The most elegant & stylish al frescodining spots in London to book from 12 April

From lavender-trimmed terraces with river views to hidden sun-trap courtyards, we've put together some of London's idyllic settings to secure a place at as the UK slowly emerges from lockdown
2021-03-01
Gastronomy

Chiltern Firehouse

The leafy, red-brick courtyard at the Chiltern Firehouse has a Parisian feel with its monochrome awning and oyster cart (there all year round). The menu changes weekly to make the most of the summer’s seasonal offerings, from red tomatoes on sourdough with burrata to scrummy asparagus. The seafood platters accompanied by a glass of crisp white wine are unbeatable on a hot day, and on balmy summer evenings the fairy lights are magical. They don’t take bookings, so get in there as early as you can.

Annabel’s

This could probably be the perfect summer terrace it. The newly revamped Annabel’s has a beautiful space decked out with hundreds of flower pots, lemon trees and chintz cushions, making it the most Instagrammable terrace in town. Worth mentioning – it's members only.

The Hari

This new garden terrace is a proper sun trap and the ideal spot for a punchy Hari Mule. And you don’t need to worry about the British weather – there is a retractable roof just in case things turn chilly.

Roka Canary Wharf

There’s a jungle feel to the terrace at Roka Canary Wharf, overlooking the green space of Canada Square.

Scott’s

The Mount Street fish shop, where Kelly Hoppen and Michael Caines are regulars, continues to turn heads and pull the crowds. The service is top notch and the food, even better. Oysters, langoustines, lobster, Dover sole and turbot are the way to go, everything beautifully presented. In previous years, Victoria Beckham has been behind the styling of the terrace, working alongside floral designer Flora Starkey to create a look inspired by the beautiful white garden at Sissinghurst Castle. Come here for the fish and the undeniably vertiginous glamour.

The Courtyard Garden at the Sanderson

The Sanderson’s tranquil, Japanese-inspired Courtyard Garden is one of London’s best-kept secrets. Go there for dinner and cocktails – good, old-fashioned American food done really well, and inventive drinks. Our favourite is the Tonton, which comes with a side of bright-green Perrier-Jouët sorbet.

The River Café

The wonderful thing about the River Café is that it keeps on doing what it has always done: bringing you the best Italian food in a beautiful setting.

Boulestin

One of London's best kept secret, this lovely small restaurant just off St James's Street opens up a divine hidden courtyard every summer. Expect French fine dining (oeuf en meurette, confit duck) and a long, lazy lunch.

The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The Ivy Chelsea Garden is going all out. Three large, buzzy dining rooms lead towards the garden at the rear, which, on a summer evening, is heady with the scent of roses, and tinkly with the splash of the fountains.

Dalloway Terrace

The Dalloway Terrace, a not-so-secret gem hidden in Bloomsbury and named after one of the literary neighbourhood’s most famous characters, Mrs Dalloway from Virginia Woolf’s The Hours. Hanging flowers and fairy lights adorn the raised alfresco terrace, transporting you from London to the city of love, with round marble tables, French patio style furniture and candle-lit glass lanterns completing the Parisian fantasy.

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