The best al fresco dining spots to hit post-lockdown

As of 12 April, parks are out and al fresco dining is in, and we can’t wait! London is a smorgasbord of delicious, multi-flavoured eateries and culinary delights, so we’ve rounded up the best of the bunch to help you eat your way out of lockdown.

Parillan – King’s Cross

Perched among the greenery on the upper level of Coal Drops Yard is Spanish alfresco terrace bar and grill, Parrillan. The hook here is the ‘parillas’: mini charcoal grills with white-hot coals for you to cook your own ingredients. Elegant slices of beef picanha, fat bright red carabinero prawns and juicy red peppers are all pre-seasoned and ready for you to chargrill and bring out that mouth-watering deliciousness. (Photo by Greg Funnell).

Gaucho – Tower Bridge

You’ll struggle to find a better view along the Southbank than at Gaucho’s Tower Bridge restaurant. Nestled between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, the restaurant’s terrace offers a tranquil yet sophisticated experience with beautiful views across the River Thames. Thames – perfect for the Argentinian feast that the restaurant is renowned for. Tower Bridge’s terrace now boasts two brand-new weatherproof dining pods.

Mercato Metropolitano – Elephant & Castle

For an afterwork beer and bite to eat in a relaxed environment, Mercato Metropolitano has always been one of our favourites. The lively food and drink metropolis is home to more than 40 food and drink vendors – dine around the world with dishes from Italy to Japan, Colombia to Germany, Vietnam to Argentina. Don’t forget to check out the on-site micro-brewery German Kraft, and a distillery from sustainable urban gin, Jim and Tonic.

Arabica – King’s Cross

Facing King’s Cross’ Lewis Cubitt Park, the Arabica terrace is perfectly placed to catch the last few rays of sunshine in the evening. The food is modern Middle Eastern, with dishes drawing inspiration from sun-soaked Levantine – hot, fluffy flatbreads, salty halloumi, creamy hummus, smokey aubergine and sweet little jewels of pomegranate, all designed to be shared and very, very moreish.

Plaza Pastor, King’s Cross

For laid-back fun, Plaza Pastor is hard to beat. The heated space is a riot of fun, Mexicana colours and the food is deliciously authentic. It’s a permanent outdoor venue, so it is fully covered – which could make all the difference on a rainy night. Try the classics – tacos, tortillas and fat tortas buns filled with meat and veggies from the robata grill. Drinks are heavy on the tequila – including their own batch mezcal.

Mortimer House – Fitzrovia

For a return to sophisticated dining, Mortimer House Kitchen is for you. Nestled in the heart of Fitzrovia, the restaurant serves simple and irresistible Mediterranean plates, with rich Middle Eastern spicing peppered throughout. With a chic weatherproof awning and cosy heaters, it’s the perfect spot to people-watch during Aperitivo hour.

45 Jermyn St – St. James’s

For the ultimate in fine dining, visit 45 Jermyn St., Fortnum & Mason’s destination restaurant located in the heart of St. James’s. The restaurant’s outdoor terrace brings exquisite dining services and an innovative combination of familiar favourites and delicious surprises across an exceptional menu this spring, spotlighting the Asparagus with fresh new dishes showcasing the ingredient in all its glory.