With just under a month to go until restaurants and bars with outdoor seating are allowed to reopen (it’s not like we are counting down the days or anything…) on the 12th of April, we’re allowing ourselves to start dreaming of those gorgeous Spring days and nights when we can meet up with friends and support the hospitality industry.
Below, we’ve collected a list of our favourite outdoor spots across London with announced opening dates from mid-April, which we’ll update throughout the month to keep you in the loop.
Parrillan, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross
Parrillan, the glamourous sister of Barrafina, will be back on the 12th of April and serving up its spring menu of classic para picar, arroces, along with a stunning choice of meats, fresh seafood, and vegetables to be finished by guests on their own bespoke parrilla mini-grills.
The Parrillan team has also added glass sides in addition to the restaurant’s glass roof and heaters, to protect guests from any temperamental London weather. The tabletop grills also help keep things toasty. The restaurant operates on a walk-in only basis as there are only a few tables outside with cover and heaters.
Barrafina Dean Street, Soho
The original Barrafina’s outdoor offering has been reinforced with extra al fresco tables, covered with strong parasols, and embellished with powerful heaters to keep guests toasty as they enjoy dinner or drinks long into the evening with loved ones. On the menu you’ll find Michelin starred ham croquetas, daily changing specials, and cañas of Estrella Galicia, all waiting for you right in the heart of Soho.
The River Cafe, Thames Wharf
The long-standing River Café is legendary among Londoners and celebrities, known for its high-quality food and quaint riverside views. The expansive riverside terrace, which is filled with lush greenery overlooks the Thames and is far out enough from the city of London, ideal for those looking for a more peaceful setting away from the hustle and bustle. Recently awarded with its first Michelin star, the cafe serves up rustic Italian dishes, such as ravioli with zucchini, buffalo ricotta and mint, and a deliciously indulgent (why not, you deserve it post lockdown) ‘chocolate nemesis’ for pudding.
With a partially covered garden area allowing for over 500 seats, Elephant & Castle’s Mercato Metropolitano is home to over 40 sensational food and drink vendors making it London’s leading food and drink metropolis. This includes an on-site micro-brewery German Kraft and vendors selling dishes from all around the world; Italy to Japan, Colombia to Germany, Vietnam to Argentina, all created using locally sourced ingredients. The garden is a jungle paradise, with over 200 plants ranging from ferns and bamboo to hop plants and olive trees.
El Pastor, 7a Stoney Street
With heated parasols on the pavement, micheladas, critically acclaimed tacos al pastor and sesame-arbol tuna on heritage corn tostadas offer one of the closest experiences to a foreign holiday as possible this side of May 17th. El Pastor is walk-in only but will be running a virtual queue, so no loitering necessary.
The Drop, Coal Drops Yard
Harts Group’s wine bar offers a carefully sourced selection of the most delicious wines, meats, cheese, and oysters, along with plenty of covered and heated outdoor seating under atmospheric festoon lighting within the original Victorian arches of Coal Drops Yard.
Petersham Nurseries Café
Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond will reopen throughout the week, with evening service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Located near Richmond Park and set within the nurseries’ gardens, guests are invited to dine alfresco beneath the pergola, which will be heated and covered throughout the spring. The Spring and Summer menu will focus on Italian-inspired, seasonal dishes with produce and provenance-led cooking style.
Whatever the season, we Londoners can’t seem to get enough of Coppa Club’s highly Instagrammable riverside igloos. They’re back this April with a new spring look featuring woven wicker chairs, bamboo lanterns, and linen throws beneath suspended botanicals. Fitting six people, the igloos offer an à la carte menu with a selection of seasonal European dishes such as seared garlic king prawns, fresh pasta, and sourdough pizzas.
Chiltern Firehouse, Mayfair
With its chic wicker chairs, black and white striped sofas and beautiful greenery, the courtyard of Chiltern Firehouse has long been the place to see and be seen in London. Head over for a boozy lunch as you soak up the ever-buzzy atmosphere. Nothing beats Chiltern’s fresh oysters paired with a few glasses of champagne.
Sea Containers, Southwark
Enjoy some of the most stunning views of London’s River Thames at this vibrant South Bank eatery, located on the ground floor of the Sea Containers Hotel London (formerly Mondrian). The terrace will open from the 16th of April featuring a menu designed to be shared, the food offering celebrates seasonality and ingredient-led cooking, making it suitable for any occasion. Expect a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere and engaging staff.
Plaza Pastor, Coal Drops Yard
El Pastor’s north-of-the-river sibling is fully outdoors, covered and heated. It is also fully bookable with more space to accept larger parties within the rule of six/ two household rule.