Outdoor dining was popular enough before Covid came along and made it almost a must. So where to go? London has plenty of options, but if you want to get a feel for this grand square, it’s best to head to an area that has plenty of space and opportunities to dine al fresco. Here’s our pick of the best places to dine outside in London …
Lead Image: The Lighterman, King’s Cross (Photo courtesy of the venue)
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The King’s Cross transformation was quite remarkable, and with 26 acres of open space surrounding shops, restaurants and crazy cool offices, there are plenty of outdoor dining and relaxation spots. For starters, Grass Steps is the best place for a picnic or lunchtime sandwich, but there are plenty of places for a more formal al fresco dining or long weekend brunch. Lighterman is a great place to start. Situated on the banks of a canal, it offers great views and makes you feel like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of a major train junction. Following the lockdown, the district introduced new outdoor seating and restaurants overlooking Granary Plaza, Coal Droplet Courtyard, and Lewis Cubitt Square. Caravan, Granary Square Brasserie, hicce, Morty & Bob’s and Vermuteria offer outdoor dining. Closer to the train stations in Drake & Morgan and the German Gymnasium there are terraces, in the famous St. Pancras Renaissance London has a secret rooftop terrace and the Standard will open a rooftop bar in May.
The Lighterman has two outdoor restaurants – the canal terrace … (photo courtesy of the venue)
… And a terrace on the ground floor overlooking the Granary Square (photo courtesy of the venue)
2 Borough Market
Borough Market is one of the original and best in London in terms of taking hot delicious food with you and finding a bench, post or brick wall to sit on while eating. The market has existed about 1,000 years ago, but has undergone significant modernization over the past 20 years or so to offer a variety of outdoor dining options, from authentic and charmingly rude to more sophisticated. Choose from 26 grains, Applebees, Elliot’s, Bao, Arabica, Rabot 1745, and Padella. If you want to keep it at ease, you can still grab a bite to eat and sit at the glassed-in Market Hall on Borough High Street, which offers sheltered seating surrounded by hanging plants, and there is also a Borough Market kitchen with shared tables and countertops. dining room. Wherever you dine, there is something about what you hide under the railway vaults, making Borough Market a rare, hidden treasure despite being one of the most famous markets in the world.
Borough Market has increased outdoor dining. (Photo courtesy of Borough Market)
Kings Road in Chelsea has always attracted attention from the punk era to Sloanee, and of course there are many terraces for outdoor dining. Bluebird has an expansive terrace, delightfully green celebrity spot The Ivy Chelsea Garden, and a very grammatical Megan’s (at the end of Fulham’s Kings Road) that even has a rooftop garden. But Duke of York Square is another hotspot that visitors to the great outdoors must visit. The courtyard features elegant terraces with white parasols and seasonal floral décor from the likes of Polpo, Comptoir Libanais, Manicomio and The Black Penny, as well as a café in legendary partridges just across the street. There are also roadside seats near Colbert’s French Café in Sloane Square, if you don’t mind all the black taxis passing by.
Lovely Polpo Terrace in Duke of York Square (photo courtesy of Cadogan)
four St. Catherine Docks
St Catherine’s Docks, the only marina in central London, is one of those places where you feel like you’re not in town at all. Great considering that it sits right next to Tower Bridge and is surrounded by a busy road leading into the city. But it’s all hidden, and all you see here is sparkling water, some very impressive yachts, the wonderful Dickens Inn, a converted 18th century wooden pub, and a restaurant with a balcony and terrace. The most popular here, with plenty of outdoor dining, are Côte Brasserie, Strada Dockside, and Ping Pong, but Melusine is a place to go, especially in the summer when it lights up its pontoon terrace for you to dine outdoors. air. Water and its neighbor, Bravas Tapas, is another great place to sit outside and feel like you are in Malaga. Emilia’s Crafted Pasta also offers a fully covered deck with pillow warming option! The floating pop-up movie theater that usually pops up at St Catherine’s docks every summer is also getting attention.
Paddington is another great success story of London’s transformation. A gleaming new neighborhood on the banks of the Paddington Canal, which was once an area dominated by trains and traffic, is a breath of fresh air. Across the Paddington Basin, from Market Square to Paddington Central, there are many quiet waterfront restaurants. Darcie & May and The Grand Duchess are two of our favorites – both converted barges with an outdoor dining area. Sheldon Square, an outdoor amphitheater that hosts tons of summer outdoor events, is also a great hangout spot, surrounded by bars and restaurants such as The Union, Beany Green and Smith’s Bar & Grill, as well as the new Bondi Green right across the water. … At the other end of the pool, around Merchant Square, is KuPP Paddington, Lockhouse and Heist Bank, all with plenty of open space, as well as London’s only floating pocket park, which is a great spot to grab a bite to eat in a regular park. street food vans. And let’s not forget Pergola Paddington, a huge rooftop terrace with street food and plenty of bars.
thisispaddington.com / merchantsquare.co.uk
Pergola Paddington is one of the most attractive spots in the area with its huge roof (photo: Pasco Photography).
Daisy Green’s latest offering is Bondi Green with a very attractive canal terrace (photo courtesy of Daisy Green)
6 Battersea Power Plant
The transformation of the Battersea Power Plant site from old to new is very impressive. Along with the gleaming glass facades of the new apartment buildings surrounding the power plant, there are many great restaurants with outdoor terraces by the river or along the scenic railway arches. Visit Fiume, Brindisa, Wright Brothers, Megan’s and No. 29 Power Station West for al fresco dining. There are usually plenty of pop-ups and family-friendly activities in the summer, from summer sports screenings to farmers’ markets. What’s better? You can arrive by boat from central London thanks to Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. Drive along Monte Carlo!
7 Mayfair and Belgravia
The busy streets of Mayfair may not seem like an ideal place to conjure up the feeling of a summer dinner in European square, but it may be, you just need to know here to watch. One of my favorite spots for this festive atmosphere is Lancashire Court, where you’ll find numerous Mews of Mayfair offerings – bars, pubs, and pizzerias – with outdoor seating scattered along the quirky aisle, as well as the pretty Hush Mayfair courtyard. This summer, North Audley Street will once again be an open dining room with widened sidewalks and green heating for North Audley Cantine and ROKA (also check out The Ivy Asia Mayfair opening). In Belgravia, head to the tranquil courtyards of Eccleston Yards, where Wild by Tart and The Jones Family Kitchen offer a serene courtyard meal, while the newly opened Pantechnicon on Motcomb Street has three outdoor dining options – a terrace, courtyard, and gorgeous garden. roof.
Roof Garden at Pantechnicon is a new indoor and outdoor dining space in Mayfair (photo courtesy of the venue)
Ah, Soho, the ever-beating heart of London’s nightlife economy. Space is an advantage amid Soho’s grimy streets, where there have always been few outdoor restaurants. But the isolation has meant that many of London’s streets have been granted special licenses to take to the streets to serve food and drinks, and Soho has benefited more from this than most neighborhoods. You can now travel to places such as Soho Square, Berwick Street, Old Compton Street, Greek Street, Frith Street, Dean Street, Beek Street and Brewer Street, as well as take a table outside the many restaurants and bars. Move around Paris – Café culture now belongs to Soho! Kingly Court in Carnaby is also a great place to dine al fresco – pandemic or not – and Ivy Soho Brasserie is also a good choice.