From the best rooftops to the prettiest terraces we've rounded up some of the best summer dining spots in London.
Cocktail Connoisseurs assemble, there’s a sexy spot in the city that's about to become your new favourite spot for sipping top notch tipples. Head to Aldgate East and go all the way up to PocketSquare Skyline Bar and terrace which is located on the 9th floor of the Hyatt Place London City East and perch against the railings, cocktail in hand and take in sweeping views of London.
This charming oasis has an impressive selection of inventive, abstract handcrafted cocktails that use the finest spirits and the most interesting ingredients. We loved the Robberbaron, a heady mix of Hepple gin, benedictine, spiced wine reduction and everleaf forest, inspired by Robin Hood’s escapades and the lush estate of Sherwood Forest. For something a little more playful, Hunny is a sweet concoction that combines Toki, Beesou, Bee Pollen chutney and honey (ofcourse) and is presented in the cutest vanity box like contraption. We also loved the Kushty, which also happens to be the best seller, it cleverly combines Hendricks, mint lassie, pineapple and fair passion fruit and makes for a tropical inspired delight. The Halcyon everleaf marine, lemon & bergamot and chamomile syrup is another great choice and pairs well with most of the dishes.
Should you be feeling peckish , the food here is also excellent with a menu that offers lip smacking selections including deliciously creamy saffron and taleggio arancini, and slow cooked beef meatballs with parmesan oregano and tomato sauce. Those with an appetite will love the flatbreads, with the fennel sausage with nduja and burrata guaranteed to be a winning choice. Their fritto misto is also excellent and the watermelon and saffron and pecorino salad is another standout option, cleverly combining compressed cucumber, red chicory, black olives and is glazed with a delicious balsamic beetroot dressing.
PocketSquare is the perfect Friday night spot for gazing out onto the metropolitan sprawl and soundtracking your cocktail sipping with clinking glasses, friendly chatter and the house DJ spinning into the night.
Fern, which is located in East Croydon and serving modern European cuisine is undoubtedly one of the most exciting restaurant openings in South London recent times. Located opposite East Croydon train station on the ground floor of Ten Degrees, the world's tallest modular skyscraper, it's a great addition to the Croydon dining scene and easily accessible for both local diners and visitors from far and wide.
Fern is an all day bar and restaurant serving an impressive array of cocktails and sharing dishes. The vibe is relaxed and informal. The decor which is heavy on the exposed brickwork, wooden fixtures and tall windows is evocative of a cool downtown New York eatery.
Dishes are delivered from the kitchen, tapas style as and when they're ready, and the food does not disappoint. The menu is cleverly divided into distinct segments: plant, sea and land for easy navigation. From the appetisers ,the glistening and perfectly roasted padron peppers set you up beautifully for your culinary journey. However it’s the baked sweet potato with crispy onion feta and truffle aioli that will steal your heart with its stunning combination of flavours.
The roasted tenderstem broccoli with cumin, mixed seeds and tahini is an elevated take on a staple that works beautifully and is sure to tickle tastebuds. From the ‘sea’ part of the menu, baked scallops with chorizo emulsion, garlic and herb crum and lemon is a vibrant dish that bravely takes on scallops and does so exceedingly well. The chargrilled tiger prawns with romesco and lime are bursting with flavour and will delight seafood lovers . The braised short rib with carrot puree, chipotle and crispy onions is by far one of the standout dishes, its creamy melt- in- your mouth fare that delivers on flavour in spades.
Wash down these dishes with their enchanting cocktails. You’ll be spoilt for choice but we promise you that you’ll love the Jasmine, a vibrant concoction that blends Tanqueray, jasmine, lychee lime and soda. For a super refreshing option, we also recommend the passion fruit spritz from their spritz selection, which combines passion fruit liqueur lime and bubbles. Oh, and it's a very pretty looking libation too.
Round off your evening with something from the pudding menu, the Basque vanilla cheesecake is a good choice, beautifully blending blueberry, maple and caramelised white chocolate. The Lemon panna cotta which is a wobbly delight of turmeric, lemon curd berry gel and basil is also a great option for rounding off an impressive dining experience.
As far as rooftop locations go, Aviary London with its breathtaking 10th floor location atop the Montcalm Hotel is hard to beat. A light and airy dining room complete with floor to ceiling walls overlooks a stunning terrace. If you didn't know, Aviary recently launched its bottomless brunch in partnership with Whispering Angel which means free flowing rose, alongside prosecco, beer and cocktails is the star of the show. The vibe is city slicker meets casual glam and the dining experience is pretty casual with a buffet style set up when it comes to the food.
A busy grazing station proffers up every type of brunch dish that you can imagine. Giant king prawns catch your eye immediately alongside an extensive charcuterie selection and cheeseboard. Hummus and babaganoush make an appearance together with toasted flatbread. You’re spoilt for choice with the delicious salad selection that includes a delectable chicory, orange, fennel and green olive creation. This is alongside bagels with toppings including truffled chicken mayonnaise.
For the sweet toothed, the baked goods station overflowing with every pastry imaginable, together with freshly made waffles and pancakes that come with a selection of nut butters, nutella and honey and maple syrup will be hard to resist. For the calorie watches, there is the option of healthy granola with yoghurt and fruit.
If you’re lucky enough to find space, head out onto the terrace for sweeping views of London’s iconic skyline and groove to the DJ as he spins the decks for a spectacular weekend soiree.
Just two minutes from Rye Lane nestled beneath the arches of Peckham Rye station, Peckham Arches is the ultimate South London spot for outdoor dining with 600 capacity space to accommodate bustling crowds. Expect chilled vibes, rustic setting and pumping music to take you from day to night. The choice of food and drink is huge, but it's the large open fire kitchen where everything is cooked on a charcoal grill that has made this all weather terrace a draw for foodies.
You’ll be hard pressed to choose from an inventive menu that offers a variety of thrilling delights. From the small plates (a bit of a misnomer as the portions are rather generous!), there is the grilled squid with watercress, lime and chilli dressing that sets the scene for an absolutely show stopping menu that includes hummus with grilled pepper, pickled beetroot, tahini dressing and flatbread, the perfect tear and share option. From the mains, we were impressed by the huge hunk of charred hispi cabbage, the Korean short ribs with kimchi and the unforgettable whole sea bream with chermoula.
The drinks menu is extensive with options to satisfy everyone, There is a diverse range of boh draught and bottle beers and several options for wine drinkers. There’s a choice of traditional cocktails alongside the latin inspired concoctions such as the Passion Fruit Mezcalita, picante and the Skylarking Margarita. It doesn't end there, across the road is Peckham Arches’ sister bar Skylarking where pizza lovers can indulge quite probably the best homemade wood fired sourdough pizza south of the river.
Coco Canary Wharf
A new restaurant has opened its doors in Canary Wharf. This new joint is brought to you by the same team behind Coco Grill and Lounge and Coco Asia, offering a unique alcohol free experience alongside their Anatolian cuisine menu. It is located on a prime spot on West India quay along the bustling river facing terrace with incredible views of Canary Wharf. Coco Canary Wharf is an instagrammer’s dream thanks to the plush seating, glimmering fixtures, bright neon lights, dark furnishings, and dishes presented amongst an impressive plume of smoke. With both indoors and all weather outdoor seating, you have the option of dining indoors before moving out to the shisha terrace fro post dining
Coco Canaray wharf whips up a huge selection of mouth watering dishes. From the starters, which include the outstanding king prawn puri cooked in Asian spices and served in fried bread to the fiery cauliflower in Korean spicy sauce, there’s plenty to satiate your appetite.
From the grill, the wagyu rib eye steak (which can be accessorised with 24k gold if you’re feeling flush) is a statement dish to try. For a more modest option, the lamb shish with tzatziki and chilli sauce will certainly not disappoint. It's the coco korai curry which can be ordered as vegetarian, lamb or chicken curry that is the real standout dish at Coco Canary wharf, perfect with either paratha or chapati to mop up all the juices. If that's not enough for you, there’s a robust dessert menu with delectable choices including lotus cheesecake or the pistachio flavoured baklava that comes with coconut ice cream.
Despite being an alcoholic free venue, Coco Canary Wharf proffers an impressive drinks menu that has wine alternatives, milkshakes and mocktails including a sweet and sour strawberry dakari that's worth ordering for the theatrical bubble alone.
Latin food has grown in popularity over the last few years and firmly established itself as a favourite in London’s dining scene. From ceviche, to tacos to Mexican street food, you’re never faraway from a taste of Latin America. Skating up the scene is Zuaya where you don't have to choose between the different latin specialties, thanks to a menu that cleverly fuses the very Brazilian, Mexican and Peruvian dishes.
Situated just off Kensington High St, diners have the option of dining indoors or the stunning outside terrace. Unsurprisingly, tapas is the name of the game at Zuaya. The flavours are bold and flavourful, with impressive starters including tuna avocado tacos and garlic prawns with lime and chilli to tickle the taste buds. The meat tapas are also very good, the wild rice, shitake mushroom and confit duck is magnificent. From the salad and vegetables menu, the tomato, avocado and pomegranate salad together with the equally impressive patatas bravas are also not to be missed. They also make a mean cocktail at Zuaya with several latin inspired specialties including classics such as Cuba Libre, Caiprinha and a classic Puerto Rico Pina Colada that packs a delicious punch.
Nothing says British Summer Time quite like the perpetual search for the perfect outdoor dining spot to soak up those summer rays, cocktail in hand, praying that it doesn't rain. One such spot can be found nestled in St James's place, a stone's throw away from Green Park, in the majestic Stafford Hotel London’s American Bar.
A few short steps through the stylish lobby and you find yourself in the Hotel’s cobbled courtyard, home to the American bar which is truly one of the Londons’ loveliest secluded alfresco spot. It's genuinely a hidden gem where you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Food and drink at this secretive spot is an utter delight. The enviable cocktail menu is purveyed by the legendary Bar Director Benoit Provost. Start your evening with a cocktail from the specially curated summer menu that has some very cleverly named concoctions including Adios Amor, which is a mix of Casa Noble Blanco Tequila, White Mint, Citrus, Champagne Chocolate, Mango, Jalapeño, Apricot Citrus Sherbet, Agave Syrup or for a truly summery cocktail got for the Tropical storm which is made up of Bayou Reserve Rum, Pistachio, Briottet Creme Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, Citrus, Champagne d’Abricot Liqueur, Citrus, and Orange Blossom Honey.
Dining in the American bar is a relaxed affair, with an extensive menu of plates that are perfect for sharing. The menu is a mix of British and elevated take on American classics. There’s plenty of meat and seafood so carnivores will be delighted. Start with the jambalaya glazed prawns coated in a delicious lime yogurt or the cute mini sausages in American hot sauce from the smaller plates. Then from the large plates go for the grass fed rib eye steak, a plump and juicy cut of meat that comes replete with giant onion rings, bearnaise sauce and gravy. Homemade warm doughnuts drizzled with hazelnut chocolate sauce.
On weekdays, don’t miss the excellent new BBQ menu menu, purveyed by Lisa Goodwin-Allen featuring dramatic Kamado grills for some thrilling open- fire cooking. . The menu has mouth watering creations including Lamb pastrami with potato flatbread,cucumber and mint yoghurt or the succulent salmon with fennel salad and citrus creme fraiche. More exotic dishes include Tandoori monkfish kebab with slaw and flatbread and Curried cauliflower steak with toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds. Spiced rum-glazed BBQ pineapple provides the perfect sweet treat to complete the summer dining experience.
The best bit? An exciting new cocktail list is also available alongside the BBQ menus. The specially curated barbeque menu is available weekdays from 12pm to a leisurely 3pm.