As The Chelsea Flower Show approaches on May 22, London is bursting into bloom. Diners and drinkers are spilling out onto the streets to enjoy the great British heatwave. We find 10 of the best restaurants with dreamy terraces, gorgeous gardens and cosy courtyards for al fresco dining.
Zafferano (15 Lowndes Street, London SW1X)
This Italian restaurant prides itself on using only the finest, freshest ingredients, and the reviews back this up. There is an attractive outside dining area, which always proves popular with locals. Signature dishes include veal Milanese and saffron risotto, but the tiramisu is what gets the diners sighing.
For more details, visit http://zafferanorestaurant.com
Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel (21 Lowndes Street, London SW1X)
Belgravia in Bloom will open with a floral flourish on May 19, echoing the theme of the V&A exhibition featuring Frida Khalo, the iconic Mexican artist. The Terrace will also go Mexican, with cocktails and Mexican food, as well as a distinctly Mexican feel to the décor and colourful flowers. If you spend more than £30 per person and quote Frida Khalo, you will get a ticket to the exhibition at the V&A.
For more details, visit www.lowndesbarandkitchen.co.uk/theterrace
Motcombs Restaurant and Brasserie (26 Motcomb Street, London SW1X)
Motcombs is a national treasure in Belgravia. Famous for its delicious food and extensive wine list, this is a favourite with local business people, as well as residents and visitors to the area. You immediately feel at home on the Motcomb Street.
For more details, visit https://motcombs.co.uk
La Poule Au Pot (231 Ebury Street, London SW1W)
Once you discover, La Poule Au Pot, it is hard to resist.
This classic French restaurant is full of atmosphere. The white linen tablecloths contrast with the greenery and the rustic tables and chairs, making this a magnificently romantic summer venue.
For more details, visit www.pouleaupot.co.uk
The Fifth Floor at Harvey Nichols (109-125 Knightsbridge, London SW1X)
High above Knightsbridge and Belgravia, Harvey Nichols’s Fifth floor café awaits. This stylish, covered café and bar serves food all day, and drinks, too. The perfect place to relax and catch up with friends after shopping for some of the most stylish clothes in London.
For more details, visit www.harveynichols.com/restaurant/knightsbridge-dining
The Alfred Tennyson (10 Motcomb Street, London SW1X)
The Alfred Tennyson could not be better located for al fresco dining. It is situated in the heart of Belgravia on Motcomb Street, minutes from the glorious gardens of Belgrave Square. The first-floor restaurant and ground-floor bars are complemented by a bustling atmosphere in the outdoor seating area. There is an impressive wine list with more than 32 wines by the glass, as well as a large selection of beers and cocktails. It is an ideal setting for summer dining.
For more details, visit http://thealfredtennyson.co.uk/
Percy and Founders (1 Pearson Square, London W1)
What makes the perfect al fresco restaurant for summer? Plenty of outdoor seating? Friendly staff and a delicious menu? Percy and Founders in Fitzrovia, ticks all the boxes. This British-European restaurant has a sophisticated interior and a spacious terrace, which is great for a lunchtime snack, or relaxing after work. It’s a destination restaurant with a bar, lounge and a cool west London vibe.
For more details, visit https://percyandfounders.co.uk/bar-terrace/
Boisdale (15 Eccleston Street, London SW1W)
Jazz goes to Scotland at this buzzing live music bar and restaurant. The tartan chairs and vast whisky selection might have you believe you are in the Highlands, but the enticing terrace is minutes from central London.
For more details, www.boisdale.co.uk/belgravia/the-venue
The Ivy, Chelsea Garden (195-197 Kings Road, London SW3)
The sun-soaked garden on King’s Road is one of Chelsea’s best-loved hot spots. There are giant planters with mature trees and shrubbery. Leafy latticework and antique mirrors, and velvet-covered seating create a restful, rustic atmosphere. The extensive menu is full of tempting choices for brunch, breakfast or all-day a la carte, from 8 until late.
For more details, https://theivychelseagarden.com
Bluebird Chelsea (350 Kings Road, London SW3)
The Courtyard at the Bluebird, Chelsea, is a green oasis on the Kings Road. With grass and cobbles, it enhances the Art Deco café, which itself is flooded with light and dotted with mature trees. The Spring all-day dining menu included such delights as asparagus salad and salt marsh lamb chops. Or you can drop in for breakfast brunch, or just a cocktail after The Chelsea Flower Show.
For more details, www.bluebird-restaurant.co.uk