Just because here in London we don’t share the long, hot summers that the rest of Europe enjoys, it doesn’t mean we don’t know how to do al fresco dining. From long summery lunches to balmy summer nights, here are some of the city’s best outdoor eateries.
The Courtyard at 51 Buckingham Gate
A hidden gem, The Courtyard at 51 Buckingham Gate is the perfect respite this summer for a spot of al fresco dining in its secluded courtyard setting. Discreetly tucked away between Victoria Street and St James’s Park and just minutes from Buckingham Palace, diners can rendezvous for a tête-à-tête or simply sit back and enjoy the peace and quiet of this pretty outdoor space.
This summer the Courtyard at 51 will be transformed into an outdoor opera house where guests can enjoy The Covent Garden Strings Company who will perform on July 30 and 31 and on August 20 and 21. With Michelin star chef, Sriram Ayur, on hand to prepare the BBQ, al fresco dining has never been more elegant.
51 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AF
020 7769 7766
Tom’s Terrace at Somerset House
Michelin starred chef Tom Aikens has recently transformed the popular River Terrace Café at Somerset House into Tom’s Terrace.
Guaranteed to be packed during the day with the good looking and shade wearing, grab yourself a light salad, and watch the boats drift on by until the sun sets. Then, with stunning views of the Thames take your cocktail down to the terrace, which at night glows blue as the sky darkens. A stunning and perfectly summery a fresco suntrap and bar.
150 Strand, Charing Cross, London WC2R 1LA
020 7845 4646
Galvin at Windows
Located on the 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane, Galvin at Windows has become famous for spectacular views of the city. Behind you at the bar you’ll hear some of the best cocktail shaking in the city—although it is the champagne cocktails that are making Galvin famous.
For more intimate dining and for the best views, The Balcony is the place to see and be seen. Indeed, sitting here guarantees that you will attract attention.
22 Park Lane, London, W1 1BE. 020 7208 4021
Serpentine Bar and Kitchen
When it’s hot, Londoners are renown for heading to the parks. For those even more determined to cool down there are even options to swim in the Serpentine in Hyde Park although cooling down at the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen is more elegant option.
With dishes throughout the day, the restaurant’s location is perfect for a spot of people watching. Through the glass walls or while sitting outside you can take in those on pedalos, dogs walkers, and if it’s not too hot, those that go jogging by.
The menu features wood-fired, oven cooked pizzas and even slow-cooked whole pig—both which should be tried as you watch the ducks glide on by.
London W2 2UH
020 7706 8114
The Park Terrace Restaurant
Quintessentially English and situated on what has been described as one of the finest restaurant locations in London, The Park Terrace Restaurant looks out over the stunningly serene Kensington Gardens.
Part of the Royal Garden Hotel, the restaurant is divided into three areas. The restaurant which serves à la carte British cuisine; the lounge area perfect for a spot of afternoon tea; and the bar which serves contemporary and classic summer cocktails. Be sure to try the Kensington Martini while taking in the picturesque views.
Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, London, W8 4PT
020 7937 8000