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June 23, 2023

The Best Outdoor Restaurants and Bars in London

London’s exclusive hotels and restaurants have worked tirelessly to open charming outside spaces.

By Kim Ayling

Summer is upon us in London and with it comes the insatiable craving for al fresco dining. Fortunately, the city’s best spots have answered our prayers, giving us a plethora of outdoor bars and restaurants to frequent.

While many of London’s best outdoor restaurants started their life as smart responses to the city’s ever-changing Covid-19 dining restrictions, their popularity has thankfully made them seasonal (if not year-round) fixtures. The beauty of this is that they’re often adapted to fit all weather forecasts (an absolute necessity, as anyone who has visited Britain during summer will tell you), with the likes of umbrellas, retractable roofs and even wooly blankets in some cases.

From fun rooftops in east to hidden gardens over in the leafy west, these are the must-visit outdoor restaurants in London.

[See also: The Best Private Dining Rooms in London]


trivet outdoor restaurant terrace in London
Trivet’s summer terrace is back for 2023 / ©Ozlem Inc

Over in Bermondsey, east London, Trivet has been carefully building a reputation as one of the city’s best restaurants. Led by a skilled ex-Fat Duck team, Trivet is focused on global ingredients, flavors and techniques, and uniquely investigates how food and drink mix as one. This year, the restaurant is back with its summer terrace, which spills onto the busy street it sits on. For 2023, a new menu is on the cards. While still meticulously put together, this menu is a little more casual than that served inside, with a list of smaller sharing plates. Do not, I repeat do not, miss the hot tongue brioche bun, with its salty anchovy mayo and tangy drizzle of blackcurrant sauce.

The Garden, Corinthia London

the Corinthia outdoor garden restaurant
The Garden transports guests to the Med / ©Corinthia

Tucked away in the heart of the iconic Corinthia Hotel on Whitehall Place is The Garden – a secret oasis offering a touch of inner-city solace. Open all year round, the 46-seat terrace transports guests to the Med with a sweet (but smart) decor, complete with perfectly-pressed, gleaming white table linens and cascading floral displays. Food comes courtesy of chef Andre Garrett, who has created a delectable menu of Italian-inspired dishes. Expect the likes of seabass crudo, a selection of pizzas and pastas, and, of course, gelato to finish.

[See also: Yannick Alléno’s First London Restaurant to Open in July]

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sushi samba
SushiSamba has the highest outdoor dining space in Europe / ©SushiSamba

Boasting the highest outdoor dining terrace in all of Europe, any list of the best al fresco restaurants in London would be remiss to not include SushiSamba. Found over in east London on the 39th floor of the Heron Tower, the rooftop destination peers over the city’s most famous landmarks. To eat, there’s a menu of Peruvian-Japanese-Brazilian dishes, with everything from sharing small plates to more substantial meals. The cocktail list is fun and very extensive, too.

Dinner on the Terrace by Heston Blumenthal

London terrace restaurants
Dinner on the Terrace by Heston Blumenthal / ©Mandarin Oriental

We all know Dinner by Heston. The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park‘s signature restaurant is one of the best in London. What you might not know, however, is that come summer, the restaurant spills out onto the hotel’s gardens, which overlook Hyde Park, for a slice of British summertime. The al fresco menu is inspired by the British Isles, with light dishes that pull from all four corners of the nation, all accompanied by private views of central London’s biggest green space. The drinks list is similarly inspired: there’s English sparkling wine as well as a cocktail list guided by British botanicals.

The Cadogan Gardens

Guests at The Cadogan have access to Cadogan Gardens / ©Belmond

The Cadogan, a Belmond Hotel’s gardens aren’t strictly a restaurant, but considering their quintessentially British beauty, it would be remiss of us to not include them. Located over the road from the hotel in a private square, the Cadogan Place Gardens are shrouded from public eyes with a cacophony of trees. Available exclusively to hotel guests and residents, The Cadogan will gladly prepare a lavish picnic set-up, complete with plush blankets, cutlery and glasses. On the menu is a delectable afternoon tea with all the trimmings: mini sandwiches, fresh scones (jam or cream first is up to you) and a bottle of English sparkling wine.

[See also: Mayfair Welcomes 20 Berkeley to its Restaurant Ranks]

The Jumera Terrace, The Mandrake

The Jumera Terrace at The Mandrake / ©The Mandrake

The Jurema Terrace is one of the largest outdoor spaces of any hotel in London and enjoys late afternoon sunshine in the summer months. The rattan-style furniture is nestled in between an abundance of greenery. It is a cozy retreat that transports you far away from the hustle of the city. Diners can enjoy alfresco drinking and dining from lunch to dinner. There is a full menu of bespoke cocktails and a bar menu full of South American-inspired dishes.

Studio Frantzén London, Harrods

Studio Frantzen rooftop terrace
The restaurant sits at the top of Harrods / ©LXPR

Up at the very top of Harrods is a hidden gem: Studio Frantzén London. The restaurant has a cavernous indoor dining room, where guests can gorge on signature Nordic cuisine, but it’s the outside terrace where we’re headed this summer. Offering a full dining experience as well as a more relaxed bar area, the rooftop terrace is the perfect spot to soak up some of that lovely evening sunshine.

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