Dining al fresco is one of life's simple pleasures. Although we may not always be blessed with the finest weather, us Brits do like to stay positive and make the most of it...while it lasts.
From a hidden gem in Soho to 1950's Bombay inspired courtyard, here's our pick of the 10 best restaurants in the capital to spend the balmy summer days (and nights).
Named after the first steam train to run on the original East London line, Beagle is a restaurant, cocktail bar and café that resides within three renovated railway arches below Hoxton Overground.
Considered one of the best locations to absorb the sunshine, order from their daily changing menu (brimming with seasonal ingredients) and while away the hours with a glass of their seriously lethal martini.
397-400 Geffrye St, London E2 8HZ, beaglelondon.co.uk
Golden Square and Soho Square may be the ultimate destination for the media types who fancy a quick bite in the sun, but when every inch of the grass has been taken up it’s not an ideal destination if you want a lengthy lunch in the sun.
For central Soho, this modern European eatery has a surprisingly spacious courtyard. The menu is changed on a monthly basis ensuring they only use the finest seasonal ingredients to match their artisan wines.
49 Lexington St, London W1F 9AP, aurorasoho.co.uk
Located in a Grade II-listed Georgian Building, away from the hustle and bustle of Clerkenwell Road is The Modern Pantry.
Boasting an extensive menu inspired by chef Anna Hansen’s global adventures (Danish ancestry, spent her childhood in New Zealand and now lives in the UK) the eatery also has a pretty impressive alfresco dining area. An ideal spot for people watching, we recommend you head over on the weekend for an extended brunch in the sun.
47-48 St John's Square, Clerkenwell, EC1V 4JJ, themodernpantry.co.uk
Those looking to recreate their Mediterranean break should look no further than this nautical themed seafood restaurant situated on the Gran Union Canal.
Tuck into a fresh plates of popcorn shrimp with sweet chilli sauce, New England clam chowder or lemon sole with sautéed new potatoes as you enjoy the summer breeze beside the glimmering water.
60 Blomfield Rd, London W9 2PA, thesummerhouse.co
Through the ruthless work of the Kings Cross regeneration project, what was once an industrial wasteland has been transformed into one of the largest pedestrian-only squares.
The brainchild of chef Bruno Loubet and boutique hotels The Zetter Group, French eatery Grain Store boasts a great outdoor space overlooking Regent’s Canal and The Shard (not forgetting the soon-to-be- Google building) – giving the grounds of Somerset House a serious run for their money.
Granary Square, 1-3 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB, grainstore.com
Since opening in 1987, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers have been serving up immaculate Anglo-Italian dishes to the affluent London crowd.
With its ideal riverside location, guests can sit in the garden and dine on antipasti of bruschetta with fresh Devon crab, peas, spinacini & Aioli, surrounded by their fresh herbs, flowers (edible) and salads.
Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, London W6 9HA, rivercafe.co.uk
With antique armchairs, sofas and shelves stacked with books, this comfortable indoor-outdoor courtyard at Dishoom is a true hidden gem in the heart of Shoreditch.
Head over for a breakfast feast of Bacon Naan and Chai Tea or soak up the sun with a glass of Chaijito – smoky rum and Dishoom sweet-spice chai syrup with fresh mint, coriander, ginger and lime and a Lamb Raan Bun – slow cooked lamb piled onto a sourdough bun.
Boundary St, London E2 7JE, dishoom.com
Located directly opposite Clapham Common Underground, it’s hard to miss this neighbourhood restaurant.
The ultimate date destination, this quirky South London haunt has an attractive courtyard adorned with fairy lights and potted plants as well as heaters for those feeling the evening chill. Offering a Modern European cuisine, we like the sound of the hand rolled giant ravioli stuffed with four cheeses with tomato gremolata, fresh rocket and parmesan shavings.
9 Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 7AA, metroclapham.com
A stone’s throw from Green Park, classic French Restaurant Boulestin conceals a striking Georgian courtyard.
Enter via the restaurant dining room or through an 18th century oak-paneled tunnel on St James’s Street and feast on summery dishes of artichoke salad with fennel, tomatoes, rocket, preserved lemons and capers or head over for a hearty English Breakfast underneath the giant white umbrellas.
5 St James's St, London SW1A 1EF, boulestin.com
A D&D venture – whose restaurants include Bluebird Chelsea and Coq D’Argent, just to name a few – this is a no-nonsense establishment that offers a generous selection of meat dishes along with killer views of St Paul’s Cathedral.
For those looking to cure their hangover in the sun, head over to the Chop House on Sunday for a glass of their Mary Dry Bloody Mary (dry sherry) and hearty Sunday roast.
1 Warwick Court, Paternoster Square, London EC4M 7DX, paternosterchophouse.co.uk