Food & Drink

The Jackal’s Guide to London’s best al fresco terraces

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These winnings formulas offer all you need for a summer’s afternoon well spent

We know what you’re thinking: ‘In weather like this, all I want this afternoon is a Negroni – or something bubbly – on a sun-filled terrace, with a plate of tempting nibbles close at hand’. We do, too. Fortunately, the welcome trend for Mediterranean-inspired living means that al fresco terraces are becoming more common in the capital, which means as smart-thinking Londoners, there are more sophisticated watering holes to drink at than ever. These five stand out for a drink in the sun.

The Barbados Terrace at Camden Roundhouse

What could be better in this heatwave than a Caribbean-themed cocktail terrace in the heart of town? This summer, Camden Roundhouse has teamed up with Mount Gay rum to transform what was previously Camden’s urban beach into a Bajan haven. Think classic rum cocktails, punch bowls for sharing, delicious Caribbean finger food and traditional games from the island like dominoes and road tennis – a high-speed, high-octane sport that mixes lawn and table tennis. It’s the next best thing to actually being in Barbados.

From 12 July to 23 August,

Fiume at Battersea Power Station

If you haven’t been recently, Battersea Power Station’s makeover will have you seriously impressed. Boasting unparalleled views across the Thames, the powers that be have invested in an enticing summer terrace at the foot of power station’s iconic towers . At the heart of it is Fiume, the latest restaurant from Italian uber-chef Francesco Mazzei. It has a large Mediterranean piazza-style terrace, a well-considered aperitivo and cocktail menu, and a delicious selection of Southern Italian dishes to investigate. A great date night location, especially as the sun sets.

Rosewood London’s summer greenhouse

Holborn’s luxurious Rosewood hotel has upped its summer game with a beautiful greenhouse in the middle of the famous Edwardian courtyard. Created in collaboration with The Botanist Gin, the greenhouse comes complete with verdant hanging foliage, pretty floral touches and – most importantly – a cracking cocktail menu. It’s inspired by The Botanist Gin’s use of nine classic botanicals in its gin, all augmented by 22 herbs and flowers foraged by botanical scientists on the Scottish island of Islay, where the gin is made. We’d order the ‘Forager’s Negroni’: The Botanist Gin, infused with eucalyptus, chamomile, Cocchi vermouth and Campari. Summer boltholes don’t get much better than this.

Al fresco terraces

Pomona’s al fresco pergola

We’ve already lauded the delicious menu at Pomona’s, Notting Hill’s stylish Californian-inspired eatery. Now, there’s even more reason to visit with its charming summer terrace, open for al fresco dining and summer cocktails seven days a week. It’s designed as a relaxed summer pergola, with West Coast-inspired pops of colour and lush foliage. Take advantage of the eclectic Californian menu in a balmy outdoor setting this summer, as well as the well-considered drinks menu – the vermouth selection is particularly impressive.

The Goring’s garden terrace

With its timeless English style, The Goring is always a sophisticated choice for an afternoon’s libation. This summer, you can enjoy the hotel’s curated selection of vintage champagne and reserve malt whiskeys al fresco on the terrace, which overlooks an immaculately kept croquet lawn. For a special occasion, there’s also the hotel’s renowned afternoon tea to enjoy, served between 3 and 4pm al fresco, if the weather’s good. Whether it’s your boss or your date, The Goring’s is a summer terrace that’s sure to impress.