City-boys and gals will be loosening their ties and unbuttoning their top collars at Cinnamon Kitchen this summer: its partially alfresco terrace lends itself oh-so-well to crisp, after-work glasses of wine and Indian-inspired, spice-infused cocktails in the City. Just a short stroll from Liverpool Street, the beautifully appointed decking in Devonshire Square makes for the perfect pit-stop after a difficult day at work. Pair a Ghandi’s Gimlet – gin, lime, sugar and lychee – with a sharing slate of Galouti lamb sliders to really take the edge off.
With its terrace providing the ideal people-watching perch off Abbeville Road, Adam Byatt’s casual neighbourhood restaurant Bistro Union is a firm favourite during warmer months. Whether you pop down for lunch or dinner during the week, or brunch over the weekend, you’ll have to be quick to secure your spot outside at this buzzing Clapham stalwart. Once seated, enjoy a cooling Blood Orange Vodka & Lemonade or a little something you left in one of the bottle lockers on a previous visit. Alternatively, the deep-sea mussels cooked in Perry go beautifully with a glass of white.
Pub grub goes gourmet at The Ship – recently refurbished and looking suitably shipshape for the balmier months ahead. The iconic Wandsworth pub has completely redesigned its outdoor sun-trap terrace with its all-new Doolali Bar and stylish riverside cabins for private hire. Diners looking to make a splash can even dock at the pub’s private mooring – an entrance if ever there was one! Grab a 21-day aged British beef burger or a slab of West Country pork ribs from the state-of-the-art American flat grill and enjoy with a chilled craft ale on the riverside decking. Just add friends.
The Windsor Castle
With soft planting, fairy lights and plentiful seating, as well as gas heaters and blankets for those not-so-balmy English evenings, The Windsor Castle’s much-loved garden is sure to become the alfresco spot du summer. From 6th-9th June, the Kensington institution will be hosting its first Ale Festival featuring 24 guest beers from 24 UK brewers, food and beer matching evenings and outdoor ale racks to make supping in the sun even easier.
Italians do a lot of things better, and it seems this is true of picnics. Just for warmer days, Carluccio’s has created the perfect picnic hamper to grab-and-go. Priced at just £45 each, the hampers are packed full of freshly prepared regional Italian dishes. The Classic contains an elegant edit of Italy’s finest – from a selection of antipasti to a summery, chicken supreme main of petto di pollo in crosta di erbe – whilst the Vegetarian contains the likes of roast peppers stuffed with aubergine. There’s even a hamper for bambinos, made up of fuss-free fare. Order 24 hours in advance or pick up the chef’s choice on the day.
Rent a roof-down classic and head to boutique hotel Titchwell Manor on the sweeping Norfolk coastline. Here, out-of-towners can enjoy ocean-fresh seafood courtesy of head chef Eric Snaith, who has crafted an exquisite modern European menu truly deserving of its three AA rosettes. Enjoy the likes of Brancaster mussels with a crisp glass of white on the terrace while overlooking the stunning coastline, or doorstop-sized Aberdeen Angus steaks seared on the barbecue and served with hand-cut chips and a glass of red. The best bit? Retiring to your well-appointed room upstairs, or indeed the stand-alone Potting Shed in the garden complete with private decking for more sunshine-soaking.
Twelve floors up, Skylounge is one of the sexiest spots to sip and savour a cocktail alfresco in the City. Secreted away atop the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, the sweeping 180-degree vistas afforded by its outdoor terraces – view the gleaming shape of the Shard shimmering on the London skyline – makes it a favourite for hazy days. Cocktail connoisseurs come early to snap up a table on the South Terrace and enjoy legendary mojitos – made using a fiercely guarded secret recipe – against a backdrop of Tower Bridge and the Thames.
Nobody likes to go straight home after work once temperatures soar, and when such hedonism beckons, The Parlour provides the perfect playpen. Soak up the sunset with a side of people-watching and a game of ping-pong amongst the chic comfort of the expansive terrace. A menu of daily changing dishes includes fresh seafood, punchy salads and gourmet burgers from the barbecue. It’s no surprise then, that come clocking-off time, discerning drinkers and diners save themselves a spot in the sun and enjoy a refreshing cocktail or three. Well-deserved, of course.