Al Fresco Dining on the British Isle

Odette's Primrose Hill

Eating outdoors is always a treat (weather permitting, of course). So don't miss  a chance - in London or around Great Britian - at these top spots.


River Café, Hammersmith

Widely regarded as London’s best Italian restaurant with great pedigree in the kitchen that has produced many successful alumni and imitations, the River Café, with its minimalist, sleek design and light colour scheme that blend effortlessly with the riverside setting, creates an unforgettable dining experience.

Odette’s, Primrose Hill

Odette’s has been a Primrose Hill institution for decades, but is now under the reign of Bryn Williams, winner of the Great British Menu television series. The mood is dark and seductive in the downstairs restaurant, and the tables that open out on to the streets of Primrose Hill are ideal for an alfresco lunch.

The Ledbury, Notting Hill

The Ledbury, with its Notting Hill location and neighbourhood restaurant feel, has been quietly making its mark on London’s dining scene until its second Michelin star catapulted it into the mainstream earlier this year. As expected, Brett Graham’s cooking is now in huge demand, but as the terrace does not accept reservations, it’s a great way to skip the long wait list and try one of London’s best restaurants whilst enjoying the sun.

Tom’s Terrrace at Somerset House

The River Terrace Cafe at Somerset House has been taken over by Tom Aikens for the summer, with an informal menu, including mini burgers and triple cooked chips, to accompany the evening drinks and splendid views of the Thames. The Admiralty Restaurant will also be transformed into Tom’s Kitchen at Somerset House, serving signature dishes from Tom’s Kitchen in Chelsea.

Rooftop at the Boundary, Shoreditch

One of the latest ventures from Prescott & Conran, the rooftop restaurant at the Boundary, a 48-seat grill, has 360-degree views of London, and includes a designer garden, a large bar, an open fireplace and luxury blankets for the chillier evenings.

Le Pont de la Tour, Tower Bridge

Le Pont de la Tour has a beautiful riverside setting from which to enjoy its modern French menu, with a focus on seafood, and vast wine list. The outside terrace is very popular in the summer as it has a superb view of Tower Bridge.

Bleeding Heart, Clerkenwell

With a rustic look to match its location and history, the Bleeding Heart offers traditional French fare in a welcoming and intimate setting. But in summer, the real attraction in the summer is the large terrace, which brings a bit of Paris to the streets of Farringdon.

Outside London

Oloroso, Edinburgh

Oloroso is perched high above the streets of Edinburgh with fabulous views of the city’s skyline through its floor-to-ceiling windows. The rooftop terrace is one the most dramatic locations in Edinburgh for a spot of alfresco dining, or for a cocktail whilst watching the sun set.

The Beetle & Wedge, Oxfordshire

The Boathouse restaurant at The Beetle & Wedge is known for its warm, friendly and informal atmosphere on the banks of The Thames. The terrace, just a few feet from the river and beautifully lit in the evenings, is a perfect spot for dining outdoors.

Lord Poulett Arms, Somerset

Lord Poulett Arms is a lovely rural pub with a beautiful garden that’s an ideal setting for lunch or for relaxing in the hammock with a drink. The idyllic country setting really is picture perfect.

The Seahorse, Dartmouth

The Seahorse is Mitch Tonks's latest waterside restaurant, which overlooks the River Dart in Dartmouth. There are only a few alfresco tables, therefore early booking is essential, as it is an idyllic spot mere yards from where your fresh fish was procured.

Tides Grill at The St David’s Hotel, Cardiff

The St David’s Hotel is Cardiff’s top hotel with a beautiful setting in Cardiff Bay. The Tides Grill overlooks the Bay and the terrace is an ideal place to enjoy local Welsh delicacies from the modern British menu.

Burlington’s at the Beech Hill Hotel, Cumbria

The Beech Hill hotel has a spectacular position set into the hillside on the eastern bank of Lake Windermere in the Lake District. The restaurant has a large terrace with unparalleled views, and during the summer, they will also be offering afternoon tea in the tea room down by the private boat jetty.

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