5 London restaurants with fabulous garden settings
When the sun is shining and spring is in the air, what better way to greet the warmer weather than with some alfresco dining? If you’re looking for a restaurant with a spectacular garden setting in London, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
While the UK capital has an enviable selection of restaurants to cater for all tastes and preferences, it’s not all about the food. Over the years, restaurant interiors have played an increasingly important role to create the perfect envelope and just right ambience that will entice customers to book.
More recently, outdoor spaces have caught up too. Suddenly, tucked away terraces and pergolas, conservatories and orangeries, roof gardens and country settings are high in demand, allowing us to wine and dine surrounded by lush greenery and far from the madding crowd.
No doubt inspired by the creative genius of many Chelsea Flower Show award winning gardens, landscaping and garden design for hospitality venues and restaurants is now big business.
Here are 5 dining venues in London that have got it just right.
- Petersham Nurseries
A stone’s throw from Richmond Park in the gardens of Petersham House, what was once a dilapidated nursery has been carefully nurtured back to life and now houses an inspirational fusion concept of café and restaurant alongside a thriving garden centre.
The unashamedly romantic ambience stems from the lush greenery all around, earth floor, rare plants and rustic chic furniture and accessories. It’s a magic mix between shopping and eating, retail therapy and relaxation, set in a tucked away location near that iconic bit of Arcadian Thames that you can see from the top of Richmond Hill.
Run by the Boglione family who settled in Petersham in the 1970s, the restaurant finally opened in 2004 under the guidance of Australian chef Skye Gyngell who took Petersham Nurseries to Michelin star fame in 2012. The menu is all about seasonal food imaginatively presented, following the principles of slow food and zero food mile ingredients.
‘Petersham Nurseries has created a place of calm where you can reconnect with nature, restoring a sense of balance and space. By celebrating aspects of the home, garden and food, we offer a destination that encourages you to step back and embrace a lifestyle of positive living.’
Source: Salt London
- Clos Maggiore
Voted the world’s most romantic restaurant and hotel and set in the heart of London’s Covent Garden, Clos Maggiore is a haven of peace and tranquillity. In particular, it has the most gorgeous conservatory with a fully retractable glass roof – wonderful in summer – that evokes the magic of Narnia and makes you forget all about the hustle and bustle of the Central London location.
The main attraction is a huge flowering cherry tree that stretches from floor to ceiling imbuing the room with a unique atmosphere that is visually stunning and simply indescribable.
There’s horticultural splendour aplenty, beautiful wood panelling and the obligatory open fire along with interiors that are surely inspired by French and Italian country traditions. At night and during the colder months, candles, starlight and a crackling fire ensure that the romantic vibe is turned up to the max.
The food is fabulously French and AA rosette decorated, with a commitment to local and seasonal produce and one of the greatest wine lists in the capital.
- The Ivy Chelsea Garden
Located just off Kings Road, nestled among high end shops, The Ivy Chelsea Garden is a breath of fresh air and one of the capital’s most magical garden restaurants. No wonder that it’s a favourite with VIPs and celebrities.
Part of The Ivy family, there’s an aura of approachable sophistication mingled with familiar luxury. A standout feature is the gorgeous garden, smartly painted pergola, beautifully decorated terrace and stylish orangery that turn this restaurant into a truly bucolic venue that belies its urban location.
From the façade covered in ivy to the secret walled garden adorned with climbing roses, more ivy, wisteria, bloom filled terracotta pots and a central stone water feature, the vibe couldn’t be more traditional English. Take a pew on antique chairs with blue-and-white striped cushions as you peruse the all-day British menu. And if you’re worried about the British weather, there’s a retractable roof over the terrace providing peace of mind all year round.
- Ham Yard Hotel
High above the roofs of Soho and with panoramic views over the London skyline, this 4th floor leafy rooftop garden belongs to Ham Yard Hotel and is a peaceful spot away from the hectic life below. There are Whitman benches with upholstered seating and a bar set among flowers, olive, apple and pear trees. Notice the raised beds made from railway sleepers and picket fencing where herbs and vegetables are grown for the restaurant kitchen.
Towards the rear of the garden are two bee hives surrounded by bee friendly plants. The hives are tended and managed by the resident beekeeper using eco-friendly methods and producing a local honey with a wonderfully complex flavour, which is used by the bar staff in the cocktail menu
A spectacular Central London venue, the Roof Terrace is reserved for the exclusive use of the hotel’s guests. However, it is also available for exclusive private hire. Look out for special public pop-up events throughout the year.
Source: Time Out
- Dalloway Terrace
One of London’s most instagrammed terraces, Dalloway Terraces in Bloomsbury is a hidden gem of a restaurant and an elegant, poetic and quintessentially English space serving light breakfasts, brunch, Afternoon Tea and all-day favourites.
It’s named after the eponymous character created by one of Bloomsbury’s own, Virginia Woolf, while the venue itself is teeming with the memory of literary residents gone by.
Located a stone’s throw from Tottenham Court Road underground station, Dalloway Terrace expertly combines indoors and outdoors into a wonderful venue where you can easily while away the hours. The terrace is draped in foliage to create an elegant alfresco dining space for the warmer months. The terrace is fully heated and has a retractable roof, so you can dine there all year round. At night, twinkly fairy lights entwined in the wisteria make the place extra cosy.
Source: Book A Table