On rooftops, gardens or entire streets, eating out in the capital takes many exciting forms. If you're in or visiting the UK and love to eat outside, check out these ten outdoor dining locations in London:
1. The Prince
This location is a whole street of three remarkable restaurants and bars sheltered by a woodland garden. Famous for outdoor drinking and street food, The Prince is a place of freedom and fun, or as they put it themselves, power without responsibility. For visit info and more, check out their website.
The Prince images and info on Backdrop
2. Ivy Chelsea Garden
An art-filled space with modern British menus, this beautiful spot is open every day of the week. The garden terrace seats are covered, so you can eat out come rain come sunshine. There are also fireside seats in the outdoor dining area and an orangery on the garden terrace. Plan your visit on the Ivy Chelsea Garden website.
Ivy Chelsea Garden images and info on Backdrop
3. Alto by San Carlo
Al fresco with authentic Italian cuisine is a truly luxurious experience waiting for you atop the roof of the famous department store: Selfridges, London. The restaurant stays open late, long after the store has closed, and it is one of the best places to dine under the stars. The retractable roof also prevents weather-based inconveniences. Find bookings and more about Alto on the San Carlo website.
Alto by San Carlo images and info on Backdrop
4. Dalloway Terrace
Named after the Virginia Woolf character, Mrs Dalloway, the post-WWI era aesthetic and decor are absolutely on theme. This location is an elegant terrace in Bloomsbury Hotel, the perfect place for afternoon tea and all-day meals. They also have a full wine menu. Visit the Dalloway Terrace website to save your seat.
Dalloway Terrace images and info on Backdrop
5. Brunswick House
This bar and grill serve more imaginative dishes than its Georgian Mansion furnishing. On the roof and under a beautiful canopy of wisteria, this terrace has a good view of the street below. It is also heated, so the location is perfect even in the cooler seasons. Learn more about the historic Brunswick House here.
Brunswick House images and info on Backdrop
6. La Goccia
If the wooden elephants and the rest of the decor aren’t immediately theatrical enough for you, then request an outdoor seat from where you can watch the chefs prepare the dishes. (Yes, they do that occasionally.) Part of Petersham Nurseries Group, the La Goccia menu changes with the season to make the most of seasonal produce.
La Goccia images and info on Backdrop
A rooftop location with a Mediterranean menu, this restaurant serves many oyster platters and distinctive cocktails. With fantastic views of the skyline, terrace seatings here sell out so fast that a seat can't be guaranteed unless it’s booked weeks in advance. Visit the Seabird website to claim a spot.
Seabird London images and info on Backdrop
8. The Gardener's Cottage
Beautiful garden seatings surround a stone cottage in this hidden gem’s communal layout. They invite guests to escape the rush of the city, serving delicacies at the best time of the year to have them. (They grow their own seasonal produce.) Seats are by online reservation only.
The Gardener’s Cottage images and info on Backdrop
9. The Maine Mayfair
Experience New England in a historical townhouse, and indulge in the subterranean way. The location remains a covert hangout, even though the terrace can be directly accessed via Hanover Square. Day and night, The Maine Mayfair is a hub of excitement. Find the reservation process and more info on their website.
The Maine Mayfair images and info on Backdrop
Especially bright and bubbly this time of year, this place is frequented by groups of bohemians discussing art, perhaps thanks to the fact that the location is owned by the founders of the Frieze Art Festival. While they save a few tables indoors for walk-ins, terrace seating is usually only available when pre-booked. Find reservation details and more on the Toklas website.