‘Mercato Alighieri’ launches at BBC Television Centre at White City

Al Fresco Dining: London’s Best Restaurants with Gardens

Food & Drink /

Sun, Spritz, and Serotonin

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Looking for the best outdoor restaurants in London? Read on for the capital’s loveliest eateries with gardens, from riverside retreats to beach-inspired huts.

Al Fresco Dining: Best Outdoor Restaurants in London

Cin Cin, Fitzrovia

cin cin alfresco terrace

© Justin De Souza

Sitting on a corner of a bustling street in Fitzrovia you’ll find Cin Cin, a modern Italian neighbourhood restaurant, which promises a slice of calm – and delicious food – away from the hustle and bustle of central London. Just a short walk from the prime surrounding shopping district, and theatreland of Soho – it makes for a perfect spot to grab a pre-theatre dinner, a much-needed post-shopping beverage, or a dreamy way to wile away a summer evening, beginning with an aperitif, before slowly working your way through the menu. The menus, which change seasonally, offer an array of delicious Italian dishes made with fresh and well-sourced ingredients. The food feels authentic – with some being family recipes – and you can tell each dish is carefully considered before it’s put on the menu. Ultimately though, it’s a seriously lovely way to spend an evening watching the world go by as you sip on delicious aperitifs and munch on delicious food. cincin.co.uk

Mercato Alighieri at Television Centre

Mercato Aligheri an outdoor drinking area inspired by Florence launches outside of the BBC Television Centre in White City

Image courtesy of Alighieri

If you’re a lover of the following: ancient Greco-Roman art, the city of Florence, the Italian Renaissance, Dante, and of course, Alighieri jewellery  — then Alighieri’s pop up outdoor drinking and dining, called Alighieri Mercato, will be right up your street.

Think piazzas, think laissez faire platters of olives, prosciutto, and a peppering of pastel huts that features a spritz bar, a gelateria, and Alighieri jewellery that’s casually and elegantly strewn on a lion sculptures and busts about the place (that’s available to buy). Alfresco dining and private consultations for bespoke jewellery and wedding styling sessions are on offer, but you’ll need to book here with the Alighieri team first.

When: From Thursday 9th June – Sunday 19th June, Mon – Thursday: 4pm – 8pm, Fri – Sun: 2pm – 8pm. Where: Television Centre Forecourt, 1 Wood Lane, White City, W12 7RJ


Il Giardino at The Berkeley

The Berkeley Garden

The Berkeley has become renowned for its seasonal garden pop-ups, which began post-lockdown. This summer, the hotel’s garden has been transformed into an Italian-inspired space decked out with olive trees and herb plants. Diners can enjoy a menu of small plates – think arancini and focaccia – plus pasta, meat and fish dishes. Pair with an aperitivo from the bespoke spritz trolley, which sees bartenders whizz up cocktails for you tableside. the-berkeley.co.uk

Whitcomb’s at The Londoner

Whitcomb’s at The Londoner

A summer terrace has opened at The Londoner hotel’s signature restaurant, Whitcomb’s, tucked away in the corner of Leicester Square. Running in partnership with St Germain – the world’s first liqueur made with fresh elderflower blossoms – the space is decked out in foliage, with its own loveseat swing. A special drinks menu celebrates the wild, natural sweetness of St Germain with a sparkling rosé cocktail, plus twists on the classic negroni and martini. You can also enjoy Whitcomb’s a la carte menu al fresco, which features small plates, fresh pastas and larger dishes like lobster thermidor and steak. thelondoner.com

The Hari Garden Terrace

The Hari Garden Terrace, Summer

Come summer time, The Hari’s Garden Terrace transforms into a Mediterranean-inspired oasis, surrounded by crawling ivy. Sip Château Minuty and dine on dishes featuring ingredients from Provence, such as crispy calamari and charcuterie platters. thehari.com

Ampeli Spritz Terrace

Ampeli spritz terrace

An Aegean feast awaits at Ampeli in Fitzrovia – and even better, now you can enjoy it overlooking well heeled diners tripping along Charlotte Street in the sultry afternoon sun, spritzer in hand. Ampeli’s scattering of al fresco tables (which are equipped with overhead heaters for chillier evenings) is a perfect central London spot for a date night or picturesque post-pandemic catch up. Whipped feta, roasted red pepper dip and charred cauliflower with labneh and olive tapenade must not be missed from the menu by Head Chef Oren Goldfield, but make sure you leave room for light-as-air loukmadas dusted in sugar. Wash it all down with one of the new Metaxa cocktails – ours will be a Mountain Tea spritz with Mountain Tea syrup, prosecco and a dash of Aperol. ampeli.london

The Garden at The Corinthia

The Garden at Corinthia

James Mason

Reawaken memories of European holidays in the Corinthia’s secluded courtyard, a Mediterranean garden with lemon and olive trees. On the menu you’ll find a selection of small plates, sharing dishes and mains – think white asparagus, morel, new potato and artichoke casserole; and Cacio e Pepe. Drinks-wise, rosé is the clear choice – particularly as The Corinthia’s selection is so good. Whispering Angel, Domaines Ott and Miraval all feature on the menu, alongside a range of seasonal cocktails. corinthia.com

Read our full review of The Garden at Corinthia London here

Coppa Club

Coppa Club

Whatever the season, us Londoners can’t seem to get enough of Coppa Club’s riverside igloos. They’re back with a new spring look – think woven wicker chairs, bamboo lanterns and linen throws beneath suspended botanicals. Fitting six people, the igloos offer an à la carte menu with a selection of seasonal European dishes: sharing platters of seared garlic king prawns, fresh pasta and sourdough pizzas all feature. coppaclub.co.uk

Sam’s Riverside

Sam's Riverside

Idyllic waterfront restaurant Sam’s Riverside – which launched just a few months before the pandemic hit – has a lovely outdoor terrace with space for 32 diners. New seasonal dishes on Head Chef Ashley Tinoco’s menu include Dorset crab with mayonnaise; Grilled Wye Valley asparagus with fried duck egg, sourdough crumb and butter sauce; and Steamed Shetland mussels with tomato broth. samsriverside.co.uk

Bluebird Café, White City

Bluebird White City

White City’s gentrification was assured when Soho House opened the doors to its West London outpost in 2018 and the old BBC building was converted to designer flats. Then when Westfield added to its footprint with the opening of a whole new wing (including John Lewis), this little urban enclave of Shepherds Bush now had global appeal. And the restaurants followed, including Bluebird Café, little sister to its grand Chelsea outpost that has dominated the western end of King’s Road for nearly 25 years. An all-day dining buzzy brasserie with great lighting, cosy booths and a bar area is the perfect foil to the rather anodyne offerings in Westfield just across the road (it’s never that fun eating in a shopping mall). You can sweep in (with your bubble) for breakfast (served all day) – and feast on waffles, eggs Benedict or bacon and eggs; stay for elevenses with bloody Marys and cappuccinos and then crack on with lunch with upmarket brasserie-style fare: think burgers, crab linguine, grassfed sirloin, lambshank or chicken Milanese. If you want something lighter, the duck salad or tuna poke bowl are both winners. Children are more than welcomed with their own menu too. By Lucy Cleland, bluebirdcafe.co.uk

Chiltern Firehouse

Chiltern Firehouse

With its wicker chairs, black and white striped sofas and beautiful greenery, the courtyard of Chiltern Firehouse has long been the place to see and be seen in London. Head over for a boozy lunch as you soak up the ever-buzzy atmosphere. Nothing beats Chiltern’s fresh oysters paired with a few glasses of champagne. chilternfirehouse.com



The second restaurant from the Pachamama group, Chelsea’s Chicama is a charming seafood restaurant named after a coastal town in Peru – not the word chic, although that does describe it well. If you can pry yourself away from the pretty beach-inspired indoors, the outdoor terrace is an equally lovely dining spot for sunny days: a petite plant-filled space overflowing onto the pavement on a quiet section of the Kings Road. From here, tuck into a meat-free menu of vibrant seafood and vegetarian small plates alongside colourful cocktails. chicamalondon.com

Petersham Nurseries

Floral Court Petersham Nurseries

Nestled in between the foliage, plant pots and greenhouses is a restaurant at Petersham Nurseries, a dreamy spot even when the sun hasn’t got its hat on. Its second venue on Covent Garden’s Floral Street is also an idyllic lunch location, featuring a delicatessen, wine cellar and florist, as well as two restaurants. petershamnurseries.com

Angler, South Place Hotel

Angler Roof Terrace

Perched atop South Place Hotel, Angler’s 40-seat west-facing roof terrace boasts lovely views of the city. Chef Gary Foulkes heads up the Michelin-starred kitchen, which serves up a fish-focused menu of dishes like Cornish turbot with scallop stuffed courgette and Dorset crab with bouillabaisse sauce. anglerrestaurant.com

The River Café

The River Cafe

The ultimate outdoor restaurant in London for a long lunch with sublime Italian food and charming riverside surroundings. rivercafe.co.uk

Rail House Cafe

Rail House Cafe

While in the past Victoria hasn’t been much of a foodie destination, these days it’s brimming with great places to eat. This is mainly thanks to the new Nova development at Sir Simon Milton Square, a culinary hub with an array of outdoor restaurants and bars which flood onto the central promenade. One of these is Rail House Cafe, the younger sibling of Fitzrovia’s Riding House Cafe. With cosy cushions and a mix of small and large tables, their terrace is an ideal al fresco dining spot whether you’re after brunch, lunch or dinner; healthy or indulgent. railhouse.cafe

Sea Containers London

Sea Containers

Enjoy glorious views of the River Thames at this buzzy South Bank eatery, located on the bottom floor of the Sea Containers London (formerly Mondrian). Designed by maverick Tom Dixon, the restaurant exudes elegance, with nautical-inspired interiors drawing on the famous Sea Containers House: think copper-clad walls, leather chairs and bright yellow upholstery. This opens onto a brightly coloured terrace, running in partnership with Laurent Perrier. From here, guests can choose from an all-day menu of European dishes. seacontainerslondon.com

The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The Ivy Chelsea Garden by Paul Winch Furness

Paul Winch Furness

It would be wrong not to include this ever-popular Chelsea haunt, one of the prettiest outdoor restaurants in town. Come rain or shine, few places beat The Ivy’s garden. theivychelseagarden.com

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