Make the most of the British summertime with a bite to eat or a refreshing beverage at one of London’s top open-air drinking and dining establishments. From super hip to haute cuisine, these favorites will ensure that all your seasonal bases are covered.
The Terrace at The Royal Horseguards Hotel
Take a break from sightseeing with a snack or drink on the secluded terrace at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Royal Horseguards Hotel, just across the river from the London Eye, and a stone’s throw from the residences of both the queen and the British prime minister.
A broadly European-influenced menu (spicy hummus with crisp breads; croque-monsieur; Innes goats curd with roasted beets) is well set up for sharing, while the drinks list includes several thirst-quenching cocktails served in jugs.
The Terrace at Rosewood London
There’s a secret-garden feel to The Terrace at the Four-Star Rosewood London, an intimate space tucked away in the hotel’s calm courtyard in the heart of busy Holborn.
The summer à la carte menu comes courtesy of Holborn Dining Room, a grand but relaxed eatery serving up seasonal, locally sourced British cuisine (think dover sole in brown butter or lamb rump with chard).
It’s also an unrivaled spot to sip on that most British of beverages, the G&T. The hotel’s stylish Gin Bar, which has more than 400 gins and 27 tonics to choose from, is home to London’s largest selection of gin.
Located within an unusual-looking commercial building and accessed from an alley alongside a railway arch, this trendy cocktail bar isn’t exactly easy to find, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
The south-facing terrace is perfect for sundowners — we love the Riviera, a blend of Belsazar white vermouth, tonic and two types of bitter liqueur — and you’ll find DJs hard at work if you venture into the stripped-back interior.
There’s an all-day, brunch-style menu of egg dishes and grilled cheese. Come evening, the warm porchetta subs really hit the spot.
The riverside terrace at this historic West London pub offers the delights of a classic British beer garden combined with lovely views of the River Thames.
For the ultimate English summer-drinking experience, try a pint of bitter —that’s cask-conditioned ale, served somewhere between frigid and room temperature.
The wine list is good, too, with crisp whites and rich reds complementing a menu of pub classics and more surprising contemporary options, including a quinoa and fennel salad, and whole bream with chilli.
Top-notch French cuisine with fantastic views of London is the order of the day at this swanky bistro on the top floor of an office building above Bank Underground station.
You can’t specify a table on the heated roof terrace when booking, but the staff will do its best to accommodate you when you arrive (an early booking is your wisest bet).
Choose from rich dishes like seared duck breast with foie gras, or opt for a snack from the bar menu. The outstanding wine list is an excellent value, making this a great place to treat yourself to a bottle of something special in the sunshine.