de Padrón and Ham Croquetas to Chicken Pintxo and a ‘Mariscada’ Seafood Selection, cooked on the Parilla. This is al fresco dining done right.

Where: Coal Drops Yard, Stable St, London N1C 4AB
Website: www.parrillan.co.uk

Peggy Jean

With sensational food and river views, Peggy Jean is the al fresco spot that’s bound to float your boat. Nestled on the  picturesque Richmond riverside, the barge will take your al fresco experience to the next level with Australian-inspired dishes and expertly crafted cocktails.

Where: The Boat, Bridge Boat House, Riverside, Richmond TW9 1TH
Website: www.daisygreenfood.com

The Trafalgar, St James

Located on the seventh floor of the Trafalgar St. James, The Rooftop is one of the city’s finest when it comes to alfresco drinking and dining, against the backdrop of London’s iconic skyline.

The ideal space to sip an individually crafted cocktail and drink in the inimitable city view at the same time. With a seasonally changing menu of European-inspired cuisine and table service provided throughout.

Where: 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Sq, St. James’s, London SW1A 2TS
Website: trafalgarstjames.com

Union Social

Stratford Hottel, The Gantry, has a stunning outdoor space, perfect for soaking up those rays. The all-day lounge, cocktail bar and relaxed chef’s counter offer up a tempting selection of food and drink to keep you going from early morning to late at night. Get some work done in the lounge, have lunch with colleagues, and sip on cocktails as the sun goes down.

On the menu are delicious breakfasts, tapas and sharing plates, as well as mouth-watering dinners, all made from locally-sourced and sustainable products.

Where: 40 Celebration Ave, East Village, London E20 1DB
Website: www.hilton.com

Corinthia London

A little slice of the Mediterranean right in the heart of London, The Garden at Corinthia returns for another season.

Expect a high-end take on Mediterranean favourites prepared by Executive Chef André Garrett and elegant cocktails that reawaken past holiday memories, imagined by Bars Manager Alena Cagnato.

Where: Whitehall Pl, London SW1A 2BD
Website: www.corinthia.com

Dalloway Terrace

Known for their iconic installations that change with the seasons, Dalloway Terrace in the Bloomsbury Hotel recently unveiled their spring theme,  where the menus have been refreshed with sumptuous seasonal dishes.

Having recently been transformed into an uplifting, mimosa flower-filled haven in collaboration with Maison Mirabeau, Dalloway Terrace is the perfect spot to host all of your spring engagements, from long lunches with the ladies to more intimate meals with your nearest and dearest.

Where: 16-22 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3NN
Website: www.dallowayterrace.com

The Lane

Sat in the vibrant heart of the West End, The Terrace at Theatre Royal Drury Lane is the perfect spot for an al fresco experience in the heart of theatreland. With seasonal cocktails, wines and champagne on offer, the hidden gem is the ideal destination for a drink in the sun, or post-afternoon tea in the Grand Saloon. Whether you’re looking for a pre-theatre drink or a leisurely afternoon escape, it’s ideal for soaking up that glorious sunshine.

Where: Catherine St, London WC2B 5JF
Website: www.thelane.co.uk

The MAINE Mayfair

Looking for a sun-filled spot to while away an afternoon? Look to The MAINE Mayfair and its private alfresco space. 

Located in the original gardens of 20 Hanover Square, the 100-cover space is filled with wicker furniture and greenery, as well as plenty of cocktails and rosé to fuel you through the spring into summer.  The menu features raw bar items, charcuterie, small plates, and wood-fired fish and meats, and also a delicious brunch menu perfect for lazy weekends.

Where: 6, Medici Courtyard, London W1S 1JY
Website: www.themainemayfair.com

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Looking for some tranquillity? Head to Hyde Park Garden at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park for an exclusive dining setting that offers breathtaking views of the magnificent Royal parkland. The menu, curated by the team from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, showcases the best of British botanicals and locally sourced produce.

Indulge in signature dishes like gentleman’s relish, pea and ham hock salad, and native lobster and pickled lemon, and wash it all down with English sparkling wines and expertly crafted cocktails inspired by Hyde Park. 

Where: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
Website: www.mandarinoriental.com

Jurema Terrace, The Mandrake

Jurema Terrace, located on the first floor of The Mandrake, is the secret jungle garden you need to book. Surrounded by exotic hanging plants and a suspended garden of jasmine and passion flowers, it’s the perfect botanical venue to enjoy alfresco dining and cocktails. 

Serving up ethnobotanical cocktails and South American-inspired dishes, it’s an open-air space like no other in London.

Where: 20-21 Newman St, London W1T 1PG
Website: www.themandrake.com

Studio Frantzen

Perched high above the bustling streets of Knightsbridge, Studio Frantzen is the stunning rooftop restaurant at the top of iconic Harrods. The stylish restaurant and bar offers both an indoor and al fresco experience, where guests can bask in panoramic views of the city skyline.

Harmoniously blending elegant Nordic flavours with Asian influences, the menu is a truly unique gastronomic experience – a feast for the senses. 

The stunning rooftop restaurant at the top of iconic Harrods.

Where: 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge Fifth Floor, Harrods, London SW1X 7XL
Website: www.studiofrantzenlondon.com

The Ivy Chelsea Garden

Despite its popularity, The Ivy Chelsea Garden manages to maintain an air of exclusivity thanks to its surrounding walls and climbing roses, ivy, and wisteria.  Sink into the comfy seating and sip on a refreshing glass of rosé while indulging in small plates of cheese and basil soufflé with pesto and toasted pine nuts, or a warm crispy duck salad. For the main event, there are perfectly cooked steaks and classics like truffle chicken Milanese and traditional fish and chips.

The area boasts a retractable roof for year-round al fresco enjoyment, but booking a table well in advance is a must, particularly during the warmer months.

Where: 195 197 King’s Rd, London SW3 5EQ
Website: www.ivycollection.com

Isola by San Carlo 

Located in the buzzy St Christopher’s Place, Isola by San Carlo offers modern metropolitan dining, but with an island state of mind. Reminiscent of a grand Sicilian home, the alfresco space and façade are decked out with foliage and florals, offering the perfect Italian garden spot.

Sip on an aperitivo, nibble on fresh plates of figliata al tartufo, carpaccio di spigola and the sharing spaghetti granseola, and watch the world go by along the charming cobbled streets.

Where: 3-8 Barrett St, London W1U 1AY
Website: www.sancarlo.co.uk

OXO 

With a 200ft-long terrace, OXO is one of the few places in London with panoramic views across the city and the River Thames, and the talented team behind the bar has been mixing, shaking, and pouring all sorts of wonderfully coloured concoctions.

Enjoy a tipple from the substantial cocktail list or a casual bite from the bar menu – just make sure to book ahead on busy days, especially weekends, as this is one sought-after al fresco spot.

Where: Barge House St, London SE1 9PH
Website: www.oxotowerrestaurant.com

Wagtail

Since opening in spring 2022, Wagtail has swiftly earned its reputation as one of London’s most sought-after spots for al fresco dining.  Take in 360° panoramic views of iconic landmarks like London Bridge, The Shard, Tower Bridge, and St. Paul’s Cathedral and indulge in stunning dishes like grilled prawns with avocado, chilli, and yuzu; roasted monkfish with celeriac, shimeji mushroom, and sake; and white crab linguine. Elevating the experience even further are the innovative cocktails – think the Blush with mezcal, Cointreau, white port, and grapefruit soda; or the Clover with green chartreuse, lemon, apple juice, and peychaud bitter.

Where: 68 King William St, London EC4N 7HR
Website: www.wagtaillondon.com

Pantechnicon

Head to the top floor of Pantechnicon and you’ll find a tranquil escape from the bustling streets of London.

With a sunny outdoor situation, carefully created cocktails and picturesque views of Belgravia, it’s the place to take your dining experience to new heights.

Where: 19 Motcomb St, London SW1X 8LB
Website: www.pantechnicon.com

Stanley’s

Located just off the King’s Road, Stanley’s is inspired by the quintessential English country garden – the perfect outdoor space in Chelsea to eat, drink, and relax.

The menu focuses on the finest seasonal produce, showcasing the best of British suppliers and ingredients. Think West Country spring lamb with asparagus and grape sauce; South Coast skate wing and chorizo butter sauce with monk’s beard; and for those with a sweet tooth, Poached Yorkshire rhubarb with whipped custard and meringue.

Inspired by the quintessential English country garden.

Where: 151 Sydney St, London SW3 5UE
Website: www.stanleyschelsea.co.uk

The Churchill Bar & Terrace

Inspired by Sir Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine, the stylish bar offers award-winning cocktails and delicious dining in a glamorous, yet tranquil setting tucked away behind Oxford Street.

With a carefully considered sustainably focused cocktail list alongside premium spirits, fine wines, non-alcoholic options, and all the classics. The Churchill Bar & Terraces expert chefs promise a British-inspired food menu during dinner service from a range of British-inspired bar snacks and sharing plates, alongside premium burgers and a choice of sweet treats and British cheeses to round off dinner.

Where: 30 Portman Square, London W1H 7BH
Website: www.thechurchillbar.co.uk

Sloane Place

Get ready for al fresco as The Sloane’s Roof opens its doors to diners for al fresco dining and delicious drinks under the open sky.

This season, they’re hosting a series of exclusive pop-ups – the first with No. 3 Gin – a curated cocktail menu boasting the St James Spritz, the elegant Sloane 75, and the vibrant Chelsea Bloom. Bask in the sun, sip on a sensational gin cocktail, and soak up the atmosphere.

Where: 60 Lower Sloane St, London SW1W 8BP
Website: www.sloaneplace.com

Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill

Where better than the Bentley’s Oyster Bar Swallow Street space to while away the afternoon? Getting away from the hustle and bustle of Regent Street and Piccadilly, this is prime people-watching real estate.

Whether it’s a cool, crisp glass of Champagne along with some oysters, or one of their special cocktails, you’ll be transported from central London to the Italian Coast. 

Where: 11-15 Swallow St, London W1B 4DG
Website: www.bentleys.org

Great Fosters

Fancy an escape from the hustle and bustle? The Terrace at Great Fosters is the place. Their extensive spaces overlook an ancient Saxon moat complete with a wisteria-draped Japanese bridge and the view is unparalleled – with pretty as a picture cocktails to match.

Plus, if you time your visit just right, the wisteria will be in magnificent bloom and you’ll be there to catch that perfect #wisteriahysteria shot.

Where: Stroude Rd, Egham TW20 9UR
Website: www.alexanderhotels.co.uk

Great Northern Hotel

Luxury, grade II listed Great Northern Hotel has teamed up with The Botanist Gin to launch King’s Cross’s hottest new alfresco spot. A welcome escape from the bustle of the city, the spacious and buzzy GNH Bar & Terrace is complete with bright blooms, foliage and limited-edition cocktails created with The Botanist Gin.

Must try serves include the Raspberry Beret, mixed with The Botanist Gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, raspberry and Champagne, and Release the Brakes – a punchy blend of The Botanist Gin, vermouth, Aperol and lime.

Where: Pancras Rd, London N1C 4TB
Website: www.marriott.com

Eataly

Aperol lovers, look to Terrazza Eataly to get your spritz fix. The ground floor area, located out the front of the building, is complete with orange trees, neon signs, orange accents, and of course, the best orange drink around for sipping in the sun.

Tuck into antipasti bites, pasta, and pizza and enjoy an aperitivo Italian-style at Liverpool Street’s very own tribute to sunny Italy.

Where: 135 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3YD
Website: www.eataly.co.uk

Bread Street Kitchen on the River

Experience the ultimate al fresco dining at Bread Street Kitchen On The River, where panoramic river views await on their outdoor area.

Tuck into delicious dishes and indulging in an all-new cocktail menu from Malfy Gin and Fever-Tree – the perfect blend of stunning vistas and fabulous flavours.

Where: 44 Narrow St, London E14 8DJ
Website: www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com

Home House

London’s most iconic private members’ club has reopened The Garden for both lunch and dinner with a new Spring Menu. A quiet oasis in the heart of Marylebone, it’s the ideal location to revel in the British sunshine. Whether it’s a leisurely business breakfast, an afternoon rendezvous, or a long-awaited dinner with friends, the stunning surroundings of The Garden are guaranteed to impress.

Both members and hotel guests can enjoy dishes from a quintessentially British garden menu, like the ‘Chef’s Catch of the Day’ and ‘Special Cut of the Day’, or savour a gourmet barbecue cooked on an open grill on the weekends.

Where: 20 Portman Square, London W1H 6LW
Website: www.homehouse.co.uk

The Courtyard at The Stafford

The Courtyard at The Stafford London’s American Bar is a sought-after destination for the warmer months.

Enjoy the sunshine with a selection of classic and signature cocktails, and a feast of American-inspired dishes in the hidden Courtyard away from the hustle and bustle of St. James’s, Mayfair. 

Where: 16-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ
Website: www.thestaffordlondon.com


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