Winter is coming… and that means braving the elements to have a Covid-secure drink or meal outside. But fear not, because the hospitality industry has released the blankets and fired-up the heaters on their (often covered) terraces.
Here we look at some of the top spots for al fresco eating and quaffing in England and Scotland, from a pub in East Sussex with corrugated iron pods to a swanky hotel in Reading with a secret garden, and from rooftop bars and Michelin-starred restaurants in London to sea-view terraces in Dorset.
They cover various lockdown levels, so double-check before booking what the rules are. For example, in tier three, you can only meet outside with members of your household, but in tier two households can mix in groups of up to six (you’ll probably need a drink after fathoming it out…).
The Churchill Bar & Terrace in Marylebone has a renovated heated terrace that is ‘super cosy for the winter months’
If a classic cocktail is your thing, then look no further than The American Bar at The Stafford, London. One of the longest surviving American Bars in London, it is the place to be if you like a slice of history alongside a perfectly shaken martini from the bar director, Benoit Provost. Out the back of The American Bar is a beautiful all-weather terrace, perfect for enjoying drinks and nibbles under waterproof awnings. There are large and small plates to enjoy, too. And blankets and outdoor heaters will keep you cosy. Visit thestaffordlondon.com/american-bar/dining.
The supreme Galvin Bistrot & Bar, Spitalfields, has an outside terrace with heaters so guests can keep cosy while enjoying top-notch fodder courtesy of Michelin-starred chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin. Visit galvinrestaurants.com/restaurant/galvin-bistrot-and-bar.
London’s ‘hottest new opening’, Pantechnicon, is home to ‘the stunning Roof Garden’ overlooking the rooftops of Knightsbridge. Enjoy a cocktail under a heater from the curated list of modern drinks inspired by different Nordic regions. A modern Nordic lunch by chef Joni Ketonen can also be enjoyed outdoors. Visit www.pantechnicon.com.
London’s ‘hottest new opening’, Pantechnicon (pictured), is home to ‘the stunning Roof Garden’
The Churchill Bar & Terrace in Marylebone has a renovated covered, heated terrace that is ‘super cosy for the winter months’. It has launched two new menus – ‘The Finest Hour’ working lunch menu for weekdays, and the ‘indulgent’ ‘Churchill’s Cocktail Brunch’ for weekends. Click here for more.
Al fresco food and drink metropolis Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Castle, created by Jim and Tonic and German Kraft Brewery, now has socially distanced tables and heat lamps. Visit www.mercatometropolitano.com/mmarketplace/elephant-and-castle.
Love gin? Try Hayman’s Drinks at The Distillery experience at its Balham HQ. Hosted on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, £25 secures a two-hour spot on a private table (available outside, weather permitting and blankets available), alongside three specially prepared gin drinks and access to a brand ambassador for a brief history of the brand and to answer questions. Visit www.haymansgin.com/product/distillery-drinks-experince.
GNH Bar at the Great Northern Hotel, just 25 metres from the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras International, has outdoor seating with heaters and is open for breakfast from 7am until late during the week and from 8am on weekends. It offers ‘exceptional’ seasonal menus, from nibbles and small plates to larger dishes for dinner. Classic and signature cocktails are also available. Visit www.gnhlondon.com.
The Gentlemen Baristas coffee house has teamed up with award-winning chef Mark Greenaway to create a pop-up in Covent Garden with heated outdoor seating, which will be going until February 2021. This new branch ‘takes its classic coffee house to the next level with an exciting and expanded food offering’. Visit www.thegentlemenbaristas.com.
The supreme Galvin Bistrot & Bar, Spitalfields, has an outside terrace with heaters so guests can keep cosy while enjoying top-notch fodder courtesy of Michelin-starred chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin
‘Cha Cha x Sister Jane‘ restaurant on Golborne Road in Notting Hill has a heated outdoor seating area and a European menu with a Latin twist developed by head chef Anthony Garlando. Visit sisterjane.com/pages/restaurant.
The Dorchester Terrace & Garden is one of the al fresco spots to be seen in. Cosy up under a heater at this iconic London hotel and try an Italy-inspired dish such as wild mushroom truffle arancini and a cocktail or two. Click here for more information.
If it’s top-notch fish and seafood you’re after, then look no further than Rick Stein, Barnes. Located on the banks of the River Thames, the restaurant delivers ‘a sanctuary from fast-paced London life with fantastic views and a nod to Rick’s Cornish heritage’. Heated outdoor seating available. Visit www.rickstein.com/restaurants/rick-stein-barnes.
Farm-to-Table Cocotte Rotisserie has three restaurants across London – in Shoreditch, Notting Hill and Parsons Green – that have heated terraces on which to enjoy delights such as chicken and truffled mash. Visit www.mycocotte.uk/menu.
J. Sheekey Atlantic Bar offers a selection of fresh fish, oysters and seasonal fare that can be enjoyed on the heated terrace
Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant Ayllu is tucked away beneath the hustle and bustle of Paddington Central and offers a lovely heated terrace with a view on the canal. It’s launching a bottomless brunch available at £40 per person, with unlimited prosecco. Visit ayllu.co.uk.
The Corinthia London hotel near Charing Cross has a garden, ‘a rare, mosaiced outdoor oasis in the heart of the city’, where winter evenings are warmed by fires, blankets and hot toddy’s. Dishes to highlight are the potato gnocchi with hen of the woods mushroom and hazelnut pesto, and the Reuben steak sandwich with a side of chickpea fries. Visit www.instagram.com/corinthialondon.
Popular Spanish restaurant and tapas bar El Pirata, ‘an institution in Mayfair‘, offers heated terrace seating on Down Street – a quiet road, ideal for a break from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly and Hyde Park. Visit elpirata.co.uk.
The Hard Rock Cafe London, in a prime position on Old Park Lane, has a heated al-fresco terrace on which diners can ‘sip in style’ with a signature Hurricane cocktail in hand, and tuck into favourites from ‘the world-famous menu’ including the Original Legendary Burger, One Night In Bangkok Spicy Shrimp, and New York Cheesecake. Visit www.hardrockcafe.com/location/london.
Cut at 45 Park Lane has launched Cut Out, an al fresco terrace with heaters and blankets serving dishes from the famed restaurant and cocktails from Bar 45. The terrace is open for dinner every day from 6pm, with tables for up to four guests. Guests can also enjoy Bar 45’s signature negronis served from the outdoor Negroni Bar. Visit www.dorchestercollection.com/en/london/45-park-lane.
The Dorchester Terrace & Garden is one of the al fresco spots to be seen in
The Rooftop, located on the 7th floor of The Trafalgar St. James hotel on the edge of Trafalgar Square, has canopy-covered seating, as well as a retractable roof, and outdoor heaters and snug blankets. It offers Asian-inspired drinking and dining, including grilled dishes, small plates and brunch served alongside incredible views of the capital. Visit trafalgarstjames.com/the-rooftop.
Dalloway Terrace at The Bloomsbury hotel has recently unveiled an autumnal installation in collaboration with McQueens Flowers and Johnnie Walker Black Label. And with a retractable roof and canopy – and heaters – diners can still enjoy lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and cocktails in this Instagram-worthy setting in the chillier months. Visit dallowayterrace.com.
In the vibrant heart of Marylebone, guests can, under a heated canopy at 108 Brasserie, ‘dine like the Parisians do, in an atmospheric setting serving lunch, a popular weekend brunch, cocktails and dinner’. It’s ‘the perfect spot to enjoy delicious seasonal dishes and watch the world go by’. Visit 108brasserie.com.
The Lanesborough on Hyde Park Corner is one of London’s masterpiece hotels and one of its most coveted hide-out spots is The Garden Room – an outdoor heated cigar terrace, with ‘an expert team of Cigar Sommeliers ready to cater to guests’ every whim’. The Garden Room also serves cocktails, weekend brunch and light supper, and is available for exclusive hire for a maximum group of six. For more information, visit oetkercollection.com/hotels/the-lanesborough/restaurants-bars/bars-lounges/the-garden-room.
Skylight Rooftop in Tobacco Dock has an array of heated seating available for guests to book, available throughout the venue. An addition for Autumn, igloo bubbles have been installed on Skylight’s upper levels – providing shelter from the elements with heaters, blankets and comfortable seating. The igloo bubbles can currently be booked by groups of up to six in the same household. Skylight has three bars and offers Asian food from Hikari and ‘American-inspired indulgence’ from State Side. Visit www.skylightlondon.com.
The Corinthia London hotel has a garden, ‘a rare, mosaiced outdoor oasis in the heart of the city’
Julie’s Restaurant in Holland Park has an elegant outdoor terrace where guests can enjoy modern British cuisine by Chef Patron Shay Cooper underneath heaters. Visit www.juliesrestaurant.com.
Allegra restaurant at The Stratford hotel has a terrace underneath a cedar-cantilevered roof on which guests keeping warm with ‘luxurious blankets’ can enjoy sharing dishes and small plates. Walk-ins welcome. Visit www.allegra-restaurant.com.
The Ivy Kensington Brasserie on Kensington High Street offers top-notch food and service – and heated outdoor seating. Plus, you don’t need to be famous to get a table (as the author of this feature can confirm). Visit theivykensingtonbrasserie.com.
Pining for pizza? Firebrand Pizza’s Clerkenwell restaurant has pavement seating with heaters. Visit www.firebrandpizza.co.uk.
Five-star The Hari hotel in Knightsbridge has a Garden Terrace with built-in heaters where guests can try an ‘exciting new menu and cocktail list’. Visit www.thehari.com/london.
Novotel Canary Wharf has a heated terrace where guests can sip cocktails while admiring striking views of the city. Click here for more.
Emilia’s Crafted Pasta restaurant in St. Katharine Docks marina has great views and ‘very warm fleece blankets’ to keep al fresco diners toasty. Visit www.emiliaspasta.com.
Skylight Rooftop in Tobacco Dock has igloo bubbles that can currently be booked by groups of up to six in the same household
The uber-cool The Standard hotel opposite St Pancras International has turned its summer terrace into a ‘warm and cosy winter terrace’, complete with a crackling fire pit and sheepskin furs. It claims to be one of the city’s ‘cosiest spots’. Visit www.standardhotels.com.
The Vinegar Yard streetfood hub near London Bridge has transformed its outdoor garden into a heated tier 2-compliant eating and drinking space, with canopy cover, plenty of heaters and tables of up to six. Visit www.vinegaryard.london.
A fan of steaming bowls of noodles? Head to the Bloomsbury Arcade outpost of London’s Japanese udon noodle hotspot Koya City, which has a 50-seater covered and heated terrace. Visit www.koya.co.uk.
The heated outdoor terrace at Pastaio in Westfield, White City, offers seasonal prosecco slushies and handmade fresh pasta, ‘perfect for refuelling post-Christmas shopping’. On Thursdays, the restaurant offers its ‘Infinity Pasta’ menu where guests can enjoy an Aperol Spritz and unlimited plates of pasta for £25. Visit pastaio.co.uk/menu/westfield-menu.
Michelin-starred Aquavit London in St James’s Market offers an expansive covered terrace complete with heaters to keep you warm and cosy. Here you can indulge in delicious Nordic-inspired cuisine and sip on a cocktail or two as you watch the world go by. Visit www.aquavitrestaurants.com.
J. Sheekey Atlantic Bar, the beautiful terrace attached to the renowned J.Sheekey in Covent Garden, offers a selection of fresh fish, oysters and seasonal fare that can be enjoyed at the bar inside or on the heated terrace. Visit jsheekeyatlanticbar.co.uk.
Mo Diner on Heddon St, near Regent St, has a candy-coloured heated outdoor terrace with an all-day Mediterranean menu by Michelin-starred chef Eric Chavot. Visit modiner.london.
Ham Yard Hotel in Soho is taking part in London Cocktail Week and has a courtyard at street level and a heated roof terrace (with woollen blankets available) that overlooks the bustling streets below.
Kitchen at Holmes restaurant, in Marylebone, is fully reopening on Thursday, November 5, and has a heated outdoor terrace and heated private rooftop available for diners from multiple households. Visit www.kitchenatholmes.co.uk.
The Bell in Ticehurst, East Sussex, has push-button heaters in allotment-shed-style corrugated iron pods (pictured) for groups of four to six, with head chef Oscar serving casseroles in cast-iron pots
Craft in Birmingham, led by ground-breaking chef Andrew Sheridan, who rose to fame on the Great British Menu, has private dining pods, complete with built-in heating. Visit weare-craft.co.uk/dinning-pods.
The Roseate Reading hotel, originally the Shire Hall for Berkshire County Council, offers heated al fresco dining in its beautiful Secret Garden space. Visit www.roseatehotels.com/reading/theroseate/dine/secret-garden.
Stove Restaurant & Bar, on The Langdale Estate near Ambleside, Cumbria, has a large outside seating area with a terrace overlooking the historic waterwheel, as well as an inside-outside fireplace to keep guests cosy. Blankets are dotted around, too. Visit www.langdale.co.uk/stove-restaurant-bar.
Manchester’s Escape To Freight Island ‘urban environment’ offers open-air bars and a street food market, with food ordered via an app and QR system. Coming soon to the venue is Winter Island, which will be the UK’s largest fully outdoor, heated winter seated market when it launches on November 12. Note, you can currently only visit with members of your own household. Visit www.escapetofreightisland.com/bookings.
The Mitre in Hampton Court has a very large riverside terrace with a beautiful stretch tent, complete with heat lamps, cosy blankets, fire pits and warming cocktails
Manchester’s Escape To Freight Island ‘urban environment’ offers open-air bars and a street food market
Perched on the water’s edge in Mudeford, Dorset, the Christchurch Harbour Hotel is home to The Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant, which features a wide outdoor terrace, ‘perfect for Covid-19 friendly dining’ – complete with a retractable roof (adorned with twinkling lights), outdoor heaters and blankets aplenty. Visit www.harbourhotels.co.uk/christchurch/eat-and-drink/upper-deck. The hotel also runs the multi-award-winning ‘The Jetty‘ restaurant. This gem also has a heated al-fresco terrace. Visit www.thejetty.co.uk.
The 16th-century White Hart in Wytham, two miles from Oxford city centre, has 10 outside dining pods made from entirely sustainably sourced or recycled materials. And coming soon is The Observatory, a clear-roof-and-sides marquee that will cover the entire area of the courtyard and all the pods. Visit whitehartwytham.com.
The Mitre in Hampton Court has a very large riverside terrace with a beautiful stretch tent, complete with heat lamps, cosy blankets, fire pits and warming cocktails. This property comes highly recommended – the Daily Mail’s Inspector gave it a five-star review. Visit www.mitrehamptoncourt.com.
The Christchurch Harbour Hotel is home to The Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant, which features a wide outdoor terrace, ‘perfect for Covid-19 friendly dining’
Craft in Birmingham, led by ground-breaking chef Andrew Sheridan, has private dining pods, complete with built-in heating
The 16th-century White Hart in Wytham, two miles from Oxford city centre, has 10 outside dining pods made from entirely sustainably sourced or recycled materials
Woodlands Park in Cobham, Surrey, has a terrace with patio heaters (and a giant chess board). What’s on the menu? Informal dining and afternoon teas. Visit www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/woodlandspark.
Part of the self-guided Salcombe Food and Drink Trail in South Devon, the Lobster Pod Bistro at Hope Cove is ‘the perfect spot for Covid-friendly outside dining’. It overlooks a sandy beach just a few yards away. There are four heated outdoor pods where guests can chow down on seafood chowders and sharing platers, or lord it up with a lobster. Each pod has Bluetooth sound systems and a telephone to request drinks. To book, call 01548 802137 or visit www.lobster-pod.co.uk.
Al fresco dining is very much on the menu all-year-round at Fowey Hall Hotel in Cornwall. Armed with plenty of blankets, enjoy hot chocolate with Cointreau and Baileys, and cream, and gaze out over the estuary. Lunch and dinner are also served, as well as its famous afternoon tea. Visit foweyhallhotel.co.uk.
Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst in the New Forest is launching a pop-up restaurant called The Lodge Kitchen & Bar inside an enormous stretch tent at the front of the property. The ‘well-ventilated tent’ will have special lighting and heating, will be decorated with sheepskin rugs, and large monitors will show extreme winter sports to lend the tent an ‘Alpine’ atmosphere, ‘assisted by the waft of glühwein’. Call 01590 623 116 or visit www.balmerlawnhotel.com.
Historic New Park Manor in the New Forest offers al fresco dining all-year-round. Guests can borrow blankets and enjoy lunch or afternoon tea on the terrace. Rooms from £189 per night B&B. Visit www.luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk or call +44 (0)208 0765555.
Stove Restaurant & Bar, on The Langdale Estate near Ambleside, Cumbria, has a large outside seating area with a terrace overlooking the historic waterwheel, as well as an inside-outside fireplace to keep guests cosy
The Roseate Reading hotel, originally the Shire Hall for Berkshire County Council, offers heated al fresco dining in its beautiful Secret Garden space
Up to six people can enjoy a three-course lunch, Champagne afternoon tea, or dinner feast together in the new Dining Domes at Homewood Bath, launching on November 2. They are stocked with cosy blankets and have Dyson heaters. Visit www.homewoodbath.co.uk/dining-domes.
Grab a hot chocolate and a blanket and take in the sea views from the terrace at Moonfleet Manor in Weymouth, on the Jurassic Coast. Lunch and afternoon teas available. Rooms from £189 per night B&B. Visit www.luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk or call +44 (0)208 0765555.
The Vineyard hotel near Newbury, Berkshire, boasts an award-winning restaurant and a 30,000-bottle wine cellar, plus a new outdoor restaurant experience called InsideOut to enable social distancing. Patio heaters and blankets keep guests toasty. Contact Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).
Up to six people can enjoy a three-course lunch, Champagne afternoon tea, or dinner feast together in the new Dining Domes at Homewood Bath
The Vineyard hotel near Newbury, Berkshire, boasts an award-winning restaurant and a 30,000-bottle wine cellar, plus a new outdoor restaurant experience called InsideOut, pictured
Ellenborough Park, a 15th-century English country estate, offers heated al fresco dining amid its rustic surroundings
The Bell in Ticehurst, East Sussex, has push-button heaters in allotment-shed-style corrugated iron pods for groups of four to six, with head chef Oscar serving casseroles in cast-iron pots. The Bell is open seven days a week from breakfast until 10pm, www.thebellinticehurst.com, 01580 200300.
Ellenborough Park, a magnificent 15th-century English country estate a short drive from Cheltenham, offers heated al fresco dining amid its rustic surroundings, with British favourites and classical French choices on the menu. Visit www.ellenboroughpark.com.
The astonishing Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire offers heated outdoor dining. Visit www.glenappcastle.com for more information
Dunalastair Hotel Suites, on the tip of picturesque Loch Rannoch, is set around a smart and spacious courtyard, bedecked with comfortable seating and dotted with infrared heating to ensure a cosy dining option any time of year
Dunalastair Hotel Suites, on the tip of picturesque Loch Rannoch, is set around a smart and spacious courtyard, bedecked with comfortable seating and dotted with infrared heating to ensure a cosy dining option any time of year. Diners here can enjoy food from gourmet Scottish restaurant Edina’s. Visit www.dunalastairhotel.com.
No10 Bar and Restaurant in Aberdeen has a new winter-inspired outdoor terrace, ‘Chalet on the Terrace’. It is fully compliant with the government’s latest instructions/advice and offers ‘Scottish chalet vibes, a new hearty menu and warming drinks to fit with the colder season’. Visit www.no10aberdeen.co.uk/terrace.
The astonishing Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire offers gas-heated outdoor dining at its Glasshouse restaurant. The Glenapp chefs utilise ‘the very best of the garden and estate-grown ingredients’, together with local Ayrshire produce and ‘all are served in true Glenapp five-star style’. Visit www.glenappcastle.com for more information.