London’s most wow-worthy outdoor terraces. Because when the sun's out, so should you be.
Summer’s nearly here, and with temperatures soaring and the days and nights slowly getting longer and brighter, it’s finally time to make the most of being outdoors.
There’s certainly no shortage of ourdoor beer gardens and rooftop terraces in London, and they’re getting increasingly more stylish by the minute. And with new kids on the block such as Soho House White City and Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden popping up across the city, we’re spoiled for choice.
Here’s our definitive guide to some of the most stylish outdoor terraces in London.
Five years since it’s opened and Marylebone’s Chiltern Firehouse is still as buzzing as ever. Aside from being London’s most glamorous and notorious spot for people-watching, Chiltern Firehouse has a gorgeous terrace, perfect for afternoon cocktails.
PETERSHAM NURSERIES COVENT GARDEN
If, like us, you’re a fan of the Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, you’ll be happy to hear that the brand has expanded into WC1 with two new restaurants and a lovely courtyard terrace. The interiors are, as expected, divine. The aptly named Floral Court is a central courtyard oasis, surrounded by evergreen walls, combining English country charm with classic, Italian elegance.
IVY CHELSEA GARDEN
When the sun’s out, few places beat The Ivy’s garden. Housed in a grade II-listed building, The Ivy Chelsea Garden on King’s Road has both a terrace and an orangery. Trailing wisteria and climbing roses adorn the garden’s pergolas, stone clad fountains and leafy trellises. The garden is part of the restaurant, so guests will need to order food in order to have a table or seat at the bar. But you don’t hear us complaining.
At the other end of the outdoors spectrum is the super trendy and dog-friendly Fulham pop-up Neverland Beach. Fulham’s first Thameside beach spot, it’s complete with beachy day beds (with optional butler service), striped beach huts and palm trees. You’re also welcome to bring your own food and drink, not that you’ll want to with all the street food style stalls dotted around.
RITZ RESTAURANT TERRACE
Forget the Ritz’s chintzy tea rooms and glittering chandeliers, their outdoor terrace is as relaxed as it comes (well, by Ritz standards) with striped awnings, potted plants and gorgeously leafy views.
CHISWICK FIRE STATION
Not to be confused with Chiltern Fire House, Chiswick Fire Station is minimalist style restaurant with a particularly lovely courtyard, perfect for balmy summer evenings.
NO 29 POWER STATION WEST
Dubbed the new Southbank, we hear Battersea Thameside is becoming rather up-and-coming, with plenty new restaurants and bars popping up along the river. No 29 Power Station West, part of the neighbourhood bar group, Darwin & Wallace, has a compact but chic riverside terrace with a leafy pergola. Plus it’s accessible via the Thames Clipper – bonus.
THE BOUNDARY PROJECT
With a newly designed garden including a canopy of grape-producing vines, and one of the best views of London’s skyline, it’s no wonder that Shoreditch’s The Boundary Project is East London’s favourite rooftop hotspot.
Yes, even Canary Wharf has a sun-drenched rooftop. Up on the 39th floor, far, far away from the madding crowds, Bōkan’s all-weather open-air terrace sports some seriously panoramic views. Kick-back with sundowner cocktails and listen to chill-out lounge on cushion-covered daybeds.
PETERSHAM NURESERIES RICHMOND
Petersham Nurseries may have launched a beautiful outpost in Covent Garden – but it’s still hard to beat its original site in Richmond when it comes to al fresco dining. Nestled in between the foliage, plant pots and greenhouses, with earth floors and geranium-filled urns, it’s an idyllic spot even when the sun takes a day off.
Befriend a member and take a sunset dip in London’s favourite rooftop pool. This east London warehouse-turned hip private members’ club is seriously worth trying to blag your way in somehow.
SOHO HOUSE WHITE CITY
Or, leave the crowds behind at Shoreditch House and flock to new kid on the block in up-and-coming White City, Shepherds Bush (or “Shey Boo” as the locals apparently refer to it). With a palm studded terrace, Palm Springs-inspired rooftop bar with a 17m long pool and even an Electric Cinema in the basement, as expected, it’s pretty fabulous.
TRAFALGAR ST JAMES
The reopening of the former Trafalgar Hotel has given Londoners another central rooftop bar watering hole to add to their hit-list. It’s suitably stylish, plus with views over Trafalgar Square.
NO 1 DUKE STREET RICHMOND
Tucked away in leafy Richmond, this super-chic pub isn’t your typical London pub. The high ceilings and marble bar give it an Insta-worthy look, and the courtyard has pretty fairy lights making it the perfect West London spot for alfresco dining.