London offers plenty of opportunity for al-fresco dining but when the good weather hits those tables fill up fast. To stand an outside chance of snagging a table in the sun this summer, take a look at some of the new terraces that have opened in the capital of late…
If you want to see a list of faithful old favourites for outdoor dining please check our list here.
The Ivy brand expansion continues apace, with this City opening in the picturesque Bishopgate Gardens, by St. Botolph church. Its hidden garden offers al fresco dining and drinking with its own dedicated bar. There’s even a retractable roof so you can enjoy this outdoor space come rain or shine. Try the build-your-own waffle menu at weekend brunch, or sample some of the Ivy’s new cocktail list: Dashwood Blossom (Beefeater Gin, fresh grapes, mint, with nettle cordial & a splash of aloe vera juice) and Garden Collins (Beefeater Gin infused with rosemary & lavender, with elderflower cordial & garnished with herbs from the bar’s on-site herb garden).
This rooftop space above Oxford Street has been transformed into an urban hideaway where Londoners can escape the bustle of the city in Scandinavian-inspired surrounds. The ReTreat serves a menu of street-food inspired bites such as Miso Aubergine Tacos, Fried Chicken Waffles and Canadian-style Poutine. Drinks include Negronis dispensed from a bespoke, coin-op cocktail tap, to cocktails in regular (£8) or large (£13) jars, like Florodora (Bulldog gin, fresh raspberries, ginger) or Moltó Negre cava (£6). Sisu, tucked away behind a secret entrance near Marble Arch, is open daily from noon until 10 pm.
Francesco Mazzei and D&D London have opened a southern Italian trattoria in Islington (formerly Almeida) with an al fresco wine terrace on Almeida Street. Mazzei will remain as chef-patron at Sartoria too, and has brought in right-hand man Antonio Mazzone as head chef at Radici (which means ‘roots’ in Italian).
What better way to dine al-fresco than enjoying a Saturday or Sunday brunch? The Rail House Café at Victoria’s new Nova development even has an outdoor bar on its terrace so you can sample one (or two) of its six different varieties of Bloody Mary. Go classic or try the Basil Mary (Tanqueray gin, green tabasco, yellow tomato juice, English mustard and lemon juice); Beetroot Mary (beetroot infused Ketel One vodka, tomato juice, Amer Picon, chocolate bitters and horseradish); Pale Mary (Illegal mezcal, five points pale ale, sriracha hot sauce, lime juice, soju, yuzu bitters, salt, soy sauce); Smokey Mary (Rittenhouse 100 rye whisky, smoked German beer, roasted tomato puree, lemon juice, smoked sea salt); or the Bloody Martini (Konik’s Tail vodka, homemade tomato liqueur, celery bitters). £7 each.
Every Friday in June, Mac & Wild are serving up a Highland summer party on the outside terrace of their new Devonshire Square restaurant. As you might expect the menu is rather carnivorous, including MacDuffs Beef short-ribs or Portmahomack Pork shoulder marinated in a Highland herb rub, slow-cooked overnight over peat and charcoal, and then flambéed in Talisker 10. Served alongside are summer cocktails and Scottish craft beer galore. The only difference between this and a summer party in the Highlands is that they can guarantee NO RAIN! (…the outside terrace is under cover).
This Califorian-style café has just launched a new 50-cover garden in leafy Notting Hill. Continuing the Malibu and 60s Hockney-esque theme of the restaurant, the courtyard features garden furniture with cushions in Pomona’s trademark vibrant colours, turquoise blue and canary yellow. The garden at Pomona’s will be open from 9 am throughout summer for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and drinks. What’s more, the Daily Sundowners Club, featuring 2 for 1 cocktails and three small plates of your choice for £15, is available from 5-7 pm every day.
The Gladwin brothers (Richard, Oliver & Gregory) who are behind The Shed in Notting Hill and Chelsea’s Rabbit have ventured to Battersea with their new restaurant, Nutbourne (named after the family farm and vineyard in WestSussex, and on the site of famed wine-lovers’ paradise Ransome’s Dock, RIP). Nutbourne will be an all-day brasserie and grill serving breakfast,weekend brunch, lunch and dinner, and boasts not only river views but also an outdoor farmers’ market every Saturday.
This Portuguese spot near London Bridge, inspired by the cervejarias and tascas of Lisbon and Porto, has just launched a new al fresco terrace. Bar Douro opens onto Flat Iron Square: one of London’s newest outdoor food destinations – seven railway arches of bars, restaurants, weekend flea markets and Omeara, a live music venue owned by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett. Bar Douro is offering a twist on Portugal’s drink du jour – White Port & Tonic with a sprig of mint and a slice of orange. Their version uses restaurateur Max’s family’s port, Churchill’s, to headline the summer cocktail menu. £6.50 each.
Sibling to Chiswick’s Little Bird, from the same stable as Rock & Rose and Annie’s, this Battersea newcomer serves up fresh Asian-inspired fare with cocktails from guest bartenders. The front terrace, brimming with plants, and an open-air courtyard provides an urban garden retreat from which to enjoy the cocktail menu by Benji Purslow and Asian-fusion food from head chef Ricardo Villar (formerly of The Petersham Hotel).
This summer, The Imperial Durbar in Tooting will be transformed into a lush Asian paradise. Serving small plates from the new kiosk and cocktails made with spices from the gin infusion wall, all to be enjoyed in the baithak style bar or Indian summer garden, filled with tropical plants and an eclectic mix of Indian furniture. It too will have a retractable roof so diners can enjoy al fresco dining no matter the weather. The kiosk will be located at the corner of the bar, guests can order classic British small plates with an Indian twist including quails egg scotch egg with black pudding, lamb fritters, prawns with garlic and chilli coriander tomato salsa and sourdough, and hot pulled pork buns at the counter.