So, this summer is more of a non-event rather than a stonking hot corker. Still, you have to make the most of it right? And if nothing says summer like alfresco drinking and dining, then nothing says British summer like alfresco drinking and dining with the chance of rain. So if you find yourself west London way hankering and want to give August a good college go, here’s a few terraces and rooftops we think are pretty great…
Photo: The Kensington Hotel
1 The Veranda at The Kensington Hotel
Set among the Regency homes of South Kensington, the Veranda is the new, all-day alfresco eating space at the regal hotel, that features flower arrangements by McQueens Florists. Embracing the aperitif, a selection of champagne aperitifs and hors d’oeuvres are available from midday, and has a special menu of light dishes including Jersey Rock oysters in shallot vinaigrette; grilled tiger prawns in garlic butter; and tuna tartare, in addition to a fuller European menu. As a summer pop-up, the Veranda has a Live Oyster Bar, running every Friday and Saturday until late September. From 5pm-8pm, guests can enjoy oysters by the dozen or half-dozen with a glasses of Perrier-Jouet Champagne. Available for walk-ins as well as bookings.
109-113 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, SW7 5LP; doylecollection.com
2 Bluebird Café, White City
Bluebird, a Chelsea landmark of 20 years on the Kings Road, launched Bluebird Café at Television Centre, the significant new development in White City in April 2018. The regeneration of the area following the BBC’s departure has opened up the location to residents and revellers, and Bluebird Café W12 has a lovely outdoor terrace from which to take it all in. Enjoy coffees, cocktails and the best of British all-day dining menu as you bask in the west London sunshine.
2 Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane W12 7RF; bluebirdcafe.co.uk
3 Pergola Paddington
Pergola Paddington has returned as a sunny summery paradise. The roof is off, there’s alfresco seating for 850 diners, as well as bookable daybeds and DJs will be playing summer tunes all weekend. There’s a brand-new bottomless brunch on Sundays and four new foodie establishments: Babek Brothers, serving kebabs and halloumi fries; Honi Poké, delivering fresh bowls; spicy wonton dumplings from An Choi; and Smash Patty, a new burger concept from the guys behind Patty & Bun. Open Wednesday to Sunday, the two floors of this vibrant space will be the perfect summer spot.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central W2 6PY; pergolalondon.com
4 Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Terrace, Knightsbridge
Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Terrace is a great spot for summer drinks and dining. Look out for seasonal transformations – currently it’s the Beluga Summer Terrace offering vodka martinis, spritzes and guest chef brunches on the terrace. The Beluga Summer Terrace runs until August 29.
109-125 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ; harveynichols.com
5 No 197 Chiswick Fire Station, Chiswick
No 197 Chiswick Fire Station is a destination bar that pays homage to the history and community, and also has a lovely walled garden out back. Set well away from the bustle of the Chiswick High Road, the white-washed garden is a lovely serene spot that’s flooded with sunlight by day, making it an ideal for a relaxed weekend brunch, while the early evening lends itself to a chic aperitif.
197 Chiswick High Road W4 2DR; no197chiswickfirestation.com
6 The Prince, West Brompton
The Prince – part pub, part street-food hub – returns for its second summer season, this time with a retractable roof to create quite the suntrap in its expansive rear pub garden. The venue, which boasts three bars and four pop-up restaurants, has been given a vibrant new English Summer Garden makeover, complete with masses of seasonal flowers and foliage. New to the line-up of independent eateries include Homeslice pizza, and Jefferies fried and grilled chicken, alongside old favourites Patty & Bun and Edu. Every Monday to Friday, from 4pm-7pm, take advantage of 2-for-1 including Gin Botancials, Summer Spritzers, Cocktails and bottled Peroni.
7 Dinings SW3, Chelsea
Chelsea Japanese restaurant Dinings SW3 has a lovely terrace for a tranquil city escape this summer, tucked away with the courtyard walls. Located just minutes from the bustle of Harrods and South Kensington’s museums, it’s a great spot to enjoy the summer incarnation of the restaurant’s elegant take on the Japanese Izakaya.
Lennox Garden Mews, Chelsea SW3 2JH; dinings.co.uk/sw3
8 Pantechnicon, Mayfair
Pantechnicon is an impressive new destination on Motcomb Street with three options for alfresco dining, one being a glorious roof garden. Located on the top floor, the roof garden terrace offers views across the terracotta rooftops of Knightsbridge, with both indoor and outdoor areas. Open every day from 9am for coffee and pastries, the 70-plus cover roof garden serves an all-day menu from downstairs Nordic restaurant Eldr, as well as a weekend brunch and feasting menu.
19 Motcomb Street, Mayfair SW1X 8LB; pantechnicon.com
9 The Waterway, Maida Vale
One of the loveliest terraces in west London for sure, The Waterway’s expansive alfresco space sits right next to the Grand Union Canal, making it the perfect stop-off for summer strollers (it’s just two minutes from Little Venice). A great spot for everything from brunch to Sunday roasts and cocktails, there’s even a specific terrace menu with a selection of gins, summer jugs of Pimm’s and Sangria, as well as tasty dishes like squid, steak and Ceasar salad alongside.
54 Formosa Street W9 2JU; thewaterway.co.uk
10 Skylark Roof Garden, Little Venice
Skylark Roof Garden, located 10 floors up on the banks of Little Venice, is a great rooftop drinking and dining destination with an enviable vista over Notting Hill and the west London skyline and ample space for 180 people. The menu features flavour-packed dishes full of the best seasonal ingredients, such as sauté of mussels, clams and tiger prawns, and the drink of choice is champagne. You can even hire a lavish day beds for sunny weekends, with guest DJs playing late into the evening. Open weekends only.
10th Floor, 4 Kingdom Street W2 6BD; skylarkroofgarden.co.uk