On long hot summer afternoons and balmy evenings, there's nothing better than drinking and dining al fresco. From hidden gardens to rooftop bars, the Decanter team share their favourite London hotspots...
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I visited Franco’s, an Italian restaurant tucked away on Jermyn Street, just off the buzzing Piccadilly after a visit to the Royal Academy of Arts. Greeted by a friendly ‘Buongiorno!’, reminding me of a typical ristorante waiter when I visited Italy last, we sat down at one of their outside tables. Between people-watching and admiring the shop displays across the street, we enjoyed a glass of Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry from Col Vetoraz – refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. For a little something extra, order their sicilian cannolo with pistachio ice cream. – Beatrice Ng
61 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6LX
+44 (0) 20 7499 2211
Credit: Franco's facebook
Sager + Wilde
Sager + Wilde on Paradise Row in Bethnal Green, has rows of picnic benches and one of the largest outdoor spaces. It has an extensive wine by the glass list as well as a newly designed tasting menu that changes every day. Whether you want a glass of wine, a cocktail or a four-course menu – there is something for everyone and every occasion here. – Christelle Guibert
Arch 250 Paradise Row, London, E2 9LE
+44 (0) 20 7613 0478
Vista at The Trafalgar
I think soaking in a good view is paramount (along with the company) while sharing a bottle of something fabulous. Head to the epicentre of London, and try the Vista open-air rooftop bar at The Trafalgar Hotel – with magnificent views of the bustling square below. (For 360° bird’s-eye panoramas of the capital from the inside, the Vertigo42 Champagne Bar is also a treat.) – Tina Gellie
2 Spring Gardens, London SW1A 2TS
+44 (0) 20 7870 2900
Tangerine Dream Café
If you are looking for a wander around one of the most beautiful, secret gardens of London, followed by a light lunch of seasonally sourced ingredients and a glass of something well chilled – Limpet Barron & David Hughes’ Tangerine Dream Cafe in the Chelsea Physic Garden is for you. Polished service, fine wine and set menus it is not (although restaurant Gordon Ramsay is just around the corner). This is a quintessentially British escapism, with slightly disorganised, yet freshly prepared food, which you can enjoy al fresco whilst overlooking London’s oldest botanical gardens. Still one of the capital’s best hidden gems… – Harry Fawkes
66 Royal Hospital Rd, London SW3 4HS
+44 (0) 20 7352 5646
Credit: Tangerine Dream Café Facebook
The Dove is a great little pub, which makes you feel as though you’ve gone back in time when you walk through the door. It’s tucked away in Hammersmith, so take a riverside stroll to reach it.
There are cosy corners, a dining area and then an outdoor space right on the river. It has a strong wine list, local Fuller’s ales and guest beers.
Be warned, it gets full when the sun shines, so claim your seat early and enjoy your day there. – Ellie Douglas
19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, London W6 9TA
020 8748 9474
The Havelock Tavern
This is a pub that does incredible contemporary cuisine and has a gorgeous little walled garden out the back.
There’s a daily changing menu, and they bake their own bread on site. – Laura Seal
57 Masbro Road, Hammersmith, London W14 0LS
020 7603 5374
The Oxo Tower restaurant
For amazing views over London, nab a spot on the outside balcony of the Oxo Tower. High above the hustle and bustle of the Southbank, enjoy a cocktail from one of their top mixologists.
Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, South Bank, London SE1 9PH
020 7803 3888
Credit: Oxo Tower restaurant Facebook