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Get in while you can

24/01/2022

Right now, there’s not a lot of room for spontaneity in the world of eating out, especially when it comes to the city’s most coveted outdoor tables. Which is why we’ve done the hard work for you and tracked down the newest and most sought-after terraces and courtyards in the capital. Book them now and keep your fingers crossed for sunshine.

WORDS BY EMMA SELLS

24/01/2022

Flora at Joy

You’ll find Flora a short stroll away from Ladbroke Grove, stretched across a terrace in Portobello Docks. Dreamed up by chef Steve Parle and designer Tom Dixon – both former Peninsula collaborators – it’s the perfect place to while away sunny afternoons and long evenings; the modern British menu is seasonal and constantly refreshed, whipped up with Kentish produce sourced from The Goods Shed in Canterbury, and all washed down with natural wines. Grab yourself a private pavilion or a table underneath a parasol and enjoy the canal-side view.

joyatportobello.co.uk/flora-restaurant

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Nebula

This Hackney bar and pizza joint, which opened last autumn, has the cosy, relaxed feel of a neighbourhood restaurant, a stellar playlist and handily also boasts a large plant-filled courtyard garden. The pleasingly pun-heavy menu is suitably mouth-watering (lamb-pagne supernova pizza, anyone?) and includes a vegan option, while the drinks list has been given serious thought, too; beer, wine and spirits all sourced from local breweries and distilleries sit alongside their signature basil-infused negroni.

nebulabar.com

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The Light Bar

You probably remember (or not) the Light Bar from big nights out spent there before it shuttered seven years ago. Now it’s back, rescued from redevelopment and lovingly restored by a group of Hackney residents who have turned the former power station into a bar and restaurant serving up locally sourced food and seasonal drinks. Inside, it stretches across three floors – and really lives up to its name thanks to all those enormous windows – but it’s The Yard, the bar’s sun-filled terrace, that you’ll really want to head for.

lightbarlondon.com

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St. Felix Place

This bar and tap room is box-fresh – it only opened its doors as lockdown rules relaxed in April. Tucked under the railway arches just around the corner from Borough Market, it’s set to be a hub for beer connoisseurs and live-music lovers alike. Most notable right now, though, is its brilliantly expansive, (hopefully) sun-filled garden – the perfect setting for enjoying its one-of-a-kind craft beers, Tex Mex BBQ from Texas Joe’s Adobe and pizza from Good Slice.

stfelixplace.co.uk

Brat at Climpson’s Arch

This is the Hackney outpost of Tomos Parry’s Michelin-starred Shoreditch staple, a rolling pop-up that shows no signs of disappearing. Between the wood-fired open grills and the incredible Basque-inspired dishes – whole turbot, spider crab, freshly picked vegetables and Brat’s signature burnt cheesecake – you’ll almost be able to trick yourself into believing you’re on holiday. But, because you’re not, you’ll be glad to hear there’s a marquee roof, too, to protect your dinner plans from the whims of the British weather.

bratrestaurant.com/climpsons-arch
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24/01/2022

Parrillan London

Sure, you’ve had enough of cooking for yourself, but you’ll want to make an exception for Parrillan and its al fresco table-top grills. The Spanish restaurant, helmed by chef Angel Zapata Martin, overlooks Regent’s Canal and offers up moreish tapas plates alongside meat, fish and vegetables that you can cook yourself on your very own Parrilla mini grill. There’s a dedicated gin and tonic list to work your way through, alongside an impressive lineup of cocktails, too – and they won’t ask you to wash up when you’re done.

parrillan.co.uk

The Berkeley Beach Huts

If you’ve been dreaming of the Great British seaside but didn’t manage to bag a cottage before they all got booked up, then The Berkeley’s newly installed, rainbow-coloured beach huts are the next best thing. Each hut seats six and the menu is heavy on freshly caught seafood – everything from oysters to lobster and fries – and they’re even serving up a gourmet version of your favourite 99. And if you don’t manage to get one of the huts themselves, there are plenty of terrace and countertop seats to snap up, too.

the-berkeley.co.uk
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24/01/2022