Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

From fine dining to casual pizza joints, here are the best al fresco rooftops and terraces in the capital also chosen for their fine food and drink.

1.Toklas, Temple

Burrata and peaches is just one of the winning combinations you could expect at Toklas, a fabulous new restaurant project from Frieze’s Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover. The restaurant takes its name from Alice B Toklas, partner of Gertrude Stein and author of the legendary Alice B Toklas Cook Book, first published in 1954. In the kitchen is the brilliant Yohei Furuhashi (ex The River Café, Petersham Nurseries and Dinings). The mediterranean menu which changes daily, has a focus on fresh seasonal produce, sourced from a list of trusted suppliers. The restaurant, down a quiet side street up from the north embankment of the Thames, feels a bit like an insider secret. It’s in a stark brutalist building that was once a car park and has a vast outdoor terrace, ideal for drinks and a simple yet sublime meal on a warm evening.

2.Il Gardino, The Berkeley, Knightsbridge

Open from Wednesday to Sunday until the autumn, The Berkeley’s outdoor space has once again been transformed into a plant-filled, chic paradise. Il Giardino offers an appealing selection of Italian drinks plus plates ideal for sharing. Menu highlights include arancini, assorted bruschetta, rigatoncini cacio e pepe with truffle, tagliolini with pistachio pesto, and delicious roasted wild seabass on a bed of caponata. For dolce, think apricot crostata with amaretto ice cream and tiramisu served alongside gelato cones of Amalfi lemon and pastel peach sorbets.

3.Folie, Golden Square, Soho

Experience a taste of the Riviera, from Marseille to Portofino, on this attractive terrace overlooking a pretty square in Soho. Led by Executive Head Chef Tomasz Michalski (Isabel; The Dorchester; Annabel’s, Langan’s Brasserie), the kitchen draws inspiration from all along the French and Italian Mediterranean coastline. The menu is a clever combination of luxurious ingredients and the simple recipes of the region. Tomasz sources and champions seasonal ingredients from small-scale UK farmers, with fish from day boats in Cornwall and Devon, England’s own Riviera, together with artisanal producers from France and Italy.

4.Cafe Murano, Bermondsey

Smart modern decor is a feature of all of Chef owner Angela Hartnett’s restaurants and this extends to the terrace at her newest restaurant on trendy Bermondsey high street. Fresh pasta, made daily on site, is the star of this more casual offshoot of her Michelin-starred Murano restaurant in London’s west end. Menu highlights include: spaghettini, courgettes, burford brown with pecorino; linguini, clams, chilli and almond pangrattato; and grilled octopus, chickpeas, fennel and orange.

5.The Cut terrace, 45 Park Lane, Mayfair

CUT at 45 Park Lane has just launched a super stylish, permanent outdoor dining terrace. Serving dishes from Wolfgang Puck’s CUT menu and drinks from BAR 45, the new terrace is open daily for lunch and dinner. Also on offer are new dishes from executive chef of 45 Park Lane, Elliott Grover including chilled sweetcorn soup, grilled jumbo Australian tiger prawns, and spaghetti pasta made in house with native blue lobster.

6.The Conduit, Covent Garden

This private member’s club has opened it’s long rooftop terrace to non-members every Saturday 12-8pm. The Rooftop Terrace is in partnership with the Ruinart so their champagne list is complimented by a well thought out cicchetti menu, created by Head Chef Paolo di Paolo, alongside a full à la carte menu that will change seasonally. Eco-friendly, the Conduit has a zero-plastic policy and the rooftop has been designed with plants selected specifically for pollination and features recycled and upcycled furnishings and art.

7.The Rooftop at The Standard, Kings Cross

From the 11th floor of the hotel, The Rooftop at London’s hippest hotel offers unparalleled views of the city’s skyline. Located in the heart of King’s Cross, next to Coal Drop’s Yard, the terrace has a fun vibe with top DJs amongst pink furniture, blue umbrellas and cheery green AstroTurf. This season, the terrace launches Decimiño, a red taco truck from chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias: expect new takes on nachos and tacos.

8.Peggy Jean Barge, Richmond Riverside

Peggy Jean, a restored Oxford University College Boat Race barge, is Daisy Green Collection’s twelfth site. The renovated riverside barge offers an Aussie brunch or dinner cooked over fire (think calamari, t-bone steak and fresh pizzas) with glorious Thames views in scenic Richmond. Favorite dishes include the very Fancy Bacon Roll, Award Winning Banana Bread Sandwich and the ‘Golden Gaytime’ Buttermilk Pancakes.

9. Citadelle Summer Terrace at OXO Tower, Southbank

If you’re looking for a breezy, chic new rooftop for drinks and light bites, the new Citadelle terrace on the eighth floor of the Oxo Tower is bliss. Overlooking the Thames with gorgeous views of the city’s skyline old and new, the drinks menu features a selection of refreshing Citadelle gin cocktails inspired by the South-West of France. France’s Citadelle is the world’s most awarded gin and it has just launched a brand new limited-edition Citadelle Vive le Cornichon (pickle infused gin), ideal for martinis. The snack menu includes a charcuterie plate, oysters, chorizo and more.

10. Roof Garden by Booking Office 1869, King’s Cross

A green and secluded space in the heart of King’s Cross feels like a secret garden. RoofGarden by Booking Office 1869 serves a snack-style menu from its indoor counterpart alongside a refreshing array of cocktails, wines and beers. The terrace cocktail menu features classics – Pimms, Margarita, Negroni and Aperol Spritz. Alongside drinks, guests can tuck into a host of light sharing plates and sweet treats, from crispy calamari to traditional Eaton Mess.

11.Ino, Soho

Celebrate the first year anniversary on the terrace of this modern Greek gem just off Carnaby Street. Inspired by the chef’s love of cooking over charcoal as well as from the dining culture of classic tavernas across Greece, INO makes extensive use of carefully sourced ingredients, supplied from farms across the UK as well as directly from Greece. Menu highlights include octopus tacos with smoked tomato and souvlaki like you’ve never experienced before.

12.Fatto, Kings Cross

Tucked away from the busy Kings Cross station in St Pancras square, you can sit outside the casual new Italian to enjoy some of the best Neapolitan pizzas in London. Craft beers from independent breweries in the UK and Italy are another selling point, as is the delicious fresh lemonade. Pizza is available in vegan and gluten free options too. The sides are also excellent, especially parma, coppa and burrata and buffalo bocconcini, baby gem, tomato and pesto.

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