Outdoor Tables to Book

JOY at Portobello, credit: Charlie McKay

What a joy it will be to go out to restaurants again. These are all opening on 12th April with outdoor seating.

Wild by Tart, Eccleston Square

The most insulated of any courtyard we’ve seen, stay warm at Wild by Tart and enjoy a delicious all-day feast from their charcoal grills and wood ovens. The menu will inlude plates to share like spring salad of Dorset crab, broad beans and pickled shallots, wood pigeon with white faba beans and array of pizzas as well as cocktails, wine and beers.

JOY at Portobello

There are three areas to book at JOY: a heated private pavilion (each sits up to six people), beneath the partially-sheltered eaves with overhead heating or under a parasol on the terrace. There’s also a cosy new fire pit for pre-dinner drinks. The hyper-seasonal spring menu will have a new focus on seafood; think lobster, baby new potatoes and plenty of rosé.

Marle at Heckfield Place

Skye Gyngell’s heavenly Heckfield Place restaurant, Marle is launching a new restaurant on the Italian Terrace from 14th April – 9th May. Open for lunch, tea and a 5-course dinner on Friday and Saturdays, sit overlooking the lake snug beneath blankets and sheepskin rugs. Biodynamic ingredients from the gardens and farm will fill the menu with dishes like wild turbot, asparagus and hollandaise, and rhubarb tart with peach blossom ice cream. It’s just a 90-minute drive or train journey from London.

Ox Barn al fresco at Thyme

For a weekend lunch in the Cotswolds, the beautiful Ox Barn at Thyme is relocating to the south-facing terrace from 16th April – 19th May. Tables will be spread out around the garden, the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and spring plates like ricotta and nettle stuffed artichokes, asparagus and anchovy vinaigrette, and bavette steak with green salad. Lunchtime only from midday to sunset.

Native at Browns Courtyard, Brook Street

This smart new restaurant on will open with its courtyard first, and it’s the perfect moment given that it centres around a cherry tree with tulips and wild garlic springing up at its base. The current offering is more of a bar than a restaurant proper with a Garden Snacks menu that features small dishes, cocktails and wines by the glass. The focus is on foraged and sustainable fare; think brown crab rarebit on brioche and fermented Nutbourne tomatoes with Graceburn cheese and yesterday’s bread, and a hay ice cream affogato for pudding. Do order the Native Negroni, made using their house-made Forager’s Vermouth.

The Berkeley’s Beach Huts

Transport to Whitstable or Southwold by way of Knightsbridge with The Berkeley’s new rainbow-coloured beach huts that open on 12th April. Book your spot now and enjoy freshly-shucked oysters, scampi and chips and extra special 99’s by calling 020 7107 8833 or emailing BerkeleyBeachHuts@the-berkeley.co.uk.

Circolo Popolare

The sunny outdoor terrace behind Circolo is a generous size, so cross your fingers and you might just get a table. The new spring menu offers a slice of Sicily with Fritto Misto platters and deep friend Crocchettas.

Fallow

Whilst some pavement terraces come with bus fumes thrown in, Fallow’s heated terrace is on the pedestrianised Heddon Street. The sophisticated and sustainable menu is very of-the-moment with kombucha fries, plant burgers and the must-try corn ribs with lime.

Maison Bab, Covent Garden

If you want to be straight out of the blocks on 12th April, book a spot at Maison Bab’s al fresco feast. The BBQ will celebrate the spring opening of their terrace on Mercer Street and includes a delicious 3-course meal of sharing mezze followed by their modern fusion kebabs with house sauce, and a pudding of rhubarb gözleme, a sweet Turkish street food to follow.

Smokestak, Shoreditch

BBQ’s and eating outdoors go hand-in-hand, but let someone else do the hard work for you at Smokestak where a new awning provides a shelter over the outdoor terrace. Bookings will open on Monday 29th March via their website, and there will be space kept back for walk-in’s too. Dine on wood-smoked meats, chipotle caramel wings and buns with pastrami, pickles and mustard.

Julie’s, Holland Park

Julie’s now spills out right onto the pedestrianised patch at Clarendon Cross. It’s one of the most elegant restaurant terraces, with a smart, modern British menu. Go for dinner as the evenings grow longer, or for a treat-y Sunday lunch.

Kudu, Peckham

There are still a few lunchtime tables to snap up at Peckham’s Kudu. The set menu is a reasonable £21.50 per head for 3-courses of delicious South African-influenced food like farmer’s spiced biltong, parmesan churros with brown crab mayo and charred aubergine with tropea onions, black garlic and coriander. Don’t miss the Kudu bread with two types of irresistible butter.

— Daisy Allsup
24th March 2021