London has long had an impressive winter alfresco dining and drinks scene for those wanting to combine fresh air with festivity. But this season, as the current Covid restrictions result in us unable to socialise indoors, it’s never been a better time to take things outside. There are plenty of seasonal spaces filled with warming drinks, blankets and all-important heaters to keep you cosy whist supporting local businesses over the winter. From exciting new openings to revamped classics, this is our pick of London’s best outdoor restaurants and terraces to book right now.
French restaurant Coq d’Argent’s super popular summer terrace transforms into an après-ski themed bar on 5 November, to bring an authentic Alpine experience to London. Book one of the rooftop chalets – cosy hideaway huts complete with Courcheval-inspired interiors – and enjoy a luxe spin on mountain cuisine. Think charcuterie, baked Vacherin cheese, traditional fondant and chestnut macaroons, all washed down with a Hennessy cocktail.
Lodge d’Argent, No. 1 Poultry, City of London, EC2; coqdargent.co.uk
The Standard’s quirky first floor bar was packed throughout the summer, so it’s no surprise the London out-posting of this American hotel brand decided to capitalise on that popularity for winter. Sheepskins, festoon lights and a roaring fire pit will keep the terrace feeling toasty as the temperature slides. As for the menu, expect the usual States-inspired classics to still be on offer, such as burgers, sliders and thin-cut fries, with a few seasonal additions added into the mix, too.
The Standard Hotel, 10 Argyle Street, Kings Cross, WC1; standard hotels.com
Petersham Nurseries’ original restaurant in Richmond boasts a beautiful heated glasshouse – perfect while we’re all still encouraged to eat outdoors. Situated in the nurseries’ abundant gardens, lit up by candlelight and decorated with natural, wild and seasonal flowers, it’s a magical setting, but if you want to be completely alfresco, there’s also the option to dine on the café’s Italian-inspired autumn menu under the pergola. Meanwhile at La Goccia, Petersham’s Covent Garden location, there’s a tranquil central courtyard serving seasonal cocktails and Italian small plates, such as Burrata with Squash Agrodolce and Fresh Tagliatelle with Wild Mushrooms.
Petersham Nurseries Café, Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, TW10;
La Goccia, 1 Floral Street, Covent Garden, WC2; petershamnurseries.com
Allegra at The Stratford
The intimate outdoor dining terrace at Allegra on the 7th floor of the Stratford hotel was specifically designed to be enjoyed year-round, making it a great option if you’re looking for some al-fresco socialising right now. Set amongst a meadow of wildflowers, water features and cedar pathways, Allegra has an elegant cantilever roof to shelter you from the elements while you enjoy seasonal sharing plates. Much of the produce used is grown on the restaurant’s land at Full Circle Farm in Kent and prepared by Irish head chef Patrick Powell, who previously headed up the kitchen at Chiltern Firehouse alongside Nuno Mendes.
The Stratford, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20 International Way, Stratford, E20;
Hide, the collaboration between award-winning chef Ollie Dabbous and Hedonism Wines, has opened a brand new roof terrace this season with views of Green Park across the road. Heaters, blankets and parasols abound, and tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Hide, 85 Piccadilly, Green Park, W1; hide.co.uk
Coppa Club’s riverside igloos which overlook the Thames are perennially popular whatever the season, but in winter, these cosy pods truly come into their own. This year, there’s a new Japanese-inspired menu on offer, as well as a selection of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne cocktails. What’s more, each igloo has its own speakers, allowing guests to curate their own soundtrack to their winter dining experience against the backdrop of Tower Bridge and The Shard.
Coppa Club, 3 Three Quays Walks, Lower Thames Street, Tower Bridge, EC3; coppaclub.co.uk
The Winter Lodge at Home House
Transforming its Summer Garden Raj Tent into an Arabian-inspired winter terrace, private members club Home House is focussing on channelling its historical glamour into its seasonal pop up this year. As well as opulent interiors, the drinks menu is suitably decadent, featuring mulled wine served from the club’s very own antique Amovar, fizz from the dedicated Moët & Chandon Champagne Bar and seasonal specialities like a pigs-in-blankets-infused cocktail and boozy oat milk Rocky Road hot chocolate.
Home House, 20 Portman Square, Marylebone, W1; homehouse.co.uk
A true classic on the seasonal pop-up scene, Dalloway Terrace in Bloomsbury offers Instagram-worthy aesthetics and plenty of literary heritage – the name comes from Bloomsbury set resident Virginia Woolf’s classic character. This season, the terrace has been given an autumnal update thanks to McQueens Flowers and Johnnie Walker Black Label, so expect an avalanche of russet hues before it gets its festive update in November. After then, it’ll become a winter wonderland filled with frosted foliage, fairy lights and faux-fur throws to cosy up under.
Dalloway Terrace, 6-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1; dallowayterrace.com
Skylight at Tobacco Dock
Most years, Skylight is home to London’s only roof-tip ice rink, but with the current social distancing restrictions still in place, organisers have decided to forgo the skating to make room for more panoramic igloos in 2020. This means it’ll be easier for you and your social bubble to book one of them, where you’ll be able to enjoy cocktails, sharing platters and street food served straight to your table.
Skylight, Pennington St. Car Park Entrance, Wapping, E1; tobaccodocklondon.com
Flora at Joy
Chef Steve Parle creates exceptional food with the help of farm-to-fork supplier The Good Shed in Canterbury at this extended pop up in West London. Featuring six pavilions containing 1950s German artwork, plenty of greenery and, most importantly, infrared heaters, Joy offers enough space for you to socialise safely. They’ve also introduced a new fire-pit, around which mulled wine and cider is served for those who fancy a warming tipple during those colder evenings.
Joy at Portobello, Portobello Dock, 344 Ladbroke Grove, Ladbroke Grove, W10; joyatportobello.co.uk
The Terrace at Orrery
An institution amongst locals, French restaurant Orrery on Marylebone High Street is set to transform its terrace into a winter wonderland. Here it’ll be serving signature cocktails from champagne house Tattinger, such as a blackberry mimosa made with its Brut Réserve NV infused with rosemary and Crème de Mûre. Meanwhile, on the menu, chef Igor Tymchyshyn will create a bespoke offering of chicken liver parfait with sweet apple chutney, steak in a classic Perigourdine sauce and warm chocolate fondant, for the ultimate crowd-pleasing meal.
The Terrace at Orrery, 55 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, W1; orrery-restaurant.co.uk
Courtyard Terrace at The Rosewood
Every year, The Rosewood gives its courtyard terrace a wintry makeover, and with the focus falling on socialising outdoors more than ever right now, 2020 will be no exception. This year the hotel will be joining forces with Scotch whisky distillery the Macallan Estate to create a bespoke drinks menu, all the while serving accompanying dishes from Holborn Dining Room’s Executive Head Chef Calum Franklin. Expect plenty of Scottish charm.
The Rosewood, 252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1; rosewoodhotels.com
Having only opened this summer, this new restaurant from Hugh Stanley (nephew of the Earl of Derby) sits in what was formerly The Chelsea Courtyard, just moments from the King’s Road. Now, its chic courtyard is being covered by a giant canopy and filled with heaters and rugs to keep the secret garden vibes but with a wintry twist.
Stanley’s, 151 Sydney Street, Chelsea, SW3; stanleyschelsea.co.uk
London Secret Garden
Hidden away amongst the leafy backstreets of Kensington, against the backdrop of St Stephen’s Church, London Secret Garden offers five private domes for dining. Each is named after an iconic singer of recent times (think David Bowie and Freddie Mercury) and offers cosy faux-furs and a warming winter menu, including an afternoon tea which receives a seasonal spin in the run up to Christmas.
London Secret Garden, 100 Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7; londonsecretgarden.co.uk
Michelin star chef Richard Corrigan’s oyster bar has just reopened after a six-month closure and offers a large covered and heated terrace on Swallow Street where you can still enjoy your seafood platters even as the cold sets in.
11-15 Swallow Street, Mayfair, W1; bentleys.org
Along with a new Executive chef comes a new seasonal menu for the winter months at Chelsea institution Bluebird. Swedish born Henrik Ritzén’s arrival has heralded a complete redesign of the menu to now focus on fresh, ingredient-led, honest cooking, so expect plenty of bold, autumnal flavours on the heated outdoor terrace there this season. Served up will be the likes of wild seabass ceviche, Brixham crab on toast, slow cooked oxcheek and five spice Creedy Carver duck breast, all of which will be set against a backdrop of beautiful trees, wildflowers and fragrant herbs.
Bluebird, 350 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3; bluebird-restaurant.co.uk
Ham Yard Hotel
Until the end of October, head to Ham Yard Hotel’s rooftop terrace to visit its autumnal pop up. Here, you can enjoy one of the terrace’s seasonal cocktails created using home-grown produce from the hotel itself, such as the crop from its vegetable garden and honey from its resident urban beehives. Be sure to book – tickets for the pop up cost £15 and include entry to the terrace along with a Tipsy Bee cocktail, featuring Ketel One, Chase Elderflower, Mythical Creatures tea and Ham Yard’s own rooftop honey.
Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, Soho, W1; firmdalehotels.com