Al Fresco Dining in London | The Best Outdoor Restaurants in London
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Al Fresco Dining: London’s Best Outdoor Restaurants

Food & Drink /

It's the year of outdoor dining – here are the places to book

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Rushing to find the best outdoor restaurants in London now Tier 2 rules are back in action? You’ve come to the right place. Read on for the capital’s loveliest restaurants with gardens, from riverside retreats to twinkling winter terraces.

Al Fresco Dining: Best Outdoor Restaurants in London

Bluebird Café, White City

Bluebird White City

White City’s gentrification was assured when Soho House opened the doors to its West London outpost in 2018 and the old BBC building was converted to designer flats. Then when Westfield added to its footprint with the opening of a whole new wing (including John Lewis), this little urban enclave of Shepherds Bush now had global appeal. And the restaurants followed, including Bluebird Café, little sister to its grand Chelsea outpost that has dominated the western end of King’s Road for nearly 25 years. An all-day dining buzzy brasserie with great lighting, cosy booths and a bar area is the perfect foil to the rather anodyne offerings in Westfield just across the road (it’s never that fun eating in a shopping mall). You can sweep in (with your bubble) for breakfast (served all day) – and feast on waffles, eggs Benedict or bacon and eggs; stay for elevenses with bloody Marys and cappuccinos and then crack on with lunch with upmarket brasserie-style fare: think burgers, crab linguine, grassfed sirloin, lambshank or chicken Milanese. If you want something lighter, the duck salad or tuna poke bowl are both winners. Children are more than welcomed with their own menu (£7.95 for starter, mains, pud and a drink) and, most importantly, the outdoor winter terrace with its heaters is a perfect to pitch up in a group of six for some post-shopping espresso martinis and Puglian antipasto. By Lucy Cleland,

The Hari Garden Terrace

The Hari Garden Terrace

With built-in heaters and a retractable roof, The Hari’s Garden Terrace in Belgravia is the perfect al fresco dining spot year-round. The al fresco dining menu features everything from seafood pasta to burgers to salads, plus a selection of small plates for those who just fancy a bite – think grilled halloumi, steamed tiger prawns and baby chicken skewers.

Chiltern Firehouse

Chiltern Firehouse

With its wicker chairs, black and white striped sofas and beautiful greenery, the courtyard of Chiltern Firehouse has long been the place to see and be seen in London. Head over for a boozy lunch as you soak up the ever-buzzy atmosphere. Nothing beats Chiltern’s fresh oysters paired with a few glasses of champagne.



The second restaurant from the Pachamama group, Chelsea’s Chicama is a charming seafood restaurant named after a coastal town in Peru – not the word chic, although that does describe it well. If you can pry yourself away from the pretty beach-inspired indoors, the outdoor terrace is an equally lovely dining spot for sunny days: a petite plant-filled space overflowing onto the pavement on a quiet section of the Kings Road. From here, tuck into a meat-free menu of vibrant seafood and vegetarian small plates alongside colourful cocktails.

Petersham Nurseries

Floral Court Petersham Nurseries

Nestled in between the foliage, plant pots and greenhouses is a restaurant at Petersham Nurseries, a dreamy spot even when the sun hasn’t got its hat on. Their second venue on Covent Garden’s Floral Street is also an idyllic lunch location, featuring a delicatessen, wine cellar and florist, as well as two restaurants.

Angler, South Place Hotel

Angler Roof Terrace

Perched atop South Place Hotel, Angler’s 40-seat west-facing roof terrace boasts lovely views of the city. Chef Gary Foulkes heads up the Michelin-starred kitchen, which serves up a fish-focused menu of dishes like Cornish turbot with scallop stuffed courgette and Dorset crab with bouillabaisse sauce.

The River Café

The River Cafe

The ultimate London spot for a long lunch with sublime Italian food and charming riverside surroundings.

Rail House Cafe

Rail House Cafe

While in the past Victoria hasn’t been much of a foodie destination, these days it’s brimming with great places to eat. This is mainly thanks to the new Nova development at Sir Simon Milton Square, a culinary hub with an array of outdoor restaurants and bars which flood onto the central promenade. One of these is Rail House Cafe, the younger sibling of Fitzrovia’s Riding House Cafe. With cosy cushions and a mix of small and large tables, their terrace is an ideal al fresco dining spot whether you’re after brunch, lunch or dinner; healthy or indulgent.

Sea Containers London

Sea Containers

Enjoy glorious views of the River Thames at this buzzy South Bank eatery, located on the bottom floor of the Sea Containers London (formerly Mondrian). Designed by maverick Tom Dixon, the restaurant exudes elegance, with nautical-inspired interiors drawing on the famous Sea Containers House: think copper-clad walls, leather chairs and bright yellow upholstery. This opens onto a brightly coloured terrace, running in partnership with Laurent Perrier. From here, guests can choose from an all-day menu of European dishes.

The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The Ivy Chelsea Garden by Paul Winch Furness

Paul Winch Furness

It would be wrong not to include this ever-popular Chelsea haunt, one of the prettiest outdoor restaurants in town. Come rain or shine, few places beat The Ivy’s garden.

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