When it comes to eating out, London is one of the best cities in the world.
Name a cuisine - there’s a restaurant for it. There are also plenty of places with incredible outdoor seating, from gorgeous rooftops in Paddington to leafy terraces boasting riverside views in Canary Wharf.
DesignMyNight picks out some of the capital’s unmissable gems.
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From float-in cinemas to barges serving brunch, Paddington has a lot going for it, and that’s without mentioning Skylark. This rooftop gives off New York City vibes with blue and white pinstripe day beds and lots of space to ensure you and your group can socially distance in peace. Food comes in the form of light snacks to a dedicated pizza menu with six Italian classics, all of which are perfect for soaking up the venue’s daiquiris and porn star martinis.
Skylark Roof Garden, 4 Kingdom Street, W2 6BD
If you’re keen to soar above London’s streets then make your way to Aviary. This elegant rooftop bar and restaurant can be found on the tenth floor of the Montcalm Hotel in Finsbury Square. Even worth a trip in the rain, views of the city skyline are enough to make your eyes water. As for the food? It’s all about classic dishes done right.
Aviary, 10th Floor, 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX
The Rooftop St. James
For views that would rival any trip around the London Eye, say hello to The Rooftop St. James. This skyward bar and restaurant plates up stunning vistas of Trafalgar Square where you can eye spy tourists flocking around Nelson’s Column and the adjoining fountains. Sights aside, this is a remarkable place for dinner, and come the weekend a bottomless brunch with free-flowing prosecco is on the menu.
The Rooftop St. James, The Trafalgar St. James, 2 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2TS
Madison is known for its position next to St Paul’s Cathedral and views of London’s skyline. This vibrant rooftop restaurant is responsible for buttermilk halloumi burgers and gigantic seafood platters, and that’s just the terrace menu. Make your way inside to the indoor restaurant (if it gets too cold) and you’ll find a fully-fledged menu for dinner and brunch.
Madison, Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, EC4M 9AF
No.35 Mackenzie Walk
There aren’t many who would travel to Canary Wharf for a day or night out but a few big names have started to come out of the woodwork the past year - namely Electric Shuffle - and another to note is No.35 Mackenzie Walk. Known as the area’s newest bar and terrace, it boasts terrific views of the river and on the weekend it serves up a bottomless mojito brunch. Midweek is no mean feat either with an impressive all-day menu to keep you coming back for more.
No.35 Mackenzie Walk, 29-35 Mackenzie Walk, E14 4PH
Ever-popular amongst the Instagram community, Dalloway Terrace has opened its doors once again for picture-perfect evenings. This gorgeous hideaway is inspired by Virginia Woolf’s famous character, Mrs Dalloway, and in tune with its previous installations, it has a brand new flower-filled alfresco space. The quintessentially English restaurant has a menu for just about anything too, think brunch and afternoon tea right through to lunch and dinner.
Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN
You can find Hush Mayfair down a cobbled street in west London and in terms of locating it, you won’t have a tough job. Its terrace is unmissable, decorated with hundreds of eye-catching pink and purple flowers. Hush has a cocktail lounge and two indoor dining spaces (not to mention a private dining room) but the covered outdoor space is a winner no matter the weather. Boasting lobster roll sandwiches and black cod mains, the only issue is deciding what to order.
Hush Mayfair, 8 Lancashire Court, W1S 1EY
The Waterside Bar and Restaurant is located on the banks of Imperial Wharf and is something of a hidden gem. This riverside bar boasts eagle eye views of the marina with lots of outdoor Chesterfield sofas to sink into. Perfect for a romantic date night by the water or a celebration in the city, it has plenty of space to have a small and intimate gathering outdoors. What if it rains? They’ve got you covered with plenty of parasols.
The Waterside, The Boulevard, Imperial Wharf, SW6 2SU
With its dazzling looks and central location, The Lighterman is a real gem. It’s only a few minutes’ stroll from King’s Cross station and making your way there is pretty much fool-proof. The bar and alfresco terrace overlooks Regent’s Canal and there are plenty of menus to choose from. Try the homely Sunday roast or the seasonal cocktail menu where drinks are served by the glass or jug.
The Lighterman, 3 Granary Square, N1C 4BH
For more information on the best restaurants in London and across the UK, see DesignMyNight.com or follow on Instagram and Facebook; @DesignMyNight
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