Make the most of London's sunny weather with the city's finest alfresco dining spots

As the sun starts to shine and the seemingly never-ending winter finally begins to subside, we can start to think about braving the pavements, terraces and gardens of London and soaking in the sunlight at one of the many exceptional alfresco spots. In order to help you make the most of the fleeting summer sun, we’ve put together a guide that features some of the best and brightest hot spots for outdoor dining.

River Café (West London)

First up is one that is normally at the very top of every outdoor dining list. An iconic venue that has been operating since 1987 and has helped to launch the careers of chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Stevie Parle (Pastaio), Theo Randall and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Serving up sumptuous Italian fare, River Café continues to be one of the capital’s most loved restaurants, especially when the sun is shining.
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The Orrery (Central London)

The Orrery is definitely one of D&D’s better restaurants. A relaxing retreat just off Marylebone High Street that serves up French classics, complete with a delightful terrace that is a perfect extension of its light and airy restaurant. The Orrery recently celebrated an impressive 25th anniversary and still offers diners a cheese trolley with over 30 British and French artisan cheeses all of which come with expert knowledge and recommendations from their ’frommelier’.
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Chiltern Firehouse (Central London)

Celebrity hangout and a seemingly ever-lasting hot spot. Chiltern has a perfectly on-brand, stylish and often lively outdoor dining space where you can enjoy a menu with an American emphasis. Featuring whole lobsters, 48-hour chickens and Black Angus NY striploins. A popular spot for popular people but also a fantastic terrace option for any time of day, breakfast, lunch or dinner.
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Bentley's (Central London)

Considered a true institution. Bentley’s has been operating for over a century and serving up some of the finest seafood in London. Richard Corrigan has been at the helm for nearly two decades now and has always been committed to focusing on locally and sustainably sourced fish and seafood. Diners can feast on native oysters, lobster thermidors and royal shellfish platters all from the comfort of the elongated terrace.
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Scott's (Mayfair & Richmond)

Another seafood sensation and somewhat of an institution too. Scott’s has two terraces to offer in both Mayfair and, more recently, Richmond. Caviar, crab and carpaccio are just a few of the dishes available on an extensive menu of fresh fish and seafood. The Mayfair venue comes with a small number of outdoor tables and is the perfect spot for lunch in the sun. In contrast, the Richmond location brings with it beautiful views across the River Thames and more serene surroundings than its central London counterpart.
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Seabird (South London)

Seabird is perched proudly at the top of the ever-so-chic and stylish Hoxton Hotel in Southwark. Sip on champagne and slurp down Gillardeau oysters that form part of a particularly pescatarian-focused menu, as to be expected with a name like Seabird, featuring dishes such as wood-fired lemon sole and octopus roll. The little terrace here is the perfect place to take in panoramic views whilst the sun sets over London.
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Rochelle Canteen (East London)

An East London hideaway that comes alive in the summertime. A small, daily changing menu of seasonal dishes that are, in their own words, ‘ready to please all stomachs’ and this certainly holds true. Simplicity rules here and an excellent wine list helps to ensure that you are always in good company especially when enjoyed in the comfort of the sun.
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The Culpeper (East London)

An East London gastropub with a perfectly pruned outdoor rooftop. Not your typical boozer, with each floor offering up something different and culminating in a rooftop restaurant that serves a set menu featuring a herby homegrown harvest of produce that comes straight from the roof garden (for the most part anyway). The Culpeper forms part of an impressive collection of venues on the group’s roster, such as the Duke of Cambridge and the Buxton. They certainly know their way around a gastropub.
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Campania (East London)

This tiny little southern Italian restaurant is the perfect place to put your feet up and enjoy a spot of lunch following on from a morning of exploration at Columbia Flower Market or a stroll through the backstreets of Hackney. Sitting right at the top of a bustling little side street, Campania has only a few outdoor tables which are normally adorned with classics from the Campania such as ‘fagioli e cozze’, a rich garlicky dish made with mussels and cannellini beans or ‘Straciatella, cime di rapa, acciughe’, a simple but incredibly delicious combination of stracciatella, broccoli and anchovies.
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Luca (East London)

A suave and sophisticated restaurant that serves up ‘Britalian’ dishes, Italian food using the best of British ingredients that is. One of the chicest in the city both inside and out and it now comes with a shiny new Michelin Star to add to its previous accolades. The terrace area is just as beautiful as the meticulously thought-out design of the main restaurant Luca is a slice of luxury on St John Street.
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Coal Office (North London)

An undeniably stylish restaurant and rooftop that was put together by designer Tom Dixon with the ever-inventive chef Assaf Granit heading up things in the kitchen. Coal Office delivers an intriguing mix of modern Mediterranean dishes such as the octopus al lachuh with Yemeni pancake and a truffle harissa sauce, that match up to their sophisticated surroundings. Terrace space is highly sought after in the summer with the outdoor tables on the ground floor also offering up an opportunity to soak in the summer sun.
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Frederick's (North London)

Frederick’s has long been part of the furniture of Islington, racking up more than 50 years on Camden Passage and there are obvious reasons for that longevity. Delightfully delicious yet reasonably priced with a beautifully designed restaurant attached to a stunning and spacious outdoors. A restaurant that is not dissimilar to the underside of an iceberg in the way that it’s really not obvious what’s there from quick glance at the front. Despite its long-term success, it’s still something of a hidden gem.
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Parillan (North London)

An outdoor area at Parillan is an absolute necessity with each table presented with its own personal Parillan (grill) so that diners can cook up a superb selection of top-notch Spanish produce such as Ibérico pork and blindingly bright gambas rojas (red prawns). You are likely to come away smelling similar to a chef who has spent hours slaving over a BBQ but it’s a small sacrifice that is more than worth making. It’s hard not to smile when the sun is shining and even trickier when you throw good food and drink into the equation. From sunlit corners to slender terraces, this collection of restaurants is perfectly positioned to ensure that you can lounge long into the afternoon with a bright grin on your face and good food on your plates.
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Monument has partnered with La Petite Conciergerie to offer Members a Restaurant Reservations service, allowing Members to redeem pre-booked restaurant bookings. This service is complimentary to Monument Members as a membership benefit.

Find the Restaurant Reservations service in the Restaurant of the Week collection within the Member Services app anytime, and explore the reservations available this week.

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