Unwind in a green oasis and lap up the sun at one of The Resident’s favourite alfresco dining spaces in Islington and King’s Cross…
1 The Albion, Islington
Think Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. A quaint walled garden sits beside this Georgian pub, with leaves and wisteria spilling down from the trees like waterfalls as shade. The foliage covered back wall and sage coloured garden doors create a historic country home atmosphere. Large bronzed plant pots and hanging baskets with pink flowers combine with period garden lighting to highlight the stone pillars. The Albion boasts a classic English menu that has chalked up a number of awards and recognition, including The Observer Food Monthly award for Best Sunday Lunch in 2009, The Independent’s Top 50 Sunday Lunch Venues and The Guardian’s Best Pubs in the UK.
10 Thornhill Road, Islington N1 1HW; 020 7607 7450; the-albion.co.uk
2 Radici, Angel
The newly launched ‘real’ Italian spot from chef-of-the-moment Francesco Mazzei comes complete with a rustic terrace that oozes romantic country summer aesthetics. Kick back with a glass of red and stone oven baked pizza and enjoy a glorious summer in the heart of Angel, with the buzz of Upper Street within earshot.
30 Almeida Street N1 1AD; 020 7354 4777; radici.uk
3 Rotunda, Regent’s Canal
Perched on the edge of Regent’s Canal, Rotunda’s waterside terrace spans the entire length of the restaurant building, setting the scene for summer with striped red and blue deck chairs and charming views. This summer, the terrace will be transformed into a Botanical Gin Garden, teaming up with some well-known gin brands and growing a garden full of fresh herbs that you can use to garnish your G&T. Enjoy the BBQ while you’re there, with options including the Classic BBQ menu or the Steak & Lobster BBQ, as well as bar platters with burgers and chicken wings, and even picnic baskets to enjoy with friends.
90 York Way, Regent’s Canal N1 9AG; 020 7014 2840; rotundabarandrestaurant.co.uk
4 Drake & Morgan, King’s Cross
The latest venture from the D&M collection shares the same building as Google and is all about sleek modernity on the outside. Neon orange chairs stand next to Brutalist concrete planters housing desert-esque shrubs and mosses. Organisms resembling plants of the Middle East and the African dragon blood and murala trees in miniature form surround the outdoor dining area. The neighbouring trees are mirrored in the huge shiny glass windows of Drake and Morgan, cleverly making the outdoor space feel bigger. It’s perfect for people-watching those milling about Pancras Square.
6 Pancras Square N1C 4AG; 0845 468 0107; drakeandmorgan.co.uk
5 Smokehouse, Islington
This restaurant looks like a vintage doll’s house that has swallowed a whole bottle of Alice in Wonderland’s ‘Drink Me’ cordial. The outside space is enclosed inside four walls of tall green hedges via a quaint leafy arch. Heart shaped metal chairs in distressed white circle the round tables and a chiminea at the far end keeps any evening chill at bay. Grab a spot in the comfy cushioned banquets and enjoy a cold jug of Pimm’s while contemplating the menu of dishes like cous cous with roasted cauliflower, smoked labneh and rose harissa, rare-breed burger with Korean pulled pork and market fish with smoked mussel chowder.
63-69 Canonbury Road, Islington N1 2DG; 020 7354 1144; smokehouseislington.co.uk
6 Thyme & Lemon, Angel
A staple tapas spot along Upper Street, Thyme & Lemon quickly became a local crowd favourite shortly after opening. The bright yellows, reclaimed wood and exposed brickwork take your thoughts to the Spanish coastline at the peak of summer. Think sangria, happy hour, tantalising sharing plates and watching Angel come alive as the sun bursts into full bloom.
139 Upper Street N1 1QP; 020 7704 6855; thymeandlemon.co.uk
7 Skip Garden Kitchen, King’s Cross
Go back to basics surrounded by greenery and vegetables planted in industrial skips. Located on Tapper Walk with a rustic greenhouse aesthetic, this quirky spot is in the heart of the King’s Cross redevelopment. Almost everything is grown on site, from the fresh spinach to the crunchy chickpea croutons, so pop yourself at one of the reclaimed wooden tables among vibrantly coloured flowers and enjoy a seasonal menu of organic, as-local-as-it-gets produce. You won’t forget that you’re in the city for a second, yet you still feel like you are experiencing an off-grid slice of Londonshire.
1 Tapper Walk, King’s Cross N1C 4AQ; globalgeneration.org.uk
8 Caravan, King’s Cross
Located among the cool crowd offering of King’s Cross, dining in Caravan’s outdoor space allows you to enjoy sunny views of Granary Square in its entirety, droplets from the artsy water feature subtly cooling the air. Caravan brings Hackney hipster vibes to the heart of King’s Cross, with all your brunch favourites on offer.
1 Granary Square, King’s Cross N1C 4AA; 020 7101 7661; caravanrestaurants.co.uk