It might not be in the Med but there is definitely a certain charm about London in the summer. Long, warm evenings fade into glittering nights as the stars and streetlights compete for your attention. Once the city has warmed up, the entire atmosphere changes and, all of a sudden, the thought of even spending a single second indoors becomes completely unacceptable. The parks fill up, as do the beer gardens, and everyone rejoices at the sight of the rare and elusive British sunshine. Naturally, al fresco dining, during these magical evenings, is basically compulsory. Indeed, there are few things as delightful as sipping a cold beverage while you feast on whatever summer delicacies your eatery of choice has rustled up for you, soaking up the lingering warmth as the sun makes its descent in the distance. So, to help you make the most of the summer, here are our top picks for fine dining in the great outdoors.
Ham Yard Hotel, Soho
Nestled in to the heart of Soho, this open air oasis is everything you could possibly want from a restaurant. Tantalising dishes are a given on this constantly changing, but rather classy menu. The grounds in which you will enjoy your meal have been exquisitely manicured and consist of towering oak trees and enough lush greenery to help you shake the feeling of being bang smack in the middle of one of the world’s busiest cities.
Shoryu Carnaby, Soho
Yes! You can eat outside on Carnaby Street without having to re-mortgage your house and sell all of your belongings. This delicious Asian restaurant has a blissfully reasonable price list and serves up huge, steaming bowls of noodle soup, topped with a variety of meat, vegetables and maybe even an egg. This is the perfect place to get some friends together for a hearty meal and a good old chinwag.
Ivy Market Grill, Covent Garden
This modern, European style restaurant has a fantastic menu, packed with gourmet dishes from lamb shoulder to mussels and chips, with all sorts of salads and grills thrown in as well. Cream or champagne tea and a range of exciting cocktails are also on offer, making this an ideal venue for filling up on top quality food while you people watch in the bustling Covent Garden.
Vini Italiani, Covent Garden
Time to take people watching to a whole new level. Vini Italiani overlooks the performance plaza in Covent Garden, meaning that while you tuck in to your authentic Italian pizza and sip your ice cold peroni or white wine spritzer, you can watch some world famous street performers exhibiting their talents. If the sun is out and the mood is right, this is one of the best outdoor eating options in all of London.
Black and Blue, Fitzrovia
As if the thought of a juicy, mouth-watering steak wasn’t motivation enough, Black and Blue has a huge outdoor seating area, complete with parasols in case the weather suddenly takes a turn. They also do a great deal of two courses for £16 or 3 for £20 so you don’t even need to break the bank to get your carnivorous fix. Cocktails and sharing platters are also available for those who want something a little lighter.
Barrafina, Covent Garden
Tapas in the sunshine? Don’t let Brexit and the ensuing uncertainty of the country’s geopolitical position ruin everything. If you want to pretend you’re in Spain and drink sangria outside like a European then you should do just that. Head to the quaint terrace of Barrafina’s newest restaurant over on Drury Lane and dig in to as many different dishes as you can handle.
Main Image Credit: Vini Italiani courtesy of Covent Garden
Image Credit: Ham Yard Hotel Restaurant courtesy of Firmdale Hotels
Image Credit: Shoryu Carnaby courtesy of Shoryu
Image Credit: Ivy Market Grill courtesy of Ivy Market Grill
Image Credit: Vini Italiani courtesy of LocalDataSearch.com
Image Credit: Black and Blue, Mortimer Street courtesy of Black and Blue Restaurants
Image Credit: Barrafina Drury Lane courtesy of Barrafina