London is officially open and down to party, and we’re not going to lie, it’s exciting. With that said, it’s also a tiny bit overwhelming. After all, we just spent a year socialising with our cat, so the idea of hanging out on crowded patios and seeing everyone we haven’t seen since 2019 is borderline social whiplash. That's where these 13 spots come in. Head to these quiet and comfortable patios where you can ease back into your social life, one bite at a time.
Brompton Food Market
It’s Sunday. And the only thing you’re in the mood for right now is scrambled eggs, some fresh OJ, and absolutely no David Guetta. Whether you went too far with the sesh, or if just the thought of being that close to other sweaty humans makes you itch for some hand sanitiser and alone time, Brompton Food Market has got your back. This lowkey grocery and deli in South Kensington has a covered secret garden situation which is serving up some solid brunch dishes. And as well as that, they’re open till 8pm in the summer, so you can enjoy a cocktail in their hidden garden.
If the Primrose Hill set makes you think of unruly 90s British celebrities lavishly consuming all in their path, then let us give a much more pleasant and reasonably priced alternative. Odette’s, which is a privately tutored hop and skip away from Primrose Hill, has a set lunch and early evening meal available for around £20. Ordering this and bagging a spot in their secret garden is an extremely tasteful move this summer.
As cutesy little neighbourhood spots go, Minnow is definitely up there. This all-day place overlooks Clapham Common and has a small patio out back, complete with fairy lights, fresh flowers, and the kind of pastel colour scheme that makes eating brunch here feel like you live in Edward Scissorhands’ neighbourhood. It’s also worth knowing that there’s a cool, old school bar downstairs - so whether you’re here on a date or a catch up over some courgette gnocchi, there’s somewhere to hide if the rain starts.
One thing to know about Chestnut Bakery is that it’s more than just a bakery. It’s a great place to come when you want some excellent flatbreads, a vegan cinnamon roll, and a quiet suntrap terrace to eat it all on. This Victoria spot can get a little busy on the weekend, but even when it's mobbed it retains a nice air of calm making it a top place to unwind.
Authentique is a wine shop, bar, and restaurant in Tufnell Park, and it was already one of our favourite spots in north London for a casual glass of wine and some ham and cheese, and that was before we discovered they had a little patio at the back. They’re open all day Tuesday through Sunday, but if you want to use the patio you’ll have to do it before 8pm, because neighbours.
Lost Boys is a vampire themed pizza joint and basement absinthe bar in Camden. Okay, we hear you, anyone who’s seen Interview With The Vampire knows that sun rays and blood suckers do not mix. But bear with us because this place has a garden patio situation out back that is completely hidden from the street, heaters, and is chilled enough to feel like you’re at your mate’s place. So sure, there’s probably one too many bloodsucker puns on the menu, but who cares when the pizza is great, there’s a banging playlist of 80s classics, and the cocktails are cheap.
Vicoli Di Napoli
This place used to be called L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele and people would come to Stoke Newington Church Street from all over London to try one of two pizzas on the menu - margherita or marinara - made just like they are in Naples. Though the famous name might have gone, this simple little spot has maintained standards, and the pizzas are still as good as - if not better than - a lot of others you’ll find in London. And on those days when the weather is as good as it probably is in Naples, they have a small garden where you can book if you’re a group of six or more, to enjoy your pizza in the fresh air and sunshine.
Secret patios aren’t just for Christmas. Wait, no, let’s try that again - secret patios aren’t just for weekends. If you’re freelance or happen to work around Clerkenwell, then The Clerkenwell Kitchen’s outdoor terrace should definitely be on your radar. This place serves excellent lunchtime options from a changing daily menu, as well as your classics like salads and multiple eggy options. Of course, you can come here on the weekend, but really this spot is perfect for catching some rays whilst eating a roasted beetroot and mint salad during your lunch hour.
Fare is an all-day bar and restaurant in between Old Street and Clerkenwell that’s a casual and classy option for day or night. The interior patio is perfect for a stone-baked pizza and an aperol spritz mid-summer, and such is the easy-going feel of this place that hours later, you may well find yourself leaning against the enormous marble bar, cocktail in hand.
As secluded terraces go, the one at Luca is pretty next-level. There’s well-worn exposed brick, there’s some very perfectly maintained foliage, and yes, you better believe it, there’s a working fireplace too. Basically, when celebrities get ‘secretly wed’ in their back gardens, this is what we picture. A meal here can be expensive, but sharing the pork sausage ragu pasta, a portion of the parmesan fries, and a bottle of wine? You’re golden.
Newcomer Wines is a very low-key wine shop and bar in Dalston, and we’re likely to be spending lots more time here when the weather’s right because they have a suitably low-key patio out back. It’s perfect for two, or a few of you. Plus glasses start at a very reasonable £6.50.
When you’re in Clerkenwell and looking for somewhere classy and refined to enjoy London’s 12-hour summer, The Coach is one of the best little patios you can be in. It’s a classy pub, and a decent restaurant, meaning you can continue going drinking in the sun before filling up on some French bistro style food.
Lurra is already one of our favourite restaurants to eat giant hunks of steak, little plates of tapas, and sip posh Spanish wine in. Adding a patio with outdoor seating into the mix was enough to tip us over the edge, especially in a neighbourhood as good-looking as Marylebone. The piece de resistance here is the aged Galician Blond steak, arguably the best in town, but if you don’t feel like eating all that red meat in direct sunlight, the seafood options are great as well.