After months of flooding summer is finally here and throughout the West End restaurateurs are opening the shutters to embrace the clement climes and soak up the season’s inimitable ambience.
Restaurants with seductive suntrap pavements, gardens, courtyards, balconies, rooftops and terraces heave with happy diners whetting their appetites with alfresco feasts. But there are only a handful of venues in the West End that truly seize the opportunity to dish up outdoors, and I’ve discovered where they are.
Chez Gérard at the Opera Terrace
The Opera Terrace, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 8RF
Tel: 020 7379 0666
Chez Gérard’s 1930s Parisian-inspired brassiere features a stunning alfresco dining area with a superb French wine list that is reasonably priced. Whether you are visiting for lunch or dinner, Chez Gérard is ideal for outdoor dining in Covent Garden.
Charlotte Street Hotel
15-17 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia W1T 1RJ
Tel: 020 7806 2000
A former town house that has been luxuriously converted into a boutique hotel, this sophisticated venue’s street-front terrace is the perfect place for people watching.
The Sanderson Hotel
50 Berners Street, Fitzrovia W1T 3NG
Tel: 020 7300 1400
Fitzrovia’s lavish urban oasis features a private courtyard garden where guests can drink, dine or simply relax in this hip hotel’s private sanctuary with fountains, mosaics, plant life and a pond.
8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, Mayfair W1S 1EY
Tel: 020 7659 1500
Enjoy your salmon sashimi and steamed mussels al fresco in this brassiere’s sun-filled courtyard. Hush’s restaurant and bar just off Bond Street is an idyllic spot to relax after a day’s retail therapy.
25 Heddon Street, Mayfair W1B 4BH
Tel: 020 7434 4040
This hidden gem just off Regent Street remains at the pinnacle of the North African dining scene. In the summer months visitors can unwind on the terraces outside the restaurant or next door at Mo’s Moroccan tearoom and bazaar.
No. 5 Cavendish Square
5 Cavendish Square, Fitzrovia W1G 0PG
Tel: 0871 0757349
A particular bonus of this opulent cocktail bar and restaurant is the rear patio garden that provides a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, and is surprisingly peaceful during the day.
Century Roof Garden
61- 63 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho W1D 6LQ
Tel: 020 7534 3080
Situated on the forth floor on Shaftesbury Avenue overlooking the greenery and foliage of St. Anne’s Church, Century’s rooftop terrace offers exclusive outdoor dining. You’ll have to book ahead to get a spot on sunny days – oh, and you have to be a member.
Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, W1
Tucked away between Monmouth Street and Shorts Gardens, and surrounded by wholesome bakeries, delis and cafés, Neal’s Yard is one of Covent Garden’s best kept secrets. Grab a bite to eat and soak up the atmosphere – and the rays.