The Best Places To Eat Outside In London

From canal-side grazing to rooftop dining: the capital's best al fresco dining

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Groucho Marx once proclaimed, "I hate London when it's not raining." Evidently, he hadn't sipped on a G&T on the Boundary Rooftop. Admittedly the summer months can turn London into a scramble for outdoor seating, but there's still plenty of sun-traps you can enjoy the weather in.

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Whether it's grabbing a slice of pizza on the canal in Hackney or venturing to Petersham nurseries for Michelin-star food and breathing room, if you can't afford to quaff bubbly on Lake Como or break bread in Provence, here's the next best thing.

Beagle

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 lethal martini.

397-400 Geffrye St, London E2 8HZ, beaglelondon.co.uk

Canal no 5

Perched canal-side in Islington, this unassuming all day restaurant is perfect for a spot in the sun to watch the world go by. Their new head chef offers up all-day brunch and changing daily specials like asparagus, pea and hummus tartine, elderflower cured salmon and watermelon gazpacho with feta and black olives. All with reasonable prices and a relaxed atmosphere, get down before there's no seats left.

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Off Danbury Street, N1 8PZ, CanalNo5

Megan's

This unspoiled gem in South-West London boasts reasonably priced food and with decent portion sizes too. Most importantly the garden area is a small oasis in the summer and come evening it's alit with fairy lights and the checkered tables creak under bottles of wine and wooden slabs piled high with seafood and steak. The perfect meeting place for a group of friends or a date.

571 King's Rd, Fulham, London SW6 2EB, megans.co.uk

Petersham Nurseries

Nestled between leafy Richmond and idyllic Ham, this suburban eatery feels miles away from the overrun stresses of central London. Eat in the main restaurant which is where chef Skye Gyngell earned a Michelin Star, or wander around the garden centre surrounding it and grab a pitstop lunch that includes soup, salads, quiches and cake in the renovated teahouse.

Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB, petershamnurseries.com

The Boundary Rooftop

If the weather is even passable, the Boundary's roof restaurant is a slice of Southern France that you'd never believe was in Zone 1. The menus adjust to celebrate seasonal ingredients but delicious fresh produce and a great view are always guaranteed. A word of warning, you might have to be dragged down it's so peaceful up there.

9 Redchurch St, London, E16, The Boundary,

The Modern Pantry

Located in a Grade II-listed Georgian Building, The Modern Pantry boasts 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

Dalloway Terrace

Named after Virginia Woolf's eponymous book and set in the heart of Bloomsbury, Dalloway Terrace is a pocket of London's history that is hard to beat on a bright summer day. The secluded secret garden is a pocket of escapism in the middle of London with an all-day menu of Instagrammable delights.

16-22 Great Russell St, Fitzrovia, London WC1B 3NN, dallowayterrace.com

Crate Brewery

If you can fight your way through the East London beards and fixie bikes, Crate Brewery is where to set up camp this summer. The micro-brewery offers a vast selection of craft beers and their inventive pizza menu includes toppings like Middle Eastern lamb or sage and truffle. Not the most picturesque outdoor space in London, but the perfect place to park up for an evening of fun.

The white building, Queen's Yard, London E9 5EN, cratebrewery.com