Update November 2nd – With lockdown impending this week, and restaurants, pubs and hotels among the announced closures from Thursday, it’s more important than ever to help out the hospitality industry, while adhering to the current rules. Lots of these restaurants will still be open for now but please check the relevant websites before venturing out and adhere to the current government advice.
From sun-trap terraces to tropical themed rooftops, we’ve rounded up 30 of the best restaurants boasting glorious outdoor spaces in the city.
If you are venturing out this week, please remember to be safe and follow the government guidance, while enjoying one last hoorah with close friends and loved ones before lockdown occurs.
Still making its way to the top of our outdoor wish-list comes the tropical-themed outdoor terrace hidden at the top of The Mandrake.
You can forget your woes and the fact it’s likely to be pouring with rain when you walk into Jurema. It’s an urban oasis that instantly transports you out of the city and onto a luscious tropic island, with its wood panelling, cosy outdoor sofas and khaki coloured parasols. On the food front, Jurema is home to a South American inspired menu, ranging from parmesan tapioca and aji pancha to lamb, fennel, potato and salted chilli empanadas, prawn, cucumber and raspberry ceviche to fried fish, spring cabbage, sour cream and pumpkin seed salsa topped tacos.
While a holiday to an exotic island may be off the cards, Jurema at The Mandrake will sure transport you there mentally for an afternoon at least.
20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1PG
Alto by San Carlo looks like something picked out of a fairytale. The little haven on the rooftop of Selfridges will transport you to a traditional Italian trattoria.
Surrounded by lemon trees and rattan furniture, sit back and relax as you tuck into an authentic Italian winter feast, from creamy burrata filled salads to fresh lemon sole on a bed of butter and capers, grilled Mediterranean prawns tossed in lemon, herbs and olive oil to moreish black ravioli filled with mascarpone and crab, served with fresh clams and white wine. Yum.
The Rooftop, Selfridges, Oxford Street W1A 1AB
The Fitzrovia hotspot came onto the scene just last year, bringing with it 20,000 bottles of spirits lining the walls and it soon became a favourite among influencers and Instagrammers alike. And now it might be our favourite spot to alfresco dine too! In true Big Mamma Group style, the terrace at Circolo Popolare reflects the restaurant’s interiors; bold, big and beautiful and you’ll find them serving up authentic Italian fare. As if you needed another reason to race to Circolo Popolare…
40-41 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, W1T 1HX
With interiors made to the Insta grid and food that looks like it’s been plucked straight from a cook book photoshoot, Jikoni does not disappoint on the style front. And neither does it on alfresco dining either.
The Marylebone restaurant is the brainchild of Ravinder Bhogal, and champions food that’s inspired by immigrant cuisine and vibrant flavours and cultures, from South Asia and the Far East, the Middle East, East Africa and Britain. The menu is fresh and flavourful, and perfect for sharing.
Hero dishes include the Jerusalam artichoke schnitzel, chanterelles, katsu and autumn truffle; Cornish ray wing, lime pickle beurre noisette, samphire tempura and nori; and The Estate Dairy Paneer Gnudi, kale, spinach and sorrel sag, with preserved lemons and pine nuts.
19-21 Blandford Street, Marylebone W1U 3DH
COYA Mayfair is a little slice of Peruvian heaven. Hidden out back on its own private floor, COYA Members’ Club boasts its own Latin American inspired dining room and terrace.
Adorn with cosy corners, green foliage and mirrors, the terrace is a perfect place to escape the city’s rush with one of their famous Pisco Sour cocktails. We recommend tying their blueberry and lavender take on the classic.
If you fancy wining, dining and reclining on London’s best kept secret terrace, enquire about membership here.
118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 7NW
Expect jaw-dropping panoramic views overlooking east London’s skyline as you wine and dine at trendy rooftop restaurant, Bōkan.
The rooftop itself is set high up on the 39th floor and is abrim with cushioned day beds and cosy corners, all set to their industrial style interiors inside. After you’ve dined in the restaurant two floors down, venture up and enjoy a cocktail or two overlooking the best of London.
Floor 37-39, 40 Marsh Wall, Canary Wharf, E14 9TP
If you’re after a posh Nando’s experience, head over to Casa Do Frango and their new alfresco dining terrace.
Casa Do Frango’s Shoreditch branch has been extended for the summer, bringing with it an outdoor dining area you won’t want to miss. Add a little spice to your autumn with their piri-piri brushed chicken and indulge in their sharing plates and sides. We’d recommend getting your hands on their African rice, a mix of crispy chicken skin, chorizo and plantain.
If you're after a posh Nando's experience, head over to Casa Do Frango and their new alfresco dining terrace.
New kid of the block, Treehouse London may just have swooped in for grabbing the spot for the best views in London. Hidden on the 16th floor of the hotel, book in for a night at The Nest, the rooftop bar with sweeping 360-degree views over the city.
It’s one of the cosiest spots, perfect for a date night or nightcap before you head back down to your room. The beautiful interiors make their way outside too, with the rooftop brimming with snug corners and tropical plants. Stay a while, order in a round of cocktails and munch through their terrace menu delights.
14-15 Langham Place, Marylebone W1B 2QS
Instagrammable restaurant Dalloway Terrace has been transformed into an autumnal paradise for the fall season.
Cosy up in your jumpers and head on down to catch a glimpse of Dalloway Terrace’s newly transformed enchanted woodland, curated by McQueens Flowers.
This season they’ve teamed up with Scottish whisky brand Johnnie Walker Black Label to bring you five tempting seasonal cocktails, including our favourite the TIKI Walker, created with caramel cream and cinnamon tincture. The menu has also seen a seasonal spruce up, channeling the best of autumnal ingredients and boozy whisky hints too.
16-22 GREAT RUSSELL STREET, BLOOMSBURY, WC1B 3NN
Chances are you’ve seen J Sheekey Atlantic Bar pop on your Insta grid thanks to its bright pink and turquoise exteriors tucked on St Martin’s Court, Covent Garden.
The Covent Garden gem is renowned for its glorious seafood, boasting delicious sharing platters of shellfish and oysters galore. J Sheekey Atlantic Bar’s outside space is the perfect spot to while away your afternoon as you delight in some of the best seasonal dishes on offer in Covent Garden.
33-35 St Martin’s Court, Covent Garden, WC2N 4AL
Catch up with loved ones over dinner at The Betterment restaurant and terrace.
Filled with cosy cushioned seating and greenery, you’ll find The Betterment serving up the best of British produce. Every dish has been crafted to use seasonal produce, with flavours inspired from all across the world.
44 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, W1K 2HP
Executive chef André Garrett has been busy preparing a Mediterranean-inspired menu for guests to enjoy out in The Garden at Corinthia London. The Mediterranean menu features everything from crudi to salads and sandwiches, perfect for pretending you’re sitting in the Med rather than central London.
Expect ivy entwined beams overhead, cosy dining tables and a delicious rosé selection to fuel you through the strangeness of Tier 2.
Whitehall Place, Westminster SW1A 2BD
Boasting views over some of London’s most iconic buildings including the giant rotunda of St Paul’s Cathedral, Madison Restaurant should be on your go-to list immediately, if you haven’t already ticked it off.
It’s the ultimate spot for brunch and their new menu includes an indulgent dish of Bloody Mary-fried chicken waffles topped with a fried egg, sriracha and maple syrup. It doesn’t get better than that. Plus, there’s outdoor heating, perfect for those cooler days.
One New Change, St Paul’s EC4M 9AF www.madisonlondon.net
Aqua Nueva has managed to marry traditional Spanish flavours in a fun, innovative way. The Argyll Street spot has always been a firm favourite of ours thanks to its trendy rooftop terrace that come nighttime becomes a haven for post-work drinks and romantic date nights.
In true Aqua style, the cocktails are faultless. For a summery tipple that’s a little different try their ‘sweet escape’, a mix of Pampero Blanco rum, Chambord, peach liquor, bergamot, passion fruit liqueur, vanilla and cranberry.
If you fancy something a little different, head to Aqua Kyoto for Japanese cuisine and sensational cocktails out on their terrace bar. You won’t regret it.
5th Floor 240 Regent Street, (Entrance 30 Argyll St) W1F 7EB,
Not everywhere comes equipped with alfresco terraces on all three floors of their restaurant, but then again, everywhere isn’t as great as The Lighterman in King’s Cross.
Opening out onto Granary Square, the ground floor terrace is a perfect for a quick catch-up lunch, but the fun and games really come to play up on the Canalside Bar & Terrace, home to idyllic waterside views and delicious cocktails just perfect for date night or catching up with friends.
3 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH
King of innovative ideas and authentic Scottish cooking, Mac & Wild have come up with a new fun way of allowing their guests to dine outside at their new Landrover pop-up bar.
Located at their Devonshire Square restaurant, you can enjoy two-for-one on pints and Prosecco every Thursday-Sunday (see times on their website). And if you’re worried about the inevitable rainy weather that’ll hit this winter, the outdoor square is home to a glass roof, so your pint won’t get spoiled.
9A Devonshire Square, Aldgate, EC2M 4YN
The Courtyard, set amongst Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites & Residences and St James’ Court, has been transformed into a luxurious dining area for guests to enjoy a drink or dinner while staying at the hotels. Gaze up towards the buildings and you might recognise a familiar face engraved in the walls as they begin to depict scenes from Shakespeare’s famous plays.
The Courtyard’s menu is brimming with seasonal dishes, including duck and beetroot salad; vegetable antipasti; oven baked salmon; and gnocchi with truffle salad.
Savage Garden is no stranger to a rooftop themed garden and this season sees the spot pair up with Lillet Spritz to bring us Londoners refreshing tipples and rooftop fun.
Set 12 storey above the city, Savage Garden boasts breathtaking views over London’s skyline making it the perfect spot to while away your winter afternoons.
7 Pepys Street, Tower Hill EC3N 4AF
Terra Terra is the neighbourhood Italian you need on your radar. This little South Hampstead restaurant is relatively new on the scene having been open less than a year, but they’ll sure wow you away with their culinary delights and alfresco dining terrace.
If you fancy dining alfresco with delicious Italian dishes, Terra Terra is the spot to head to this winter. Thankfully it’s weather proof too, so you won’t have to worry about getting rained on while you sip on cocktails and enjoy an authentic Italian feast.
Rooftop haven, Skylight is about to embark on a festive makeover, and will play host to real ice rink, an igloo village, Feast In The Forest dining experience, spacious Après Ski Lodge bar, Off-Piste Speakeasy bar, Christmas market and Christmas Cocktail Cinema Experience.
While away your evenings with a backdrop of twinkling skyscraper lights and enjoy a whole lot of socially distanced activities and fun.
Christmas at Skylight arrives 26th November
Pennington St. Car Park Entrance, Wapping, E1W 2SF
Head to The Stafford to experience one of the longest surviving American bars in London. It’s here you’ll find a spacious outdoor courtyard where you can enjoy relaxed dining and cosy nights out with expertly crafted cocktails.
16-18, St James’s Place, St. James’s, SW1A 1NJ
Century Club decided to go bold with their reopening, by relaunching their outdoor rooftop bar with double the space! And if you’ve ever spent the night out on the rooftop, you’ll know just how beautiful the view over the city is.
The new Roof Terrace can be found adjacent and slightly above their existing roof terrace, giving you the opportunity to look out over London’s iconic skyline while sipping on cocktails. The seating area has capacity for around 50-60 guests, which provides a safe and spacious way to catch up with friends this winter.
61-63 Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, W1D 6LQ
On your next trip to Coal Drops Yard, take a seat at hicce and enjoy delicious modern dishes.
With a round of cocktails, order in a selection of small plates for the table to graze on while you catch up with friends and loved ones on their outdoor dining area. Hero dishes include King oyster, roscoff, black garlic, cavolo nero and orecheitte; pork cheeks, dashi broth, broccoli and smoked bean; and plaice, leek, chanterelles, chestnut and anchovies ravioli. Yum.
102 Stable Street,
Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, N1C 4DQ
Celebrating coal roasted rare breed meat and South Coast seafood, The Coal Shed is the perfect spot for a little alfresco lunch or to sample one of their legendary Sunday sharing roasts. Think 500g black Aberdeen Angus, 35 day dry-aged roast sirloin of beef with beef fat potatoes, cauli cheese, honey roast root veg, seasonal green, Yorkies and smoked gravy. Delicious.
One Tower Bridge, 4 Crown Square, SE1 2SE
Another bar that’s filled with cosy corners, colourful textiles and foliage is the Garden Bar, hidden inside Mama Shelter London. Head down for date night or with your housemates and order in one of their delicious sharing cocktails. Our favourites include the When Ruby met Tommy, a mix of Ocho tequila, Campari, ruby grapefruit, agave and lime, and the Banana Brew; Briotette Creme de Banane, white port, ginger beer and lime, for something a little different.
437 Hackney Road, Shoreditch E2 8PP
Dine alfresco style at Belgravia institution, La Poule au Pot.
If your holiday to the South of France has been cancelled or you don’t fancy enduring the 14 day quarantine period on the other side, head to La Poule au Pot for an authentic slice of traditional French cuisine and atmosphere. Perfect for a romantic date night too.
Expect summery delights when you dine in at Hammersmith hotspot Sam’s Riverside. From grilled native lobster to roast wild Dorset sea bass, Fosse meadows chicken to a delicious sirloin steak salad (perfect for those who want their steak fix without indulging in a too heavy meal), there’s something for everyone.
1 CRISP ROAD, HAMMERSMITH, W6 9DN