Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in London

Words by
Sarah Kennelly

12th June 2024

With the sun coming out and summer creeping around the corner we thought it was time to think about the best al fresco dining spots in London. Sarah Kennelly has curated a list of the best spots to bask in the sun and enjoy good food with your friends this season.

There’s something about eating lunch on a sun-drenched terrace that melts your troubles away. After a long winter, Spring has finally sprung and Londoners have descended upon parks, outdoor pubs, and al fresco restaurants to cleanse themselves of the last of the winter blues. As much as we loved the cosy atmosphere of candle-lit bistros and mulled wine, it’s time to get some fresh air. Sarah Kennelly has curated a list of the best outdoor dining spots to bask in the sun with your friends this season. Afterall, there’s nothing better than sipping on a crisp glass of verdejo on a slightly uncomfortable garden chair.


Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in London, Angler

Perched at the top of the South Place Hotel, sits the rooftop terrace of Angler, a Michelin-starred restaurant serving up fresh British seafood. This fine-dining establishment is designed to impress, offering dishes that resemble a piece of artwork. Led by executive chef Gary Foulkes, the picture-perfect plates contain exclusively seasonal produce from an ever-changing menu. And don’t fret if the weather turns grey, they have a retractable roof and heaters to keep you warm during typically temperamental British summers. Sitting just off Liverpool street’s financial centre, it is the perfect place to close a lunchtime deal. If you’re in a pinch, the hand-picked Devon crab with wasabi and avocado is the best light bite that packs a punch. But the wild Cornish Sea Bass with truffled cauliflower and parmesan gnochetti steals the show.

Book a table for your next visit to Angler.

The Courtyard at Ham Yard

Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in London, The Courtyard at Ham Yard

In the heart of the West End, holding two prestigious AA rosettes, is the Ham Yard which boasts a serene courtyard with French bistro style tables and chairs. While you’re there, take a moment to admire the bronze sculpture by Sir Tony Cragg, adding a touch of drama to the simple venue. The courtyard has a self-described “urban village” feel, lined with oak trees to shade you from the sun, nestled beneath the towering skyscrapers of the city centre. During the summer, it will also host a Wimbledon viewing party with a large screen to watch the tournament and limited edition cocktails. The modern European dishes include hand-carved smoked salmon with egg, pickled cucumber, and crème fraîche toast. And if you’re in the mood to share, try the Monkfish wellington paired with spinach mousse, Parma ham, roast chicken, and gravy.

Book a table at The Courtyard at Ham Yard by visiting their website.

The Orangery and Garden at Number Sixteen

Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in London, The Orangery and Garden at Number Sixteen

Tucked away in South Kensington sits The Orangery and Garden at Number Sixteen, a restaurant in the acclaimed townhouse hotel. It’s considered a hidden gem with double doors leading to a leafy private garden containing a carp pond and small pavilion. This idyllic haven of Hydrangeas and Mulberry trees has come into full bloom since the beginning of Spring. It is the perfect place to take a break after a visit to the nearby V&A museum. This peaceful restaurant offers light bites like Atlantic prawn and avocado cocktail that is the perfect after-shopping snack. And if you’re looking for something more hearty, their slow-cooked beef ragú with pappardelle and parmesan is mouth-wateringly good. 

Book your spot at The Orangery and Garden on their website.

Sager + Wilde

Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in London, Sager + Wilde

Famous for their extensive wine lists, Sager + Wilde on Paradise Row boasts a stunning courtyard with ivy-arches and fairy lights that set a laid-back atmosphere. It has become somewhat of a trendy hotspot for people to try their carefully curated and unique drinks list. But the food isn’t something to be overlooked, with a seasonal menu of always on-tred European dishes like their Montgomery cheddar and chive beignet. Their expertly matched fine wines will also pair well with the Venison loin sitting on a bed of rosemary polenta, braised tardivo and prunes. This is probably the coolest addition to the list, filled with stylish Londoners giving a lively buzz to the venue. 

Book a table at Sager + Wilde by visiting their website.

The Boundary

Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in London, The Boundary

If you find yourself in East London, The Boundary Bar and Brasserie has a chic rooftop restaurant overlooking the bustling streets of Shoreditch. It’s the perfect place to relax after shopping in one of the many nearby independent boutiques filled with the most stylish of the city’s youth. The oak deck fitted with wicker chairs and couches is perfect for some Spring/Summer lounging. The hand-drawn cocktail menu is a quirky touch, offering Shakespearen-themed beverages like the rum-soaked pineapple concoction, King Lear. You can nibble on their salt and pepper squid or crispy duck eggs if all that alcohol makes you peckish. But their spiced cauliflower schnitzel is a showstopper, often popping up on Instagram from influencers who fancy themselves critics. 

The Pavillion Café

Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in London, The Pavillion

If you’re looking for a family-friendly al-fresco dining experience, you can’t go wrong with The Pavillion Café at Greenwich park. It has recently reopened with a beautiful design ready for the warmer seasons. The restaurant is perfect for large groups and overlooks stunning views of Greenwich Park. It’s a stress-free way to spend the day with family and visit the nearby museum. The special children’s menu is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters, serving up pizzas hot off the oven. For the adults, expect simple favourites like pulled pork burgers and a crowd-pleasing favourite of pork belly roast and crackling. During the summer months, it even hosts a barbeque pop-up ideal for the little ones to enjoy some nibbles. 

Visit their website by following this link. 

The Stafford London

al fresco dining london - the stafford london park suite

For more intimate dinners, The Stafford London have transformed the grand terrace of their Park Suite into a lavish and airy space for private hire. Whether you want to gather up to 20 people for canapés and drinks overlooking the twinkly skyline or hosting a six person al fresco meal away from the fuss. This is the place. Clink champagne flutes as the sun sets all around and you glance across at the London Eye as it gradually glows brighter against the deepening horizon. Whilst we are aware it is very much summer right now; the Park Suite terrace is a superb spot for catching London’s famed New Year’s Eve fireworks on the 31st December. So we say to the hyper-organised, it’s never too early to book!

For more information about hiring the Park Suite terrace at The Stafford London, or to make a booking, e-mail [email protected] or go to 

Petersham Nurseries Café

Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in London, Petersham Nurseries Café

Located in Richmond, Petersham Nurseries Café has a stunning greenhouse that sits beneath a canopy of bougainvillea vines and fragrant Jasmine. The Italian-inspired menu changes seasonally and earned itself a Michelin Green star for sustainability. Opening in 1997, it started out as a plant nursery and furniture dealer till expanding into the renowned restaurant. But the roots of the establishment are quite literally still visible with sprawling vines and flower petals creating a picture-perfect dining experience. The simple but delicious menu offers dishes like Burrata with Vesuvian, Puttanesco tomatoes and Haye farm chicken with Padrón peppers. But the West-London staple has run into planning permission issues with the council, recently launching a campaign to save their business. 

Visit their website to make a booking or learn more about their new campaign.

Chiltern Firehouse

Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in London, Chiltern Firehouse

A “fearsomely cool” reputation precedes the restaurant at Chiltern Firehouse, situated in the trendy neighbourhood of Marleybone. It exudes a comfy atmosphere perfect for long summer nights sat on their extra comfortable wicker chairs and soft outdoor couches. The fireplace adds a homely feel and a touch of warmth needed for the British summers. Although the venue is relaxed, it still maintains a fine-dining flare with impeccable decor and dishes to match. Their creel caught Scottish langoustines are a cult favourite to pair with a crisp white wine. And if you’re looking for something you can sink your teeth into, their charred Venison loin is the way to go. 

Visit their website to make a booking.

Brunswick House

Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in London, Brunswick House

The restaurant at Brunswick House is well-known for its stellar interior and high-class menu but their outdoor Wisteria dining area is available for private hire. It offers a long banquet-style table decorated by colourful wildflowers and a wispy wisteria tree. If you’re looking to soak up the sun for a special occasion, this venue is sure to impress. Using ingredients from their own organic farm in West Sussex, the menu offers roast herb-fried chicken or highland sirloin of beef. It’s all topped off with delectable sides of glazed carrots, buttered potatoes, and champagne. 

To make a booking, visit their website