Poolside dining is one of the many joys of holidays – but it doesn’t have to be limited to faraway destinations. London is also home to a handful of outdoor pools and lidos, some of which have adjacent eateries. From exclusive rooftop hotspots to low-key lido cafes, read on to discover the best poolside restaurants in London. With just a few dotted around the capital, they’re sure to be more popular than ever during this long, hot summer. The race is on…
5 Poolside Restaurants in London
Laurel’s On The Roof
Easily one of the hottest poolside spots in town is Laurel’s On The Roof, a rooftop bar, restaurant and pool found at the top of Mondrian Shoreditch. Inspired by the glamorous pool parties of 70s LA, the vibrant eatery features relaxed lounge seating and low-hanging rattan chandeliers, with dishes inspired by Californian cuisine. Think tuna ceviche, beetroot carpaccio and lobster risotto, alongside a Sunday brunch menu featuring the likes of French toast with bacon and smoked salmon bagels. There’s a relaxed feel during the day, and come evening time DJs kick things up a notch with soul, funk and electric beats.
45 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3PT, book.ennismore.com
Pen Yen at Shoreditch House
When the sun comes out, East Londoners with a Soho House membership (or with friends willing to share) flock to the rooftop of Shoreditch House for a day by the pool. Sun loungers tend to get snapped up in the early hours of the morning, but more widely available are tables at Pen Yen, the club’s buzzy poolside restaurant. The Japanese-inspired eatery arrived in Shoreditch last year after proving successful at Soho Farmhouse, focusing on izakaya-style cuisine and robata grills. Favourites include the signature back miso cod, sticky pork ribs with ginger and garlic, tofu steak, and robata corn with miso butter, plus sushi rolls, salads and small plates.
Ebor St, London E1 6AW, sohohouse.com
Cafe at the Lido
Beside north London’s Parliament Hill Lido sits a charming cafe, focusing on Lebanese fare. Lido swimmers and Hampstead Heath walkers alike can pop in for salads, falafels and cooked breakfasts, alongside coffees, teas and cakes. Everything is vegan, and the cafe offers views of the water.
Parliament Hill Fields Lido, Gordon House Rd, London NW5 1LP, parliamenthilllido.org
Serpentine Bar and Kitchen
After a refreshing dip in Hyde Park’s lake, pop to the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen for an al fresco lunch. Housed inside Patrick Gwynne’s building on the eastern edge of the Serpentine, there’s a lovely terrace overlooking the water, open for breakfast, lunch and drinks. Enjoy brunch classics like Eggs Benedict and shakshuka, or visit at lunchtime for a wood-fired pizza, salad or burger. There’s also a dedicated kids menu with a choice of fish and chips, roast chicken with potatoes, and tomato and basil pasta.
Hyde Park, Serpentine Rd, London W2 2UH, royalparks.org.uk
Hotels with rooftop pools are a hot commodity in the capital, so there’s always a lot of buzz around The Berkeley’s. Available exclusively for hotel guests (sorry), the endlessly chic pool boasts views of the capital, with a retractable roof for when the weather plays ball. While not a restaurant as such, there’s a pool deck menu offering a short and sweet selection of healthy dishes, such as yellowfin tuna tartare, chopped kale salad, a poke bowl and panzanella. Pair with smoothies, beers or a cocktail – the Paloma, made with pink grapefruit soda and Patron Silver tequila, will go down a treat on a sunny day.
Wilton Pl, London SW1X 7RL, the-berkeley.co.uk
Featured image: Laurel’s On The Roof