With the advent of warmer weather comes the promise of lazy days spent sipping Pimm’s in the sunshine and feasting on fresh, colourful produce in the open air. Leading the life bucolic doesn’t have to mean escaping the city: London is full of glorious green spaces where you can drink and dine alfresco. Here are five of our favourites…
BEST FOR COFFEE AND CAKE
The Serpentine Galleries’ Zaha Hadid-designed café, with its curved glass walls and expansive outdoor terrace, is the perfect place to enjoy your morning latte while admiring the views of Hyde Park. Try the rhubarb and vanilla French toast for a weekend treat.
BEST FOR BRUNCH
The garden at the back of this European-style brasserie is an oasis of calm amid the bustle of Spitalfields market. Visit for Sunday brunch and wrestle with your conscience between healthy avocado on toast and a naughty-but-nice bacon and fried-egg sandwich, best washed down with a Bloody Mary.
BEST FOR AFTERNOON TEA
Whether or not you choose to brave the (unheated) outdoor swimming pool, the Lido Café is worth a trip for its idyllic poolside setting and wide-ranging menu. Come teatime, there’s a tempting selection of baked goods, including an excellent gluten-free orange, almond and polenta cake.
BEST FOR COCKTAILS
Perched on a deckchair on this enormous terrace overlooking Regent’s Canal, it’s hard to believe you’re moments from one of London’s busiest stations. This summer, the venue will be transformed into a botanical gin garden full of fresh herbs that you can use to garnish your refreshing post-work G&T.
BEST FOR ALL-DAY DINING
Occupying a peaceful position between Putney and Barnes, this neighbourhood café has just had a summer makeover, with more dining space than ever on its brightly decorated patio. The eclectic menu features everything from Turkish pide to Mediterranean-style moules frites, not forgetting the delicious selection of wood-fired pizzas.