Look, all you’re asking for is an excuse to wear one of the twelve holiday ‘lewks’ you optimistically purchased last April and drink an overpriced cocktail containing coconut and rum. Of course getting a selfie in the ocean or a halfway decent tan would be an added bonus, but right now you’d settle for any experience that makes you feel like you’ve broken free of lockdown London.
That’s where these terraces come in. These are the spots with enough foliage, sunshine-feel seafood, and cocktails to make you feel like you’re a million miles away from that room you’ve spent the past year quietly rotting in. Onwards for big vacation meal potential.
Number 90 Bar Restaurant
How many swimsuits did we buy during a national lockdown in a country with weather like cat piss and zero chance of a holiday? Eight. That’s right, eight. The likelihood of us being able to sunbathe in them in the near future is pretty minimal, but in honour of our growing army of swimwear, we have decided to spend every nice day in London water-adjacent. At the top of our list is Number 90, a canalside spot that has the feel good atmosphere of every beach restaurant you wander into for a 4pm lunch (cocktails) with your swimsuit still dripping from the sea. Expect big burgers, upbeat music, craft beer, and a long list of cocktails.
There is a tiny red alarm button in our brain labelled ‘BOUGIE FUN’ that we mentally hit every single time we have oysters. As all seafood fans know, oysters, octopus, and clams, are all dishes that taste exponentially better when you eat them outside in the sunshine. We have no idea why, it’s just a fact. Do a little ‘please don’t piss it down’ dance - or alternatively, check your weather app - and make a booking at The Oystermen. This seafood specialist spot has a huge terrace in the middle of Covent Garden away from any traffic. Book a table at golden hour for peak European city-break feels.
This one goes out to all the Hawaiian shirts that have sat in the back of Londoners’ wardrobes for the past year collecting dust and wondering why their owner never takes them out for an Aperol-infused dinner anymore. Rejoice vacation wear fans, because Circolo has the kind of terrace where sunglasses and sandals feel mandatory. Tucked behind the rest of their huge Sicily-inspired pasta joint, their terrace in Rathbone Square is sans-traffic and the perfect place to eat carbonara out of a huge wheel of pecorino. Thanks to their XXL desserts and pun-tastic cocktail list this place is permanently busy so be sure to book your table ASAP. And by ASAP, we mean right now.
We’re going to go out on a limb and say that Campania is London’s most romantic restaurant. Yes, even more romantic than that drive-through KFC where ‘pass the bucket babe’ became the ‘voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir’ of your lockdown love story. This charming little Italian restaurant tucked behind Columbia Road Flower Market is an excellent place to eat raviolo e vongole, lovingly share a tiramisu, and pretend you’ll finish your meal with a walk along the Amalfi coast. Technically, you’ll be getting the Tube home, but every time you feel sad about that just grate yourself some more fresh parmesan.
You want to drink and you want to eat. More specifically, you want to drink a lot and nibble on some delightful things that will leave your hands smelling of garlic for the rest of the day. Enter Bar Douro, a relaxed little Portuguese restaurant in London Bridge. Their outdoor seating involves stools and some big beer barrels fashioned into tables that we can already picture ourselves leaning on, glass of rosé in hand, humming Club Tropicana. On the menu you’ll find things like croquetes, grilled octopus, and the vacation nibbles swan song, garlic prawns.