From riverside to rooftop dining, here’s our pick of London’s very best outdoor restaurants.
With the summer solstice officially marking the start of the new season in just a few days, there’s no better time to head outside for some fine dining — and there’s choice aplenty in the capital.
1. The rooftop restaurant: Seabird
Just south of the River Thames, on the 14th floor of The Hoxton Southwark, is Seabird. From this rooftop restaurant you can gaze over the landscape of London, with a clear view of The Shard, while slurping down fresh oysters. The menu is inspired by the cuisine of the Basque Country, with tapas and large plates to share. It’s made up largely of seafood, with oyster and chilled seafood platters, and standout dishes such as the langoustine starter, tiger prawn main or boneless whole seabass sharing plate. Last month, Seabird launched the Sky-High Brunch, promising Mediterranean sharing plates, cocktail jugs and a ‘martini mountain’ centrepiece.
2. The garden restaurant: The Ivy Chelsea Garden
Found on West London’s King’s Road, The Ivy Chelsea Garden leans into its theme with kitsch wallpaper and furniture adorned with flowers. The restaurant opens up to a quaint and quintessentially English-style garden, which you can nestle into for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The extensive menus at The Ivy Chelsea Garden have been created by the Ivy Collection’s executive chef, Sean Burbidge, and are designed to offer an eclectic mix of modern British comfort food and international dishes. The plates consist of modern takes on classic dishes, including rabbit and langoustine pie, grilled asparagus salad and, my favourite dish, blackened cod fillet, baked in banana leaf with a soy marinade. The mocktails are equally as impressive as the cocktails, with the angelic ameretti sour a close contender of the original ameretto sour. Another favourite is the cos-no-politan, which includes Seedlip Grove 42, an alcohol-free citrus distillate.
3. The city centre terrace restaurant: Coppa Club
Wander through a tunnel of flowers onto the sun-kissed terrace of the Coppa Club, and you can enjoy panoramic views of London. It’s the perfect spot for after-work drinks, brunch dates with mates and celebrations of all kinds. Next to Tower Bridge, Coppa Club is adorned with bright pink flowers and palm trees. Keeping diners warm in winter and tucked away during summer, its glass globes frame the terrace. The wide-ranging European menu includes pizza, pasta, small plates and grilled mains — the buttermilk fried chicken, wild prawn spaghetti and spice-roasted cauliflower being just a few of the standout dishes. Mocktails are also impressive: the popstar martini comes close to its boozier original (pornstar martini), with a fizzy water alternative to the shot of prosecco.