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Spring sunshine: Where to eat and drink al fresco in London

From West End rooftops to Thames-side terraces, we’ve rounded up our top picks for al fresco dining and drinking in the capital to make the most of the warmer spring weather.  

By LLM Reporters  |  May 3, 2022
Meal and drinks at Four Seasons Park Place

It only takes the slightest hint of sunshine for Londoners to scramble for outdoor tables and if the upcoming weather forecast is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat this spring. From West End rooftops to Thames-side terraces, we’ve rounded up our top picks for al fresco dining and drinking in the capital to make the most of the warmer spring weather.  

Central

The Rooftop at The Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square

Drink Al Fresco at The Hippodrome Casino in London

Perched five stories above London’s glittering West End, The Rooftop is a highflying hot spot for drinking and dining – and what’s more, is open until 2am, making it one of central London’s rare late-night al fresco destinations.

The Rooftop welcomes diners, drinkers and entertainment-seekers across three spacious floors, with signature cocktails and a 24-hour food menu. And what’s more, a retractable roof and terrace heaters mean you’re covered – literally – whatever the weather! 

Address: Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, WC2H 7JH
Website: hippodromecasino.com

Mariage Frères, Covent Garden

Mariage Frères Covent Garden

Situated in the very heart of Covent Garden, Mariage Frères’ Tea Terrace in front of its flagship tea emporium is the ideal spot for al fresco drinking and dining, just moments away from the area’s stylish boutiques.

Guests can watch the world go by as they sip on refreshing iced teas or tea-infused cocktails, such as a Blue Gin Tonic or Frosted Tokyo Mojito from an extensive selection. For those looking to dine, there is a wide choice of dishes, from light salads and bao burgers to exquisite patisseries and even a full afternoon tea spread with delicate tea-infused sweet treats and Petits Gâteaux.

Address: 38 King St, WC2E 8JS
Website: mariagefreres.com

Hush Mayfair, Mayfair

One of London’s most impressive outdoor dining spaces, the Hush Mayfair Courtyard is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of Bond Street. A secluded oasis on the cobbled streets of Lancashire Court, this heated and covered courtyard boasts seasonally changing décor and installations, always providing an Insta-worthy backdrop to the creative cocktails and elegant menu.

For spring, this stunning al fresco spot is back with a brand new look in partnership with ENGINE, the hand-crafted organic London dry gin, to transport guests through the rolling hills and ancient forests of North-western Italy. Enjoy a range of refreshing and zesty ENGINE cocktails alongside brasserie bites and a gorgeous new Hush Mayfair afternoon tea. 

Address: 8 Lancashire Ct, W1S 1EY
Website: hush.co.uk

On The Terrace, Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane, Mayfair

Afternoon tea at the Four Seasons in Park Lane, London

On The Terrace – a destination in its own right – is a leafy oasis set in the heart of Mayfair at luxury landmark property, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane.

Open daily and stylishly decorated to cater to guests whatever the season, the terrace offers a specially curated food menu – including a quintessentially English afternoon tea – and a selection of innovative, speciality cocktails by bar manager and mixologist, Ivan Arena, alongside vintage Dom Perignon by the glass. By day, enjoy seasonal menus in a sun-soaked setting and, by night unwind under the stars in the cosy and magical atmosphere of On The Terrace. 

Address: Hamilton Pl, London W1J 7DR
Website: fourseasons.com

West

SUMI, Notting Hill 

Sumi's Kitchen in Mayfair
Image credit: Jodi Hinds

From the team behind Michelin-starred Endo at the Rotunda, SUMI in Notting Hill is a gorgeous neighbourhood spot offering sensational sushi in a chic and stylish setting. Boasting a sun trap terrace with a host of tables, SUMI is the perfect place for al fresco dining.

Menu highlights include the Tuna Takaki, a small bite of seared bluefin tuna Akami from the Balearic Sea, dressed with a sweet onion ponzu sauce, and finished with a Japanese spice blend. The SUMI Salmon Teriyaki is another must try – the highest quality salmon marinated in teriyaki sauce and shiitake mushroom stock served with crème fraiche, pickled Kohlrabi and chopped shiitake mushrooms. 

Address: 157 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS
Website: sushisumi.com

North

Drake and Morgan, King’s Cross 

Drake & Morgan, Kings Cross

The perfect suntrap for catching up with friends over a drink or two, Drake and Morgan King’s Cross offers an expansive outdoor terrace just a short walk from the main station. With plenty of refreshing cocktails, wines and beers on tap, and a menu featuring both light bites and hearty mains, it’s an ideal spot to while away a few hours on a sunny day. 

Address: 6 Pancras Sq, N1C 4AG
Website: drakeandmorgan.co.uk

Great Northern Hotel, Kings Cross

Great Northern Hotel, Kings Cross_Al fresco

London’s oldest railway hotel, the Great Northern Hotel stands proudly in a Grade II listed landmark building in the heart of King’s Cross, just a stone’s throw from the shopping and dining destination, Coal Drops Yard. 

At the hub of the hotel is the vibrant and buzzy GNH Bar and Terrace offering continental-style al fresco seating, perfect for drinking and dining whilst watching the world go by. Whether it’s lunch in the sun, evening cocktails or a quick coffee before you catch your train, the GNH Bar and Terrace is a destination hot spot for hotel guests and passers-by. 

Enjoy classic and signature cocktails created by head bar manager Diogo Felicio, a vast gin and tonic, whisky and premium spirits menu, and craft beers alongside a refined wine and champagne list. Seasonal, classic food menus include a choice of small plates and nibbles through to larger dishes for lunch or dinner.

Address: Pancras Rd, N1C 4TB
Website: gnhlondon.com

The Canonbury Tavern, Islington

Canonbury Tavern, Islington outdoor space

Located just a short walk from Highbury and Islington, The Canonbury Tavern boasts an expansive and partially covered garden. Specialising in fresh, seasonal British food, and fully stocked with real ales and fine wines from around the world, there is no better place to while away an afternoon in the sun. 

Address: 21 Canonbury Place, N1 2NS
Website: thecanonbury.co.uk

East

Cinnamon Kitchen, Devonshire Square

Cinnamon Kitchen in London

Make the most of warmer days with Cinnamon Kitchen’s all-weather terrace in Devonshire Square – the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of The City and drink or dine on the colourful Indian-inspired decking.

Sip on a selection of spiced-infused cocktails like the Assam Manhattan or Coconut Kir cocktail, accompanied by delicious plates such as lamb sheekh kebab, tandoori achari cauliflower or an old Delhi style chicken curry. Those looking to go all out can also enjoy the weekend bottomless brunch this spring!

Address: 9 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YL
Website: cinnamon-kitchen.com

Burger and Lobster, West India Quay

Burger & Lobster at West India Quay

Looking out over the boats and water, Burger and Lobster at West India Quay is the perfect al fresco spot to crack a claw and enjoy some refreshing cocktails.

Soak up the sunshine or find respite in the shade beneath the terrace’s sail-inspired canopy, taking in the buzzing atmosphere of the wharf. The restaurant is housed in the refurbished quayside warehouse with a menu featuring Burger and Lobster classics including whole Nova Scotian Lobster, Nebraskan beef burgers and OG lobster rolls. 

Address: Hertsmere Rd, E14 4AY
Website: burgerandlobster.com

The Sipping Room, Canary Wharf

Alfresco at The Sipping Room in Canary Wharf

This expansive waterside terrace is an ideal spot to soak up the sun this summer and offers an indulgent food menu which can be enjoyed alongside vibrant cocktails. A great one for those living and working in the area.

Address: 16 Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf E14 4AX
Website: drakeandmorgan.co.uk

South

The Ship, Wandsworth

The Ship, Wandsworth

The Ship is ready to welcome guests on its heated garden and terrace. Sit on deck with friends on long communal tables to the backdrop of the Thames, or for some quirky al fresco dining, the riverside cabins offer a sheltered escape, complete with plasma screens for parties of six. Classic British dishes are on offer, as well as a burger menu from the pub’s outdoor Burger Shack.

Address: 41 Jews Road, Wandsworth, SW18 1TB
Website: theship.co.uk

King’s Arms, Wandsworth

The Kings Arms, Wandsworth

The King’s Arms, in the heart of Wandsworth town, offers a completely covered beer garden with heaters, ideal for long meet-ups into the evenings. Alongside seasonal menus with all-day brunch options, the pub offers a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes, as well as juicy patties from the Burger Shack, all complemented with a selection of cocktails and wines, as well as draught beers. 

Address: 94-96 Wandsworth High Street, SW18 4LB
Website: kingsarmswandsworth.co.uk

Hope and Anchor, Brixton

Hope & Anchor Burger Shack

Situated between Brixton and Clapham, the Hope and Anchor is renowned for its dirty Burger Shack burgers and Insta-worthy cocktails. The stunning fairy-lit garden, fully covered and heated for all seasons, comes with 12 bookable huts, all equipped with TVs and heaters. 

Address: 123 Acre Lane, Brixton, SW2 5UA
Website: hopeandanchorbrixton.co.uk

Haché, Kingston 

Haché Kingston, a riverside social

Haché is the chic, Parisian-inspired, all-day dining destination, famed for its delicious and decadent burgers. Bringing a touch of the Riviera to the Thames, Haché’s Riverside Social neighbourhood spot in Kingston boasts a covetable terrace with prime riverside views, ideal for long leisurely lunches, al fresco first dates and a spot of people watching.

On the menu, expect the highest quality ingredients from top tier suppliers across an enticing range of meat and plant-based plates. Burgers are the real star of the show; the Steak Canadien is a must try – a 6oz ‘hachéd’ steak burger topped with melted cheese, maple bacon jam, smoked bacon, mustard mayo, tomato and rocket; whilst for true indulgence opt for the steak truffle, topped with truffle aioli, caramelised onions, Gruyere cheese and truffle shavings.

Address: Unit 5 Riverside Walk, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1QN
Website: hacheburgers.com