London’s most glamorous new summer terraces for soaking up the sun
As soon as the sun shines in the capital every Londoner takes to the streets, flocking to al fresco hot spots across the city to make the most of the weather. This summer, there’s a whole new crop of stylish sun-traps to visit for dinner and cocktails, from the tropical haven at Scott’s to the Rosewood’s Tulum-inspired courtyard. Here, we’ve rounded up the new summer terraces in London to book into now.
La Veranda by Patrón at Rosewood London
There are few courtyards in London more charming than the one at Rosewood London, with its elegant Edwardian façade that somehow feels gloriously tranquil despite being mere steps from High Holborn. The sheltered sun-trap has long played host to some of the finest pop-ups in the city, from cosy wintry whiskey lodges to greenery-filled outdoor gems, and this summer it’s had a Mexican makeover courtesy of Patrón tequila, who have brought a little slice of Tulum to central London.
Filled with agave plants, serene water features and technicolour ceramics, La Veranda is a peaceful spot where you can sip on zingy Paloma cocktails accompanied by dishes that will see you through from brunch to dinner – think herbed guacamole with pomegranate and pine nuts, yellow tail tuna tacos and braised pork shoulder quesadillas. The fiesta really gets going when the Latin-infused live music starts – and the shots of tequila.
252 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Il Giardino at The Berkeley
The Berkeley has a reputation for transforming its alfresco space into the capital’s latest must-visit sun trap (remember last year’s striped beach huts?). This time, the Knightsbridge hotel has embraced la dolce vita, turning a patch of pavement on Wilton Place into Italian restaurant Il Giardino, a new summer terrace complete with olive trees, fragrant plants and festoon lights.
A night at Il Giardino – which is led by native Italian chef Antonio Pavone – has everything you’d want from a delicious Italian feast under the stars. There are plates of warm focaccia fresh from the oven, crisp arancini and creamy burratini, as well as cacio e pepe with rigatoncini and tagliolini with pesto, made with pistachios from the Sicilian town of Bronte. It’s all served on lemon-adorned crockery crafted exclusively by Bettina Ceramica, while the romance is taken to a new level by dozens of twinkling candles from Acqua di Parma. Sure to be the most sought-after date night spot in the capital this summer.
Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL
Midsomer on Mount Street at Scott’s Restaurant
If you venture down Mount Street this summer, don’t be surprised if you stumble across a crop of exotic palm trees or the odd tiger. It’s all part of Scott’s new partnership with chic wallpaper and fabric house de Gournay and Krug champagne, which sees the famed seafood restaurant’s perennially popular al fresco terrace adorned with a jungle print de Gournay canopy, lending a cheerfully tropical air to the Mayfair haunt.
Those dining on the terrace can order from a special seasonal menu, served until the end of August – try the girolle and courgette risotto, paired with a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée 170th Edition. Or if you’d rather stick to the old favourites, go for one of the famously decadent plateau de fruits de mer for two, topped with lobster and Platinum caviar. When in Mayfair…
20 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2HE
The Terrace at the Maine Mayfair
Since arriving on the W1 restaurant scene, Maine Mayfair – situated in a splendid townhouse that was once home to the Duke of Montrose – has made quite a name for itself. Now there’s another reason to visit the New England-style brasserie, aside from its pound-a-shuck oysters and lobster rolls – and that’s its new summer terrace.
The foliage-filled space, tucked away at the back of the restaurant, has been reimagined from the original stables that backed onto Dering Yard, now known as Medici Courtyard. It’s a spot for long, languorous lunches. Start off with something from the raw bar – their Poseidon Tower of 16 oysters, shrimps, scallops, crab and mussels served on an ice-filled platter is a real showstopper – before tucking into everything from moules frites and dry-aged rib eye to American Maryland crab cakes and truffle mac and cheese. This is American comfort food at its finest, in the prettiest of London settings.
20 Hanover Square, Mayfair, London W1S 1JY
Wagtail Rooftop Bar and Restaurant
Just when you thought the City simply couldn’t handle another rooftop bar, one goes ahead and opens up anyway and proves everyone wrong. The Wagtail is that bar, a new contemporary drinking and dining space with two al fresco terraces that offer up rare 360-degree views of the capital’s skyline, with all the big hitters – the Shard, St Paul’s, Tower Bridge – almost within touching distance.
They’ve brought in an expert team to head up the food and drink offering. Corrigan’s Philip Kearsey is in the kitchen, where he’s dishing up fresher-than-fresh seasonal plates like Welsh lamb with aubergine and confit red peppers, and Dover sole with spring vegetables and mussel sauce. Over at the bar you’ll find award-winning mixologist Angelos Bafas with a cocktail shaker in hand, adding unusual ingredients like kelp water, wasabi and pickled cucumber to his drinks. Order a round and settle in to watch the sun slip behind the soaring skyscrapers.
68 King William Street, the City, London EC4N 7HR