Eating al Fresco

The River Café

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.


Eating Al Fresco
The River Café, Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, W6 9HA
Where else:
La Famiglia, 7 Langton St; The Modern Pantry, 48 St John's Square; Dock Kitchen, Portobello Docks 342-344 Ladbroke Grove; Dishoom, 7 Boundary Street; Shrimpy's, King's Cross Filling Station Goods Way & Frank's Café, 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-story Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, SW10 OJL; EC1V 4JJ; W10 5BU; E2 7JE; N1C 4UR; SE15 4ST
— Francesca
11th July 2013