A return to normality beckons in London. With a successful vaccination program and a long winter lockdown, the city is ready to open just in time for summer. But while restrictions are set to end on June 21, the appetite to meet, eat and drink outside will persist for some time yet. Even with Covid-19 numbers low, the most responsible thing we can do is take advantage of the warm weather and longer days by meeting outside. Some of the most exclusive hotels and restaurants in London have worked tirelessly to open charming outside spaces in record time. From rooftop restaurants with beautiful views to a secluded garden terrace, we look at the best outside spaces to eat and drink in London this summer.
The Dorchester Rooftop
The legendary Art Deco hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary in April. Considering London’s insatiable thirst for rooftop restaurants, it is strange that it has taken this long for The Dorchester to take advantage of its height. But The Dorchester Rooftop (pictured above) was certainly worth the wait. The al fresco dining spot is now open daily for lunch and dinner with a menu designed by the highly regarded chef Tom Booton. There is also a lounge area for drinks, cigars and a live band and DJ. The spectacular views across west London are included in the price. The Dorchester Rooftop will also host exclusive culinary pop-ups across the summer. Chef Maro Perera and Jean-Philippe Blondet are already booked in with more to be announced soon.
Kerridge’s Garden Grill, Corinthia London
The Corinthia London has transformed its private courtyard into a charming outdoor pop-up restaurant offering some inner-city solace. Tom Kerridge, one of Britain’s most recognizable chefs, delivers his trademark elevated pub-style cooking through his trusted head chef Nick Beardshaw. Food is cooked on an open grill, filling the space with the sounds and smells of a true outdoor dining space. The 46-cover terrace restaurant is on the Corinthia’s mezzanine level, offering a wealth of natural light and protection from the elements. The Corinthia has also opened another al fresco space, The Garden, where diners can enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired menu from chef Andre Garrett.
The Berkeley Beach Huts
Following last year’s success with The Garden, luxury Belgravia hotel The Berkeley has transformed its culinary terrace hotspot for a fresh look. This year’s beach hut theme has been inspired by the traditional Great British seaside break. Five rainbow-colored beach huts offer dining space for up to six guests, who can choose from a luxurious menu on fresh seafood and retro classics. There is also a counter-top bar and dining terrace. The menu includes interpretations of the best of British seafood dishes, such as crab on sourdough, fresh-baked scallops and grilled langoustines. No trip to the British coast would be complete without ice cream, so The Berkeley has paid special attention to its dessert menu. Soft serve vanilla ice cream cones, accompanied with the all-important flake on top, is a sure-fire hit.
Solas at The Savoy
For the first time in The Savoy’s long and glamorous history, its famous Savoy Court will be transformed into a summer pop-up, Solas. The opening marks the beginning of a collaboration with Bowmore Scotch Whisky, a brand we regularly cover on Elite Traveler. The space will open on April 21 in line with the hotel’s wider reopening. The menu will comprise an array of cocktails and its food offering will center around a spectacular raw seafood bar. Inspired by the heritage and legacy of Bowmore and The Savoy, the space combines Art Deco elements with an Edwardian elegance. Guests are greeted with an incredible view of a shimmering chandelier as they enter the space. The seafood bar also reflects the two brands, bringing together natural slate and granite with gleaming brass, all backed by a presentation of Bowmore bottles. Mixologists have used Bowmore’s recent Timeless series to create opulent cocktails while guests can also order a dram of rare liquids.
The Macallan Manor House at Rosewood London
Luxury Holborn hotel, Rosewood London, has partnered with Scotland’s most prestigious whisky distillery, The Macallan, and transformed its terrace into a Scottish summer scene. Designers have turned the charming space into a luxury riverside boathouse. The terrace is surrounded by fresh grass, soft wildflowers and delicate Scottish heathers, all of which will thrive in the abundance of natural sunlight. To complete this immersive experience, Holborn Dining Room has created a menu of delicious seasonal Scottish dishes. It is also one of the few places in the world you can try The Macallan Distil Your World London Single Cask whisky, an exclusive liquid made in conjunction with three-Michelin-star restaurant El Celler de Can Roca. If you take a liking to the dram, book the Macallan Suite Experience, where you can enjoy the whisky in the comfort of your own Rosewood suite and learn the history behind the distillery with a dedicated brand ambassador.
Dinner on the Terrace by Heston Blumenthal
The two-Michelin-starred Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is widely regarded as one of London’s best restaurants. Now, you can enjoy the scientific mastery of one of Britain’s most successful chefs in the sunshine. The restaurant has taken over the terrace space once occupied by the recently closed Bar Boulud. Revelers can enjoy a seasonal a la carte menu for lunch and dinner while enjoying private views of central London’s biggest green space. The menu is inspired by England’s long and winding history, with each dish linked to a distant date in its past.
The Cadogan Bar & Terrace, and Gardens
The Cadogan, a Belmond Hotel, is the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of central London. Based in the heart of Chelsea, the hotel offers a wealth of outdoor options including its Bar & Terrace. Here, chef Adam Handling serves an array of traditional British bites with a twist. The food menu is partnered with a refined choice of luxurious cocktails. Once the hotel reopens, guests will have access to the private Cadogan Gardens. Usually reserved for local residents, guests are able to stroll the lawns, play tennis and enjoy Handling’s signature afternoon tea picnic.
The Jumera Terrace, The Mandrake
The Jurema Terrace is one of the largest outdoor spaces of any hotel in London and enjoys late afternoon sunshine in the summer months. The rattan style furniture is nestled in between an abundance of greenery. It is a cozy retreat that transports you far away from the hustle of the city. Diners can enjoy alfresco drinking and dining from lunch to dinner. There is a full menu of bespoke cocktails and a bar menu full of South American-inspired dishes.
Alto by San Carlo, Selfridges
The ever-popular Alto, which is owned and run by the Italian restaurant brand San Carlo, takes up the rooftop space of Selfridges. Providing a green oasis above the city’s streets, the terrace takes on the feel of an Italian secret garden; floral displays, overhead foliage and trees filled with the Italian citrus fruit chinotto immerse you in the Italian summer vibe, with an accompanying menu of seasonal Italian cuisine to enjoy. Dine on signature dishes like truffle and pecorino ravioli and fillet of seabass cooked in black volcanic salt from Mount Etna, followed by Italian gelato. The terrace regularly hosts residencies throughout the summer months too.