Eating Al Fresco in London – rarely done but when the weather calls for it, it’s hard to beat so we’ve made a list of old favourites we always return to plus some great new hot spots in town.
Top of our favourites has to be The River Café with it’s awning-covered tables, river views and delicious Michelin-starred Italian menu (you do have to be fairly organised though to book ahead and it does cost an arm and a leg). For old school glamour there’s Chelsea’s terracotta and blue and white striped terrace at La Famiglia (where we always seem to end up sitting next to Bob Geldof!) If it’s breakfast or afternoon tea you’re after, then The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell is a must, with tea-smoked salmon eggs benedict for breakfast, or green tea matcha scones with gooseberry compote and cream for tea. And finally, we couldn’t not mention the Dock Kitchen both for Stevie Parle’s creative and ever-changing menus and it’s quiet outdoor terrace overlooking the canal.
If you fancy something less old school, then head to Dishoom’s new verandah in Shoreditch. Their new all-year-round outside space is like stepping back in time to an old Bombay café with comfy armchairs, bentwood chairs and endless cups of chai. But we’re going for sundowner cocktails on the Verandah – Bombay Pimms, Presidency Punch and Indian gin cocktail The Dhoble. Then there’s Shrimpy’s new outside barbecue grill and terrace at the back of King’s Cross that was filled to the brim when we went last week. Or if you’re in South London, the good news is that Frank’s Café is back in Peckham. Open until the end of September, Frank’s takes over the roof of a multi-storey car park with art collective Bold Tendencies. It’s all about cocktails, delicious food from the grill and incredible views over London. Sounds perfect to us.