Alfresco restaurants in London
“This month voted CNN's number one rooftop bar and restaurant, Coq d'Argent...”
We have many beautiful green spaces in London, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to eat outside when the sun shines. The truth is there are some magical places, some longstanding, others brand new, so whether you’re after a rooftop, garden, terrace or all three, check out my pick and the gallery of images, below:
Rise above the bustle of Regent Street to the Aqua restaurant group, which has two restaurants, a bar and three rooftop terraces with views across London. Dine on food from Aqua Kyoto (Japanese) or Aqua Nueva (Spanish).
West End; Tel: 020 7478 0540
Renowned for its outside space, Babylon has not one, but three themed gardens: the Spanish Garden – based on Granada in Spain; the Tudor Garden – filled with the heady scent of lilies, roses and lavender; and the English Woodland, complete with resident ducks and flamingos.
Kensington High Street; Tel: 020 7937 7994
Escape the hustle and bustle of the King’s Road and head to the Bluebird café courtyard for breakfast, lunch, supper or just a post-shopping cocktail in a laid-back setting. Grab space on a lounger while the sun is shining.
Chelsea; Tel: 020 7559 1000
The Boundary Roof Garden is one of Shoreditch’s best-kept secrets. With its own bar, 48-seat restaurant and impressive open fireplace, the chic rooftop area is a must-visit. Check the website first, though, as it’s only open during the spring/summer dependant on the weather.
Shoreditch; Tel: 020 7729 1051
This month voted CNN's number one rooftop bar and restaurant, Coq d’Argent has a roof garden hidden at the heart of the bustling City on top of 1 Poultry. It was recently featured on TV when James Bond flew over in the Olympic opening ceremony. It can’t promise Daniel Craig, but will deliver delicious French fare from head chef Mickael Weiss.
The City; Tel: 020 7395 5000
For a wallet-friendly taste of the Middle East, head to Comptoir Libanais, on Exhibition Road in South Kensington where you watch all the museum-goers busying about while enjoying a selection of sharing mezze dishes and healthy fruit drinks. There’s a relaxed vibe, making it the perfect destination for a leisurely lunch.
South Kensington; Tel 020 7225 5006
For a memorable occasion, make a reservation at one of the D&D riverside restaurant terraces at Butler’s Wharf. Choose from British food at Blueprint Café and Butlers Wharf Chop House, Italian at Cantina del Ponte and French classics at Le Pont de la Tour. All four have outdoor space and magnificent views of the river and Tower Bridge.
Shad Thames; Tel: 020 7716 0716
You don’t need a reservation at the Jumeirah hotel to make the most of its award-winning terrace. Hidden in the heart of Belgravia, the terrace, in conjunction with Pommery champagne, offers a peaceful place to watch the sunset and enjoy food from the grill.
Belgravia; Tel 020 7858 7223
Visit Orrery’s rooftop for a quiet glass of wine or light lunch chosen from the terrace menu. For a special treat, choose from the à la carte menu prepared by head chef Igor Tymchyshyn, which can be served outside on a sunny day.
Tel: 020 7616 8000
You won’t experience anything else quite like the atmosphere on this Hoxton rooftop. Enjoy a beer with friends among the shabby-chic mismatched décor. Check on Twitter (@_QueenOfHoxton_) to see if it’s open.
Hoxton; Tel: 020 7422 0958
Based at the art deco home of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Florence Hall Terrace is perfect for a party and can be hired for up to 100 people in conjunction with the adjoining Florence Hall. With a very contemporary, but relaxed atmosphere, head there early in the day to commandeer the comfy sofa and enjoy a light lunch with friends.
66 Portland Place; Tel: 020 7307 3888
If it’s views you’re after, look no further that the newly opened Sushi Samba, London’s highest outdoor dining space. Situated on the 38th and 39th floor of the City’s Heron Tower, the restaurant fuses Brazilian, Peruvian and Japanese food and has 1,247 square metres of space, with two outdoor terraces, one featuring a specially crafted tree [see gallery below].
The City; Tel 020 3640 7330
The Tangerine Dream Café at Chelsea Physic Garden
Set within the grounds of the tranquil Chelsea Physic Garden, Tangerine Dream’s terrace is a place to sit amid classic green English lawns and enjoy afternoon tea. Be sure to visit before the garden closes at the end of October.
Chelsea; Tel: 020 7349 6464
Get in touch with The Artful Diner if there are any others you would recommend.