Al fresco dining is a staple of every summer – but especially this one.
Thanks to the COVID restrictions, outdoor restaurants and terrace bars will be vital to restart the hospitality industry.
Fortunately, spending an afternoon drinking in the sun isn't exactly a hardship. And if you're funding a good cause while you do, then so much the better.
Here are a selection of the best outdoor dining areas across London. We'll keep updating so be sure to check back in.
Want to get high? Check out our guide to the Best Rooftop Bars in London.
Vinegar Yard | London Bridge
Go yard this summer… Vinegar Yard is the capital's largest beer garden and street food hub; the ultimate open-air space for a summer get-together.
Brand new additions including table reservations for groups of up to six people and two mezzanine cocktail bars.
The vast courtyard offers an array of street food traders, a number of covered outdoor bars and some secluded seating areas if you strike lucky / hate your fellow humans.
72-82 St Thomas St, Bermondsey, SE1 3QX; Vinegar Yard
Sea Containers | South Bank
Pop open the bubbly – the new Sea Containers London X Laurent-Perrier Summer Terrace will give guests the chance to enjoy Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé while admiring uninterrupted views across the Thames.
Guests can choose from glasses or bottles of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée champagne, and two bespoke cocktails, all served alongside an all-day food menu of modern-European dishes.
Popping up for the duration of the summer, the terrace will wrap around Sea Containers Restaurant and will be enclosed by a bright yellow picket fence.
The restaurant will also be offering its bottomless brunch on weekends. Guests can choose from a diverse menu of classic brunch dishes and weekend roasts, paired with bottomless drinks options.
We can barely container our excitement.
20 Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PD; Sea Containers
The Standard | King’s Cross
Make ours a double. Open everyday from 3pm, the new Double Standard terrace space offers a standalone bar, Aperol slushies and a Moët vending machine.
The hotel is now taking terrace reservations so guests can secure a spot.
As for food, chef Adam Rawson has brought his dive bar menu outside, combining Double Standard staples with new additions, such as vegan hot dogs and southern fried cauliflower.
High standards indeed.
10 Argyle St, WC1H 8EG; The Standard
Pergola Paddington | Paddington
Pergola Paddington is back. The two huge bars are open for alfresco sundowners, with four food traders to grab a bite to eat and two floors to soak up the vibrant atmosphere.
Returning vendors Babek Brothers will serve kebabs and Temaki Bros offer fresh sushi rolls and bowls.
Alternatively, try newbies Thunderbird and its fried chicken or barbeque experts Salt Shed.
Pergola Paddington is open day and night, five days a week – so you’ve plenty of time to work your way through them all.
4 Kingdom St, W2 6PY; Pergola Paddington
Pastaio | Soho and Westfield London
Go West, my friend – and then even further West. Both of Pastaio’s outdoor seating areas are open for socially-distanced dining.
The Soho outlet is open Fridays-Sundays, and Westfield trades seven days a week. (Soho are slackers.)
Guests can enjoy Pastaio's seasonal pasta dishes al fresco, including stracci with Ligurian basil pesto and a vegan 'Symplicity' bolognese, as well as prosecco slushies and wines on tap.
Incidentally, the terrace at the Westfield London site is completely covered, in the unlikely event of rain. Ha.
9 Ganton St, Soho, W1F 9BN; Ariel Way, Westfield London, W12 7GA; Pastaio
The Ninth | Fitzrovia
Not quite a perfect ten but close enough… From 24 July, you’ll be able to enjoy a drink on The Ninth’s Charlotte Street terrace every Friday and Saturday, from 12pm - 8.30pm.
This should whet your appetite for the restaurant’s reopening in August, when guests will be welcomed back with Michelin-starred Mediterranean-style sharing dishes.
Nein, nein, nein? More like ja, ja, ja!
22 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, W1T 2NB; The Ninth
The Laundry | Brixton
Prepare to air your Laundry in public: Brixton’s neighbourhood bistro and wine shop has launched its new outdoor terrace.
The south-facing space features French rattan chairs where guests can sit and enjoy the new all-day menu of grazing and sharing dishes.
Feel thirsty? Order a bottle of refreshing white or summer rosé from the unique wine list, curated by The Laundry’s founder, Melanie Brown.
Talk about good clean fun.
374 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, SW9 8PL; The Laundry
The Prince | West Brompton
A pub fit for royalty, The Prince boasts London’s largest pub garden – a boon at the best of times, and an absolute godsend in these ones. (Eminently not the best of times.)
In the garden, vendors are serving up fresh street food for alfresco dining.
Choose from comfort dishes such as Mac & Cheese from Wildcard, burgers at Patty & Bun, or fresh waffles from Utter Waffle. (The gyms are open. Go stuff yourself.)
The drinks menu features Pimms, fruity spritzes and prosecco, as well as beer on tap.
Talk about living like a king.
14 Lillie Rd, Hammersmith, SW6 1TT; The Prince