Marianna Hunt

Seven summer terraces for al fresco drinking

Seven summer terraces for al fresco drinking
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While most of us won’t be making it abroad to sip Apérols and swan around piazzas at dusk, London offers the next best thing. From rooftop feasts in Mayfair to fine dining among a wildflower meadow, these are the best summer terraces for al fresco drinking and dining.

Kutir, Mayfair

The rooftop of this Mayfair townhouse-turned-restaurant has been covered with a lush lawn and borders of topiary to create the feeling of a private garden, suspended among the chimneys of the surrounding mansions.

Cosy candle lit tables sit among the shrubbery surrounding a glass skylight with views into the restaurant below. Ring the posh doorbell outside to enter.

Kutir specialises in contemporary Indian cuisine, drawing inspiration from the country’s wildlife. This summer it is offering a new 'seafood experience' menu, costing £65 which features super-fresh Devon and Scotland fish and shellfish. Dishes include hand-dived Tandoor scallops and pan-seared sea bass with curry leaf and coconut.

The innovative cocktails have an Indian flair and are also worth a try. We recommend the Charitra: a combination of gin, lychee liqueur, coconut milk, white peach and jasmine soda.

Tavolino, Southwark

The 100-seater terrace of this Italian restaurant by Tower Bridge aims to channel the spirit of Capri. Lavender and sage bushes are dotted around the wooden decking, which waiters dodge as they deliver platefulls of burrata and focaccia as well as freshly mixed summer cocktails.

Sitting just next to City Hall, the views towards the bridge and the Tower of London are spectacular.

The menu aims to be as authentic as possible, with the burrata artigiana sourced directly from Puglia and the barilotto from Campania. A bowl of hand-made pasta costs around £14.

The terrace launched on July 22nd and is open from 11.30am to 10pm everyday.

Davies and Brook, Mayfair

This Michelin starred outfit sits within the uber-luxurious Claridge’s hotel in Mayfair. A firm favourite of the royal family, Claridge’s is sometimes nicknamed the “annexe to Buckingham Palace”.

Davies and Brook recently opened its first al fresco terrace. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 12pm and offers a slightly less formal bar-style menu, with dishes such as the Claridge’s fried chicken ('C.F.C') and a Cornish lobster roll.

The wine menu is extensive, featuring old-world classic favourites as well as gems from lesser-known producers. Davies and Brook has also pulled in a famous New York mixologist to head up its bar and a new menu of summer cocktails has just launched.

Both reservations and walk-ins are welcome. Head for a post-drinks promenade around nearby Grosvenor Square to finish off the evening in style.

The Laundry, Brixton

This neighbourhood bistro, café and wine shop is housed within an Edwardian commercial steam press laundry.

The building, which operated as a wash room from 1904 to 2014, has a sun-trap bricked terrace. The outdoor dining area feels distinctly Parisian, with rattan chairs, parasols and green planters.

The Laundry has launched a new summer menu designed to be enjoyed al fresco. Dishes include a light panzanella chopped salad and moules marinière. Jugs of sangria are available, made with the restaurant’s very own rosé. It also serves a range of brunches from 9am to 3pm, which are popular. The terrace is situated in a buzzy spot by Brixton station and is excellent for people watching.

Allegra, Stratford

This restaurant has its own wildflower meadow terrace, seven floors off the ground and with 360 degree views of the Olympic Park.

Hidden on the seventh floor of The Stratford hotel, the terrace has cedar-decked walkways and water features which guide you to your table. Allegra’s focus is firmly on sustainable sourcing, with many of the ingredients picked from the restaurant’s own organic farm.

The terrace is open from Wednesday to Sunday and offers a slimmed down menu of small plates such as grilled asparagus with seaweed hollandaise and charcuterie boards.

Inside the restaurant is a walk-in wine room where guests are encouraged to taste and select their own wines. The interiors are designed to recall a Scandinavian farmhouse, with an inviting open kitchen, sleek stone bar and oak furniture.

Yauatcha City, Liverpool Street

Not only does Yauatcha City have two expansive wraparound terraces overlooking Broadgate Circle, these terraces are also both covered and heated - which is not something to be overlooked given the fickle British weather.

Yauatcha, which has a sister site in Soho, is famed for its dim sum and cocktails. There are tasting menus, costing from £29, or you can go à la carte. The edamame truffle dumpling and soft shell crab bao bun come highly recommended.

However, don’t arrive ravenous as one dim sum costs from £9. Yuatacha also has its own Asian-style patisserie, serving delicately crafted sweets such as a strawberry and matcha gateau.

Neighbouring Spitalfields Market is great for a post-dinner drink or wandering round the lively market stalls.

Kudu, Peckham

Hidden behind this family-run restaurant in South East London is a secret garden, with lanterns, parasols and wooden loveseats. The terrace is a new addition to Kudu, added to meet the growing demand for outdoor dining during Covid-19.

Kudu, which specialises in South African-inspired cuisine, also has its own herb garden and veg plot - which many of the ingredients are sourced from.

Out the front of the restaurant, the team installed a second terrace, which can seat an extra 25 to 30 people.

The restaurant's signature Kudu Bread is a slow-baked spiced brioche loaf, which is best eaten dripping in the accompanying smoked bacon butter. The menu changes regularly but long-time favourites include the small plate of burrata curds, marinated pineapple tomato and oregano as well as the moorish pineapple tatin with miso caramel and coconut.

Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams, the couple behind Kudu, also run offshoots Smokey Kudu, a cocktail bar, and Curious Kudu, an art gallery and private dining room, both on the same road.