Here we present a few options for eating al fresco – from a spot by the river to a Michelin starred meal in the sun or an all-day session.
Open all day for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner Caravan, offers the perfect spot to while away a lazy summer’s day with fine coffee and a well-travelled menu by Executive Chef Miles Kirby. Immerse yourself in the middle of the bustling food hub at the original Caravan site in Exmouth Market. Or overlook the colourful fountains of Granary Square by taking up one of the 50 south facing seats at Caravan King’s Cross.
Over at Somerset House, the newly opened Salon at Spring delivers al fresco dining with a twist, for when the British summer time fails us. The Salon’s indoor atrium garden brings the outdoors in, with tables flanked by flora and fauna designs and an abundance of natural light from the atrium’s glass ceiling. The idyllic setting is perfect to enjoy Skye Gyngell’s acclaimed cooking in a more informal, no reservations format along with refreshing house made tonic water with Chase gin, or a selection of cooling seasonal ice creams.
On the other side of the river sits the innovative Wahaca Southbank, made entirely from refurbished shipping containers which open out to a number of seats on a terrace overlooking The Thames. Enjoy tequila cocktails from the restaurant’s very own tequila bar and try the limited seasonal pickled vegetable tostadas for a Mexican twist on a Waterloo sunset.
New for this summer Carousel, located in the heart of Marylebone, now offers an impressive outdoor garden terrace for diners to enjoy menus from the restaurant’s ever-changing line-up of guest chefs. The terrace can also be hired in its entirety for a summer party for up to 25 people. Or, for a Michelin-starred Indian meal in the sun, Trishna, also situated in the heart of Marylebone’s food hub, offers sought after pavement side tables and a menu of Southern Indian food to perfectly compliment a warm summers day.
For the wine lover, Terroirs and Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels both offer outdoor tables that transport you to a warm summer’s night on a cobbled street in Paris. The handful of pavement side tables at Terroirs are the ideal spot to watch the world go by whilst enjoying a glass of natural wine alongside new Head Chef Dale Osborne’s (formerly of HIX and Chiltern Firehouse) updated provenance-led menu. Or, tucked away in Neal’s Yard, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels’ prized outside tables sprawl over the brightly coloured courtyard in Covent Garden. Let the friendly sommeliers guide you through an expertly chosen wine list as you work your way through the new French inspired spring menu and an obligatory Posh Madame.
Finally, the spacious al fresco terrace at The Strand Dining Rooms under new direction of celebrity Chef Mark Sargeant seats up to 36 people and overlooks The Strand and Trafalgar Square. With its central London location the restaurant is the perfect pit-stop when visiting the capital’s many tourist attractions, or for Londoners looking for a quick bite or cocktail.