When the sun starts shining, it’s time to go alfresco. Here’s where to take your meals outside in the capital.
1. The Boundary, East London
The Boundary is the place to go for panoramic views of London, pitchers of cocktails and affresco dining, including meats cooked on a proper grill. There’s also a pergola, so you can enjoy the rooftop even in the British summer rain.
2. Dishoom, Shoreditch
The Shoreditch branch of cool Indian eatery Dishoom has a real hidden gem: the indoor-outdoor verandah (complete with antique armchairs, brocade fabrics and bookshelves).
This is the place to laze gracefully in the sunlight with a glass of chaijito (a smoky rum with a sweet-spiced chai syrup and fresh mint) in one hand and a lamb raan bun (slow-cooked pulled lamb in sourdough bun with slaw) in the other.
3. SUSHISAMBA, Bishopsgate
Open only in the summer and only on sunny days, the dining tables on the 38th floor terrace of SUSHISAMBA are truly sought-after. If you can’t score a table here (and a plate of the Kuromitsu glazed pork belly), head to the Tree terrace bar area (complete with a massive tree in the middle of it), which also opens daily and serves a sushi-only menu with the same views.
4. The Hamyard Hotel, West End
The restaurant at the Hamyard Hotel plays second fiddle to their alfresco area: you will (almost) forget that you’re dining in central London.
5. The Grain Store, King’s Cross
Run by French chef Bruno Loubet, who is no stranger to Michelin stars, the food is sunny and a bit of a pick ‘n’ mix of cuisines: chilli con veggie sits alongside cassoulet of flageolet beans and hot seaweed sushi.
The outdoor terrace is peppered with brightly coloured chairs and cushions and overlooks Regent’s Canal and those choreographed fountains on Granary Square.
6. The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell
Just far enough away from the bustle of Clerkenwell Road, the alfresco tables outside Anna Hansen’s magnificent Grade II-listed Georgian building perfectly suits the globe trotting menu: ras el hanout yoghurt marinated lamb rump, grilled miso and soy tamarind marinated onglet steak and sugar-cured New Caledonian prawn omelette.
7. The River Café, Hammersmith
Opened by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers in 1987, this place is all about Anglo-Italian food served in their beautiful riverside garden filled with herbs, salads and edible flowers. Summer is the time to go, when blue garden tables are spread throughout the courtyard.
For more al fresco dining ideas, visit the Homes & Gardens website.