Five of the Best: Outdoor Bars

Make a beeline for London’s best alfresco bars


Lido Cafe


Sip a Negroni in the sun at Brockwell Lido. Facing the art-deco pool, the palm-tree fringed terrace of the Lido Cafe is a sun-trap on a hot day, and the perfect place to treat yourself to a cocktail and a plate of charcuterie after a dip. This award-winning cafe and bar has a great list of summery drinks, including Negronis, an Aperol Spritz, and the delicious Elderflower Spritz made with Sipsmith’s gin, elderflower cordial and fresh lemon juice.


The Lido Cafe, Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Road, London SE24 0PA, 020 7737 8183;

Read our full review of the Lido Cafe here

Queen of Hoxton

There’s always something fun happening on the roof of this Shoreditch bar. Head to the Queen of Hoxton before 20th April for the WigWamBam, a huge tipi festooned with fairy lights, where you can channel your inner Brownie and roast marshmallows by the outdoor fire pit. After the 20th, the summer season kicks off in earnest when the outdoor bar and kitchen reopen – expect silent discos, a film club, sun loungers and paddling pools.

Address: Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3JX, 020 7422 0958;

The Ship


On a sunny day, The Ship must win the award for most Londoners per square foot. This insanely-popular gastropub on the Thames has a large outdoor bar and terrace which has been given a makeover for 2013. Book ahead or get there early to bag one of the new wooden riverside cabins. The outdoor bar is stocked with London-made craft beers, and top-drawer spirits like Hendricks Gin and Knob Creek bourbon, not to mention Pimms on-tap. It’s no slouch in the food stakes either – think pulled pork sandwiches, fennel salads and racks of West Country ribs straight from the barbecue.

Address: The Ship, 41 Jew’s Row, London SW18 1TB, 020 8870 9667;

Sushi Samba

The bar at SushiSamba isn’t one for height- phobics. To get there, you have to whizz up the Heron Tower in a glass lift which shoots skywards at 5 mps. The restaurant and bar terrace is Europe’s highest, with dizzying views of city and Olympic Park. It’s one of the prettiest, too, with its outdoor bar wrapped around an up-lit orange-painted tree. Cocktails mirror the restaurant’s Japanese-south American fusion food. Sip on a Tonka Bean Old-Fashioned or Cachaca infused with kaffir lime, as you gaze down ( yes, down) on the Gherkin – that’s how high you are.

Address: SushiSamba London, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

0203 640 7330;


Roving night market StreetFeast is laying down roots in Dalston for 2013. At the centre of the market, you’ll find the outdoor bar and lounge, where Dalstonites and food bloggers pile in around the long tables to drink craft beers and munch on London’s best street food, from the likes of Big Apple Hot Dogs, Homeslice Pizza and Taiwanese-style Yum Buns. There’s also an indoor cocktail bar and live music and screenings.

Address: StreetFeast, Merchant Yard, 317-319 Kingsland Road, London E8 4DL

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