When the weather's great in London you're going to want our guide on London's loveliest spots to eat outdoors - even more so now, when there's an even greater desire to dine outside. 


Central London

Coq D'ArgentCoq D'Argent

Where: 1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ

USP: Taking up a huge space on the top floor, this is one of the City's most famous alfresco spots. If you can grab a space here on a busy weekday lunchtime, you've done a good job. Also, make sure to find your way onto the lawn out the back with great views of the City. 

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dalloway2019Dalloway Terrace

Where: 16-22 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3NN

USP: Probably one of London's most instagrammable outdoor spaces, the terrace here is redesigned every season to keep it looking as fresh as a summery daisy. Afternoon teas are particularly popular and the retractable awning means you'll be protected from summer showers too.

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ALTThe Garden at The Berkeley

Where: Wilton Pl, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL

USP: Tucked in behind the hotel in Knightbridge with a view over St Paul’s Church this terrace restaurant has been beautifully landscaped with bay trees, lavender bushes and jasmine to transport you visually to the Med. Dishes, cooked on the Big Green Egg, complete that vibe and it’s particularly charming after sunset with all the flickering candles and fairylights.

Find out more about The Garden at The Berkeley @the_berkeley



ALTThe Garden at The Corinthia

Where: Whitehall Pl, Westminster, London SW1A 2BD

USP: This hidden away gem can be found next to the hotel’s lounge where afternoon tea is served. This courtyard space is open year-round (fireplaces at both ends help with that) and features a menu by the hotel’s executive chef Andre Garret - think cobb salads and Italian courgettes with steamed lobster, along with a suitably impressive list of rosés as well.

Find out more about The Garden at The Corinthia @corinthialondon



Ham YardHam Yard 

Where: 1 Ham Yard, Soho, London W1D 7DT

USP: A rarity in central London, the titular 'yard' here is an oasis tucked in away from the traffic of Soho and Piccadilly. Created by the bombing during The Blitz it's now a super place on a summer's afternoon or evening - if you can get a table...

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Where: 8 Brook Street, London W1S 1EY

USP: Even though this tucked-away courtyard makes you feel as if you've stumbled on a secret garden, it's about the worst kept secret in London. You'll have to fight hedge funders and other Mayfair folk for your chance to nab a coveted table on a sunny day.

More about Hush



best alfresco restaurants in londonThe Orrery

Where: 55 Marylebone High St, London W1U 5RB

USP: While there is a special terrace menu of small dishes upstairs at this Marylebone restaurant, what you're really after with your chilled glass of wine is a cheese plate from Orrery’s famous trolley. Enjoy the French food and on a summery day with the traffic noise of Marylebone a distant hum, you could easily be in Provence.

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Petersham Nurseries Covent GardenPetersham Nurseries Covent Garden

Where: 31 King St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8JD

USP: Given they have a full-blown nursery down by the river, you'd expect any alfresco space by the Petersham Nurseries crew to be rather lovely. This new courtyard space they say "combines English country charm with Italian elegance". We say it provides a rare opportunity to eat alfresco in the heart of London without cars whizzing by.

More about Petersham Nurseries



Le Pont de la TourLe Pont de la Tour

Where: 36D Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE

USP: One of the classics of the south bank of the Thames, this restaurant's terrace has unparalleled views of Tower Bridge. Just be prepared to have passing tourists giving you jealous looks as you toy with your crab and grapefruit salad in the sunshine.

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The Ritz Restaurant TerraceThe Ritz Restaurant Terrace

Where: 150 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9BR

USP: John Williams' Michelin-starred cooking is great any time, but we can't think of a more beautiful spot for a lunch than overlooking the gardens at The Ritz. If you're after something a little more casual, head to the hotel's Secret Garden bar where they serve up club sandwiches alongside caviar and champagne.

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Where: 20 Mount St, London W1K 2HE

USP: The terrace at this Mayfair establishment has long been a spot where you'll find yourself sitting downwind from unrepentant smokers like Ronnie Wood or Charles Saatchi and getting your photo taken by passing paps.

Find out more about Scott’s



East London

best alfresco restaurants in londonAllegra

Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20 International Way, London E20 1FD

USP: The wraparound terraces at Allegra’s seventh-floor restaurant at The Stratford are beautiful - imagine a wildflower meadow in the sky and you’re halfway there. The terrace menu makes full use of the wood-burning grill and their weekend brunch is a popular alfresco option.

Find out more about Allegra @allegrarestaurant



crateCRATE Brewery

Where: Unit 7 Queen's Yard, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN

USP: If you can grab one of the coveted outdoor seats at this Hackney brewery, you'll want to stay there all night. Not only can you work your way through the beer but you can always think about a cocktail cruise on the Alfred Le Roy, moored outside. 

More about CRATE Brewery



The MarksmanThe Marksman

Where: 254 Hackney Rd, London E2 7SJ

USP: The terrace leading off the upstairs dining room at this East London gastropub could feel a bit like climbing out on to your flat roof, were it not for how beautiful it looks with all the greenery. Clearly there'll be a summery, seasonal menu on offer - but make sure you don't miss out on their legendary brown butter tart.

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Rochelle CanteenRochelle Canteen

Where: Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES

USP: Once you've actually found your way in, which is harder than you'd expect, nabbing a table out in the walled garden at the original Rochelle Canteen feels like a total blessing. Enjoy super seasonal cooking by owners Melanie Arnold & Margot Henderson in this East London oasis.

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best alfresco restaurants in londonStour Space Cafe

Where: 7 Roach Rd, Fish Island, London E3 2PA

USP: If you feel the ground slightly swaying under your feet here it’s just as likely to be the gentle swell of the Thames as it is down to any overindulgence. The outside terrace at this Stratford cafe is built out on a pontoon, so it rises and falls with the river. It’s a super space both for banging brunches or laid back evening drinks.

Find out more about Stour Space Cafe @stour.cafe



West London


ChucsChucs at the Serpentine

Where: Serpentine Sackler Gallery, West Carriage Drive, London W2 2AR

USP: The first Chucs to do takeaway, the real draw here - other than their great Italian food - is the marvellous backdrop of the late, great Zaha Hadid's Serpentine Sackler Gallery. A feast for the eyes, as well as the stomach.

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best alfresco restaurants in londonGold

Where: 95-97 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 2QB

USP: If you like the idea of alfresco more than the reality, then this enclosed courtyard space with a retractable roof is the place for you. More of a restaurant with the roof taken off on sunny days, this Notting Hill establishment is perfect for England’s unpredictable summers. The menu features lots of dishes cooked over wood fire to give you that BBQ vibe too.

Find out more about Gold @goldnottinghill




Ivy Chelsea GardenIvy Chelsea Garden

Where: 195 -197 King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 5EQ

USP: An Instagrammer's dream spot (and popular with the Made in Chelsea crew too) the Ivy Group brought in an award-winning designer to create the space at their King's Road restaurant. There's a covered upper terrace and a cosy firepit when the weather's not all that, but really it's just an evergreen dream out here.

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Where: 55 Exhibition Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2PN

USP: It's hard to think of a more pleasant way to spend a summer's evening than downing ice-cold shots of vodka under the billowing canopy of Ognisko's terrace, looking out over Prince's Gardens, while pondering what kind of pelmeni to have

More about Ognisko



The River CafeThe River Cafe

Where: Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, Hammersmith, London W6 9HA

USP: As long as you don't think about the bill, sitting out on the banks of the Thames enjoying the super Italian food here really is a case of 'life doesn't get much better than this'. 

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best alfresco restaurants in londonSam’s Riverside

Where: 1 Crisp Rd, Hammersmith, London W6 9DN

USP: Making full use of its riverfront location by Hammersmith Bridge, this large new terrace with room for more than 30 diners is serving up a seafood menu with oyster platters and dressed crab on offer. Order some frozen margaritas, watch the boats go by and all will be well with the world.

Find out more about Sam’s Riverside @samsriversidew6



South London

best alfresco restaurants in londonDarby’s

Where: 3 Viaduct Gardens, Nine Elms, London SW11 7AY

USP: As part of the Vauxhall development which includes the new American embassy and helped inspire this oyster bar, grill and bakery, there was tonnes of room to go crazy with the landscaping here. You approach the terrace via stepping stones across ponds inspired by New York’s High Line park and it’s a super spot for a platter of Dooncastle oysters and a chilled glass of wine.

Find out more about Darby’s @darbyslondon




Where: Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, London SW8 5BN

USP: Enjoy cracking riverside views at Francesco Mazzei's outpost at Battersea Power Station and watch out for weekend yoga and brunch sessions.

More about Fiume



best alfresco restaurants in londonGunpowder

Where: 4 Duchess Walk, London SE1 2SD

USP: The terrace at Gunpowder’s riverside location gives you an excellent slice of view over Tower Bridge as you enjoy your okra fries and Kawari soft shell crab.

Find out more about Gunpowder @gunpowder_london



Peartree CafePear Tree Cafe

Where: Lakeside Cafe, Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ

USP: This park cafe punches way above its weight - the owners here are ex-Petersham Nurseries and Spring with Skye Gyngell, via stints at Chez Panisse and more. With beautiful views over the Thames, this is a top spot for a steak sarnie or squash salad.

More about Pear Tree Cafe



best alfresco restaurants in londonSeabird

Where: 14th Floor, 40 Blackfriars Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8NY

USP: This rooftop restaurant has a huge outside terrace overlooking a great swathe of the south bank. Although all those rattan chairs and palms make it look more like Miami than Southwark. Order up a flamboyant cocktail while you pursue the mainly seafood menu.

Find out more about Seabird @seabirdlondon



North London


Where: 106 Camden Passage, The Angel, London N1 8EG

USP: The narrow frontage of this Camden Passage restaurant gives no hint of what's to be found at the back. One of London's great garden restaurant spaces, part of it's laid out in patio but there are also mature gardens too. It's popular as a wedding space though, so check ahead to see if it's booked out.

More about Frederick's



The LightermanThe Lighterman

Where: 3 Granary Square, London N1C 4BH

USP: Apparently one of the most profitable spots in King's Cross and it's not hard to see why - the first floor has a wrap-around terrace, the ground floor pub has a lovely terrace overlooking Granary Square and there's a canalside bar terrace too.

More about The Lighterman



Michael NadraMichael Nadra

Where: 42 Gloucester Ave, London NW1 8JD

USP: The sunken garden area at Nadra's Primrose Hill restaurant is totally protected from any nasty draughts. All of which makes it pretty much perfect for trying one of the 15+ martinis on their bar menu. You're probably going to need some of their prawn and chive dumpling bar snacks to go with that.

More about Michael Nadra



best alfresco restaurants in londonParrillan

Where: Coal Drops Yard, Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4PW

USP: Inspired by Ibiza’s alfresco grill restaurants, the urban backdrop of this Coal Drops Yard restaurant can’t be beaten. Enjoy DIY barbecuing on your own grill as you watch the Eurostar snaking past you and around the Grade II listed gasholder frames.

Find out more about Parrillan @parrillanlondon




Where: 63–69 Canonbury Rd, London N1 2DG

USP: In London's least green borough, the pretty garden squeezed into an intersection between two roads at an Islington BBQ restaurant is super popular come summer. The smell of jasmine neatly blocks out any traffic fumes although you might get a whiff of BBQ from the grill.

More about Smokehouse



Plus - more new alfresco spaces 

With social distancing the key measure, loads of London restaurants are adding new alfresco seating. Here are more places you can eat outside this summer.

  • Casa do Frango (Shoreditch) - Peri-Peri chicken outside in their new Shoreditch terrace.
  • Covent Garden - a brand new alfresco area has appeared in the piazza.
  • Padella (Shoreditch) - no more queuing, now you can get cacio e pepe alfresco



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