Summer is truly upon us. The temperature rises, and the warm evening breeze carries the clink of gin & tonics from street to street as Londoner’s take in the iconic British Summertime. With it comes high demand for outdoor tables and al fresco dining. Luckily we’ve compiled some of the very best for you. Read on for TheFork’s Top outdoor dining spots in London
Italian terrace restaurant Mercante proudly sport a TheFork rating of 8.7 that was earned bringing rustic charm to London’s Piccadilly. Enjoy the best regional ingredients from throughout Italy’s provinces through a series of delicious starters, small-plates and mains on this masterful menu. From the cichetti sharers of Olives, Focaccia, Bruschetta and Arancini, to the crispy zucchini fries, to hearty traditional mains of risotto and chicken Milanese. On the weekends you can enjoy the Prossecco brunch on the terrace, just £35 a head when you booked through TheFork.
To London’s famous Primrose Hill, next, and a well-loved neighbourhood location La Collina. Serving modern Italian cuisine to the lucky locals, this pleasant spot makes for the perfect pitch-up after a sunny day in the park. With a lovely garden for al fresco dining under the shade of the viandas, peruse a menu featuring authentic classics like Spaghetti alle vongole e romanesco, Orata al forno, or Gnocchi di patate con n'duja with salsa pomodoro and burrata e rucola. Such attention to tradition has earned La Collina an impressive rating of 9.5 on TheFork.
The well-heeled streets of Mayfair in West London is home to a terrace bar that bears a very famous name. The Churchill Bar & Terrace boasts a tantalisingly pretty outdoor seating area, replete with tropical plants and equally exotic drinks on the list. With an expertly curated menu of fine food, its easy to see why TheFork’s community have awarded The Churchill a rating of 9.5. Taste the expertise in everything from starters of Padron Peppers and Sweetcorn Ribs, to charcuterie boards, and scrumptious small-plates of Cornish Whitebait or Croquette Osso Bucco with Saffron Arancini, Veal, Tomato and Parmesan.
Italians coined the term al fresco, and for that we have them to thank. For those precious sunny days of the year, Londoners love to take to the outdoors to dine, and no better location for it than the Villa Di Geggiano, in the leafy borough of Chiswick. Here you can enjoy top-tier Italian, rated a staggering 9.6 by our users, for less, with a lunch set menu at £25. Try the delicious creamy Gratin di Cavolfiore, or maybe a masterful meat dish like the Tuscan Wild Boar Pappardelle Pasta.
In this neat little square in the centre of Hammersmith Broadway is a perfect spot for lovers of casual, cosmopolitan outdoor dining. Chez Maiss is an al fresco spot just yards from where you exit the train in, so naturally makes for a great stop-off before you explore the surrounding area. From the Fried Calamari to the Volcano Shrimp, from the Baked Gnocchi to the Beef Kofta, the menu here is a journey through the Mediterranean, dish by dish. With a respectable rating of 8.8, book your trip to Chez Maiss on TheFork now!
At this hidden South London gem, Chef Manuel Jardim Goncalves puts his indelible mark on every dish, proving that this is, unmistakably, Manuel’s Restaurant and Bar. This neighbourhood institution to Norwood is like a slice of the Italian riviera in London, and the perfect place for some al fresco dining during the fairer season. Dishes like Wild Mushroom Risotto and Linguine with Lobster provide the perfect flavours for your day in the sun.
Bringing the vibrant feel of the Venetian waterways to the London canal network is The Waterway, in West’s Little Venice. Known for being a particularly beautiful stretch of canal, this is the perfect place to dock for beers, wine and a masterful menu that stands up to the city’s best gastropubs. From vegetarian hits like the Wild Mushroom Ravioli, and the Truffle Burrata, to meat dishes like the Beef cheek ragù with mushrooms, salsify, broad beans & herbs, one bite will transport you away to the Floating City.
This high-end Japanese terrace restaurant serves some of the finest Sushi and small-plates, from Kyoto all the way to Oxford Street. With a cool, dark interior contrasting the airy, floral outside roof-terrace, you can experience the pinnacle of the cuisine at Aqua Kyoto, in the heart of Central London. Try the light gyoza starters of Black Cod Gyoza & Mizuna Miso, or the Tuna Tataki with Karashi Zuke & Kyoto Dressing.
When the weather is good in Central London, be sure to bag a beautiful outdoor table at Tutton’s, in Covent Garden. Serving a well-seasoned menu of classic British cuisine, expect to sample the best ingredients and pairings, from the House Beef Burger, homemade, to the Native Mussels with shallots and leeks in a white wine sauce, there are rich pickings to be had on their menu. With a TheFork rating of 8.2, you might find a pleasant surprise after a day in the sun at Tutton’s.
Walk far enough West along the Thames and the city begins to give way to the country. Enjoying pride of place at the apex of this connection is The River Cafe, situated on Thames Wharf, that offers splendid views over London’s main waterway. Specialising in fresh, vibrant Italian cuisine, explore an expert menu, from the antipasti right down to the primi, and enjoy the well curated list of fine wines as you take in the views.
Camden Stables has a new generation of attractions bringing visitors to its famous streets. The Farrier, named, of course after the area’s equestrian roots, is the prime bet. With an unrivalled selection of Natural Wines, one of the most beautiful locations in the Borough, and a fantastic team at its helm, The Farrier is certain to be finding their way onto more lists once the foodie crowd discover this gem.
Our bonus getaway is a historic Hotel in London’s suburbs that serves as the traditional stop-over for coaches heading to the nearby Richmond Park. The Warren House Hotel is a Victorian-era hotel boasting beautiful grounds with fountains and manicured lawns. No more than a short train ride from Central London, this is your slice of country, without straying too far from the city. With a premier Afternoon Tea service to graze at, along with refreshing champagne served chilled. A snip at £50 when you book on TheFork.
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