Check out our pick of London’s best bars and restaurants with outdoor terraces for drinking and dining.
When those gloriously crisp and sunny spring days hit, there’s nowhere we’d rather be than outside. Our only stipulation is that, ideally, we’d like to have a drink in hand and nibbles on demand while basking ourselves in the rare snatches of sunlight our British weather affords us.
Of course, come night time you’ll find us heading out to one of London’s coolest rooftop bars to while the evening away. But if dining as well as drinking is on the cards, it’s a terrace that we’re after.
We’ve searched high and low and spoken to those in the know, to find a delightful mix of terraces to eat and drink at in London, plucking suggestions from every corner of the city.
From cool hang-outs in the East to a 50s style Italian terrace in the West, we’ve put together a mix of our favourite haunts and brand-new openings so that there’s something for everyone.
Best terrace restaurants in West London
Carousel is a restaurant with a difference. An award-winning space with roots deep in the creative industries, this charming eatery is home to guest chef collaborations, workshops, exhibitions, events – and looks gorgeous while doing it.
We love the outside terrace, with its relaxed vibe and overhead greenery, it’s a great place to chat away the day with friends. Menu highlights include pork skewers with Bramley apple honey and frozen cheesecake with strawberries and pine.
Address: 71 Blandford St, Marylebone, London W1U 8AB
The Hawk's Nest
Calling all West Londoners - we highly recommend booking a table at the Hawks Nest, which come summer will be no doubt like gold dust at this cool outdoor dining space and cocktail bar. Formerly a goods yard in Shepherds Bush Market, The Hawks Nest serves up sourdough pizzas and Italian street food, plus an inventive agave based cocktail menu, including Passionfruit Mezcalitas, or their twist on a classic Margarita Picante.
The garden terrace can accommodate gatherings of six people, all socially distanced thanks to the layout, with a capacity of up to 180 people. Plus they have those all important heaters and umbrellas for those less sunny days, so you can still enjoy evenings enjoying long overdue catch-ups with friends.
Address: The Hawk’s Nest, Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush Market, London W12 8DF
Harry's Dolce Vita
This Italian restaurant in Knightsbridge gives authentic Mediterranean food a glamorous makeover thanks to its stylish 50s theme. Step inside and you’ll be greeted by glinting gold features and dark polished wood, but stay outside and you can enjoy the sweetly striped terrace and the sun on your face. Harry’s Dolce Vita’s concept revolves around “good old fashioned fun” so it sounds like a great place to go with friends.
Address: 27-31, Basil St, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1BB
The Chelsea Courtyard, Chelsea
Just off the busy Kings Road, this pretty bistro has a partly covered courtyard that is opening especially for summer with a new, tropical overhaul.
This lush, botanical escape is brimming with plants and foliage, making it a gorgeous place to sit back and enjoy the carefully curated menu. With homemade food, speciality cocktails, a carefully crafted wine list, Caravan coffees and freshly squeezed juices, The Chelsea Courtyard isn’t a case of style over substance.
Address: 151 Sydney St, Chelsea, London SW3 6NT
Located in the middle of Duke of York Square in Chelsea, Manicomio boasts a massive 60-seater terrace, as well as a conservatory and a private garden. The terrace, bestrewn with flowers, offers a view of the square which makes it fantastic for people watching.
The conservatory is able to seat 30 and features a glass ceiling (and although we don’t like those in a metaphorical sense, we love them in a physical one) and glass wall that looks out onto the private garden. Alongside its café and bar, Manicomio also boasts a more formal restaurant at the same location with an impressive wine list and delicious Italian dishes.
Address: 83-85 Duke Of York Square, London SW3 4LY
Pomona's Restaurant & Bar
We’ll take any excuse to walk the colourful streets of Notting Hill, and this California-inspired restaurant is a pretty good one. Its airy design and healthy menu is supposed to reflect the habits of those that live in the sunshine state, and let us tell you, getting the tube West is a hell of a lot easier than a plane across the Atlantic.
Address: 47 Hereford Rd, London W2 5AH
If you enjoyed the Darkest Hour, take a trip to the The Churchill Bar and Terrace in Marylebone, which is inspired by both the man himself and his wife Clementine. The venue prides itself on its large selection of spirits and homemade tonics, and sells its very own Sacred Churchill Craft Gin.
Come summer, it’s even more worth a visit because of the lovely nautical themed terrace which is based on Churchill’s travels with the Admiralty yacht HMS Enchantress. The terrace features vintage finds from nautical compasses to anchors, boat oars and sea shells collected from the shores of Malta, Gibraltar and Capri.
Address: Hyatt Regency, 30 Portman Square, Marylebone, London W1H 7BH
Best terrace restaurants in East London
Nobu Hotel, Shoreditch
Looking to sip delicious cocktails in one of the most beautiful outdoor terraces in East London? Then make a beeline to Nobu Shoreditch, the restaurant famed for its exclusivity and delectable foodie concoctions.
The world-famous hotel group serves a whole array of tempting tipples in their outdoor terrace and bar, including a special gin-based menu every Wednesday, when it holds Jin Wednesdays from 6pm-11pm. Sample cocktails including the delightfully fruity Midsummer Spritz and The Forgotten Garden, and feast on BBQ specialities such as chicken wings with a crunchy garlic sauce.
Inspired by the ancient Japanese practice of dining beneath the blossoming Sakura, the hotel’s terrace has been transformed into a pink-hued escape.
In Japanese culture, the Sakura season represents the ephemeral nature of human existence, and millions of people from all over the world travel to drink, dance and dine beneath the blossom. Who wouldn’t be on board with that?
Address: 10-50 Willow St, Hackney, London EC2A 4BH
Night Tales, Hackney
Hackney institution Night Tales is the perfect place for summer nights. Full of fun, food and dancing, the venue is one of the only places in the area to stay open until 3am and offer a atmospheric terrace to throw some shapes.
To keep your energy levels high, the outdoors space is also home to a collection of street food vendors including Mama’s Jerk, Nanny Bill’s and Sons Of Slice. Night Tales is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so don’t get caught short if you’re looking for a mid-week frolic.
Address: 14 Bohemia Pl, London E8 1DU
Coppa Club, Tower Bridge
Fancy dinner with a view? Then the iconic Tower Bridge location of Coppa Club is perfect for you. With a view of Tower Bridge on one side and the Shard on the other, it makes for an ideal dinner date spot, or an atmospheric find to show your friends. The terrace allows for outdoor dining all year round, as heated igloos take the place of the Wisteria donned tables during the colder months, keeping you cosy. We also love that fairy lights keep the terrace illuminated, making your dining experience feel like a fairy-tale.
The dinner menu, accompanied by an extensive drink menu, offers a variety of options. Whether you prefer a classic Margarita pizza, a roasted leek and feta tart (YUM), or a vegan burger, you’re guaranteed good food, great service, and one of the best views in London.
Address: 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames St, London EC3R 6AH
Looking for a little bit of oh la la in Clapton? This adorable, petit restaurant says it’s “full of Frenchness” and we know exactly what it means. The monochrome decor could only described as très chic and the menu boasts some of the most mouthwatering classics we can think of courtesy of our cousins on the other side of the channel.
Address: 19 Lower Clapton Rd, Clapton, London E5 0NS
Best terrace restaurants in Central London
Tredwells, Covent Garden
Tredwells is an exclusive dining experience created by esteemed chefs, Chantelle Nicholson and Marcus Wareing, who have designed a menu inspired by the globe but concentrated on showing off some of the best British produce there is.
This year the summer terrace has been given a zingy twist, themed to reflect a new addition to the Floris Private Collection, Neroli Voyage, a citrus marine fragrance that tells the story of discovery across the Ligurian Sea. As well as lashings of greenery decorated with bright oranges, the terrace’s cocktail menu has also been updated to reflect the theme.
Address: 4A Upper St Martin’s Ln, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9NY
The Coral Garden
When it comes to outdoor brunching, Bloomsbury is the place to be, thanks to The Bloomsbury Hotel’s plethora of gorgeous restaurants. The boutique establishment (that’s dripping in enough desirable Art Deco decor inspiration to have you creating a new Pinterest board on the spot) boasts not only the Dalloway Terrace, but The Coral Garden which is a perfect, casual setting for an alfresco coffee or lunch.
Despite being literally moments from Tottenham Court road, this enclosed terrace feels calm and relaxed situated on a quiet, typically London street. The menu, served by some of the finest waiting staff you’ll ever experience, features staple breakfast fare such as smoked salmon with crème fraîche and bacon sandwiches, but done with a fanciful flair.
And if a breeze has you hankering for a spot inside, take a trip to the terrace’s completely pink, The Coral Room. Living up to its name, this luxe bar and lounge boasts scallop-edged pastel sofas and majestic chandeliers, set against a background of rich, rose-coloured walls. From pre 10.30am Irish porridge to tenderstem broccoli tossed with kale, cashew nuts and roasted squash for lunch, you really can’t go wrong.
Address: 16-22 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3NN
Carb-lovers (so, all of us then): there’s a new spot in Soho that you need to try. Pastaio is a cool, down-to-earth Italian with a concept that revolves around fresh pasta. The decor is paired-back and the tables are for sharing, creating an atmosphere that feels fuss free and puts full focus on the food. The chefs say they only work with the best British produce to create a menu that’s got us salivating already.
Not only are we keen to try the anti-pasti selection, which features treats such as watermelon, yellow tomato, feta, aleppo chilli and mint salad, but we’ve also got an eye on the prosecco slushy with strawberry and Cinzano vermouth, too.
Address: 19 Ganton St, Soho, London W1F 9BN
The Dalloway Terrace
There are so many reasons to be won over by Dalloway Terrace. Not only is the pastel floral backdrop the stuff of Instagram dreams but its position, tucked neatly off Bloomsbury square, is the old haunt of a feminist writer and literary favourite of ours, Virginia Woolf. What’s more, the terrace itself is named after her book, Mrs Dalloway, giving the venue a romantic, poetic feel from the moment you hear about it.
And there’s no qualms of style over substance at this pretty-as-a-picture spot. The menu, cocktails and service are all something to write home about, too. With well done classics like fish and chips, sharing options like an impeccably tender rack of lamb and undeniable lobster and crayfish mac’n’cheese, there’s a delicious spectrum of food that hits the balance of moreish and luxe.
Address: 16-22 Great Russell St, Fitzrovia, London WC1B 3NN
Best terrace restaurants in South London
Sea Containers, Embankment
In-vogue restaurant Sea Containers’ waterside spot makes it an ideal place to spend a Saturday afternoon in the sun, preferably sipping champagne from the comforts of the Laurent-Perrier Terrace.
This year’s terrace takes inspiration from the artistic nature of the vibrant area around it, having undergone a make over of contrasting bold and bright colours to create those summer vibes.
Alongside a menu of Laurent-Perrier champagnes and cocktails including the French Connexion (Crème de Violette, gin, Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé) and the Sparkle (St Germain, Poire and Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée), there’s also a selection of food such as scallop carpaccio with spring onion and chilli dressing and grilled cobia, potato salad, olives with burnt shallot butter.
Address: 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD
Images: Courtesy of venues