With restaurant visits in the UK restricted to outdoor spaces until 17 May, London’s terraces are proving to be extremely popular. Here are some of the best spots in the capital for al fresco dining from authentic beach huts and transparent pods to rooftop terraces.
OPSO certainly lives up to its name, Greek for “a delectable morsel of food.” This popular restaurant in Marylebone has a sparkly, chic terrace with individual flame heaters behind glass beside each table for chilly evenings. The menu is Modern Greek at its finest, including delicious dishes like slow braised beef ragu, slow cooked lamb shank with truffled mushrooms and Pork Stifado, a tasty Iberico pluma steak with baby onions, girolles and mushrooms. OPSO’s version of Greek salad is exceptional, featuring olive oil rusks and creamy 18 month barrel aged feta. Another menu highlight is roasted cauliflower with herbed hazelnut crumble and garlic curry mayo.
45 Jermyn St, St James’s
45 Jermyn St., Fortnum & Mason’s destination restaurant at the corner of Duke and Jermyn streets, is a sheer delight, both for its smart decor and superb Modern British menu. Be sure to book in advance as, until 17 May when the full restaurant opens, there are just eight tables of four on either side of the building. Naturally, the seasonal menu this spring includes asparagus, with a top range of fresh new dishes. Other new dishes include chicken liver and lardo terrine with piccalilli and toasted brioche, succulent harissa roasted devonshire lamb and coconut marinated chicken. And, essential for seafood fans, and alone worth a visit, are the crab tacos. If you can’t get a booking here, try Fortnum & Mason’s outdoor terrace at the Royal Exchange in the heart of London’s financial district. You can’t go wrong with a Lobster roll and a glass of Blanc de Blancs. And, from 17 May the bar and restaurant inside the glorious central courtyard will reopen.
Cinder, Belsize Village
Just opened this month, Chef Jake Finn’s first solo restaurant is already a huge hit with locals and judging from the excellent standard of food and service is likely to become a destination restaurant. Chef Finn who’s worked at La Petite Maison, Coya and The Ritz, has created a fine Mediterranean menu where virtually everything has “kissed” his Josper grill at least once, lending a delicious smokey flavor to many dishes. As the name Cinder suggests, Jake loves the grill and says “I think there is nothing purer that cooking food over fire. I’ve been obsessed with BBQ and cooking over grills since I was little.” Every dish on the menu is tempting, from the starters like grilled flat bread and grilled mastelo, a halloumi like cheese with kalamato glaze to seabass ceviche, seared tuna with black beer ponzu and moreish lemon chicken. Sharing is encouraged, with a whole sea bream, fennel, radish and herbs a real winner. The sixteen seat terrace is buzzy at lunchtime and for dinner even more so as it expands to add extra tables in the spaces in front of the shops on either side.
Solas at The Savoy, The Strand
For the first time in The Savoy’s history the grand Savoy Court has been transformed into an exclusive outdoor bar and restaurant open until 21 June 2021. The elegant Art Deco design is complemented by a spectacular five-meter wide chandelier inspired by the 62 grand chandeliers inside the hotel. This chic popup features a new collaboration between The Savoy and Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky and the menu reflects this. The focus is seafood and alongside a raw seafood bar, the menu also includes three oyster selections served in a Bowmore oyster luge and paired with a choice of Bowmore whisky, delicious lobster rolls, gravadlax and scallop ceviche. The cocktail menu is also superb: try the “Offspring” featuring Bowmore 15 year old single malt and homemade grapefruit soda, “Pursuit for Perfection,” Haku vodka with rosebud cordial and champagne or packing a real punch, the James Bond inspired “Golden Eye” with Bowmore, vermouth, cognac and campari.
Chameleon, a smart new dining and entertainment space, offering plenty of outdoor dining has just opened in One Marylebone, a spectacular Grade I listed, Neo-Classical style church. Food and drink at Chameleon is inspired by Tel Aviv restaurants, with convivial, sharing style dishes created under Chef Elior Balbul (Catit and Blue Sky in Tel Aviv, Alenbi in New York). Menu highlights include Yemen brioche challah, deconstructed falafel, aubergine carpaccio and shrimp shish barak. Dining until 21 May is at outdoor tables in the large attractive gardens around the church and after that customers will also have the option of booking tables in nine seasonally decorated greenhouses (with heating and airconditioning) seating from four to 30 guests.
Kitchen at Holmes, Marylebone
Overlooking the rooftops of Marylebone Village, on Baker Street, a secret, heated roof terrace at Kitchen at Holmes offers a lovely, private location and an excellent Mediterranean menu. If the rooftop terrace isn’t available, there’s a buzzy groundfloor outdoor terrace at the front of the restaurant. Kitchen at Holmes uses British produce sourced from local suppliers such as James Knight of Mayfair, the sustainable fishmongers. Menu highlights include a super creamy smoked burrata, perfectly grilled octopus, beef carpaccio with black truffle and for dessert, white chocolate and lemon panna cotta.
Campfire, Tileyard, King’s Cross
Tucked away just up the road from the hectic King’s Cross area is a brilliant outdoor dining, drinking and music experience. In a large terrace surrounded by 200 music studios (including Apple Music, The Prodigy, Sub Focus, Dimension, Ella Eyre, Sigala and Benji B), Campfire has been launched by Two Tribes brewery. The brewery, also located in Tileyard, was founded by former DJ Justin Deighton after he was asked to create a beer for Island Records in 2017. Campfire, as the name suggests, features an open fire pit with BBQ food (pork shoulder, smoked beef etc) provided by From the Ashes and regular guest chef residencies from top chefs. Music is a key focus for Campfire with a great sound system and DJs and musicians, many of whom are resident at the Tileyard recording studios and record labels.
The Standard Rooftop, King’s Cross
One of London’s hotly anticipated openings, The Standard Rooftop has just launched above the hotel’s 10th floor restaurant, Decimo. The views of the city are spectacular, including a clear view of the St Pancras clock tower. Decor is fun yet chic: green astroturf contrasts nicely with pink and yellow furniture. An excellent list of cocktails are on tap and the street food menu works well. If you can’t get a booking there, the Double Standard terrace on the ground floor is a great alternative.
Hoppers, King’s Cross
Sri Lankan restaurant Hoppers’ latest and largest restaurant in King’s Cross has a big outdoor terrace that faces the Regent’s Canal. Partially covered with heaters over larger tables and filled with tropical plants, this is a good weather-proof option. Menu highlights include Sri Lankan classics such as Swimmer Crab Kari, Bone Marrow Varuval, Lamb Kothu Roti and of course the signature string and egg hoppers. A good choice is the tasting menu (meat or vegetarian) which offers a range of the best dishes for £35.
Montague Hotel Beach Club, Bloomsbury
For a fun beach club experience in central London, the beach bar at The Montague hotel in Bloomsbury features three tons of golden sand, a beach-hut style thatched roof, delicious cocktails, palm trees and a backdrop of a beautiful beach. The menu offers a decent range of BBQ options including meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.
Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Charing Cross
This new pop-up outdoor restaurant (open until 16 May) sits in a never-before seen space surrounding the glass dome atop Corinthia London’s Baccarat chandelier. Head Chef Nick Beardshaw serves seasonal dishes from an open grill, with Laurent Perrier Champagne and Rebellion Lager from the Marlow brewery.
Ladurée, Covent Garden
For post-shopping in busy Covent Garden, a real treat is coffee and cake at lovely Ladurée (or their famous macarons) on the pretty cobblestoned Covent Garden piazza or on their discreet roof terrace. Try the new pistachio cake for an incredible dessert experience. Also new this spring, to take home, is a twelve-piece collection in collaboration with Milanese lifestyle brand, La Double J. Based on Ladurée’s macaron colors, the new products include gorgeous round boxes of macarons, a teapot, dessert plates, aprons and more.
Golden Gai, Soho
Golden Gai, a new bar and eatery from the team behind the wildly successful Dalston-based Japanese-Italian restaurant Angelina, brings a taste of Tokyo and Verona to Soho’s D’Arblay Street. The lively outdoor (for now) cocktail bar offers creative drinks crafted by specialist bartender Wilson Salemos. Dishes have been designed with drinking in mind; an Italian cheese board with unique Japanese additions such as aged tofu with Moromi-miso and a selection of indulgent Italian cheese piadine, topped with caviar.
Folie, Golden Square, Soho
Celebrating the dining and drinking culture of the Riviera, FOLIE in Golden Square has a much bigger al fresco terrace this season. Led by Executive Head Chef Christophe Marleix (Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Annabel’s), the a la carte menu includes Mediterranean classics such as Courgette flowers with ricotta and parmesan, John Dory with white asparagus and black olives and Octopus carpaccio à la niçoise, as well as fresh fish sourced from day boats in Cornwall and Devon, England’s own Riviera. FOLIE signature recipes are also here: Truffle croque-monsieur, Chickpea panisses and Confit lamb shoulder with confit garlic to share, cooked over 12 hours.
Aqua Kyoto, Oxford Circus
Aqua Kyoto’s fifth floor restaurant and bar behind Regent Street has a large terrace high above shoppers at Oxford Circus below. Sushi and sashimi, together with a selection of innovative dishes from the spectacular sumibiyaki (charcoal) grill are all excellent. For lunchtime, the bento boxes are a masterful showcase of the varied menu and a genius choice. The twelve dishes in the Deluxe go zen bento include wagyu beef, miso black cod, tuna tataki, rock shrimp tempura, maki and sushi.
The Nest, Upper Regent Street
Located on the 16th floor of the Treehouse Hotel on upper Regent street near BBC broadcasting house, the Nest offers spectacular, 360-degree skyline views. This scenic hideaway is the ideal spot for enjoying casual al fresco meals in the sunshine this summer and innovative cocktails like Avocado Bellini, Whisky Colada and Barrel Aged Coconut Manhattan.
The Berkeley Hotel Beach Huts, Knightsbridge
Inspired by the iconic seafronts of Whitstable and Southwold and celebrating the British staycation, eye-catching rainbow colored beach huts seating up to six guests are now a popular feature on the terrace at The Berkeley Hotel. Naturally, seafood is on the menu with retro classics like whole grilled lobster with chips and freshly shucked oysters and for dessert, gourmet ice cream sandwiches.
The Dorchester Rooftop, Mayfair
The Dorchester has opened a glorious rooftop restaurant for the first time in its 90 year history. Making the most of the longer days and spectacular views across Hyde Park, the plan is to offer a series of culinary pop-ups overseen by executive chef Mario Perera, celebrating British, French and Mediterranean cuisine. The first pop-up featured a British summertime menu showcasing locally sourced produce for a land, sea and garden concept. Next up is a French themed menu from executive chef of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Jean-Philippe Blondet.
CUT Out at 45 Park Lane, Mayfair
Across the road from The Dorchester, outdoor terrace CUT Out in the gorgeous Art Deco hotel 45 Park Lane, is back under new executive chef Jamie Shears. Dishes from Wolfgang Puck’s CUT include highlights like Cornish Sole à la Meunière, Korean Style Lamb Rack & Bulgogi and Porthilly Rock Oysters with CUT Hot Sauce. As always, CUT’s celebrated steak selection is available, with the addition of locally sourced Wagyu beef.
Scott’s, situated in the heart of Mayfair has a loyal following, thanks to much-loved classics including Lobster Thermidor, Blackened Miso Cod and the indulgent Salted Caramel Chocolate Fondant or Champagne Strawberry Mille Feuille. And new for this season is Lemon Meringue Posset with Rhubarb. The chic outdoor terrace is a collaboration with Perrier-Jouët Champagne and gets very busy so be sure to book in advance.
This chic Mayfair favorite has 16 tables outdoors, seating up to 50 customers. The menu offers an inspired combination of signature Asian dishes including scallop and truffle sashimi and miso black cod together with Italian delicacies like burrata with Sicilian datterino tomatoes and seabass with spinach and crudaiola sauce.
Coq d’Argent, City
Popular French restaurant Coq d’Argent, in the financial district, offers an expansive, heated rooftop terrace, with great views across London. The menu offers a fine selection of wines, spirits and classic French dishes like Burgundian escargots and duck breast with foie gras.
Coppa Club, Southwark
Ten igloos (each seating six) with a the terrace seating up to 54 on the outdoor tables are now open outside of Coppa Club near Tower Bridge. The menu is Modern European with small plates and snacks and grilled mains, sourdough pizzas and healthy salads. There’s a wide selection of weekend brunch dishes and the bar serves carefully chosen wines, beers, and classic cocktails as well as new creations.
Le Pont de la Tour, Tower Bridge
This riverfront restaurant has a spacious terrace perfectly situated by Tower Bridge with stunning views overlooking the river Thames and a menu that focuses on traditional yet innovative French cuisine.
Bala Baya, Southwark
Chef Eran Tibi offers a delicious sharing menu of Tel-Aviv-inspired dishes including the best pita bread in town, made in a pita oven on site, spicey labneh, prawn baklava and lamb dumplings. The restaurant spills out onto a heated outdoor terrace covered by 200 colorful lost and found umbrellas from Transport for London.
The Jones Family Kitchen, Eccleston Yards, Victoria
Tucked away in historic Eccleston Yards, between Ebury Street and Victoria Station is an independently owned modern steak restaurant known for its collaboration with England’s premier farmer and butcher, The Ginger Pig. The menu centers around steak from grass fed Longhorn cattle and succulent Tamworth pork. Fish arrives daily from day boats in Cornwall and the South Coast. An excellent cocktail list and 30 wines by the glass will make guests who want to drop in for a drink on the large outdoor terrace very happy.
JOY, Portobello Dock
Stevie Parle’s residency at Portobello Dock features thousands of beautiful spring-blooming Parrot Tulips, home-grown in his garden. The new outdoor terrace menu focuses on seafood, showcasing the finest produce from resident supplier The Goods Shed and its trusted Kentish fishmonger, as well as fresh Welsh catches from Lockdown Lobsters. Menu highlights include clams with guanciale and freshly podded peas and lobster with lardo and rosemary butter.
Hans’ Bar & Grill, Chelsea
Part of 11 Cadogan Gardens, city sister hotel to the iconic Cliveden House where Meghan Markle stayed the night before her royal wedding, Hans’ Bar & Grill offers all-day dining on an al fresco terrace stretching along Pavilion Road.