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Alfresco dining in Britain's cities

Monday 15 August 2022
Outside on the roof terrace of The Culpeper, London. With the city in the background.

Feast on a fat menu of Britain’s imaginative alfresco settings. Dine in urban gardens that form an escape from the buzz, waterfront cafes surrounded by wildlife and rooftop restaurants with panoramas of twinkling cities beneath. Or check into salubrious dens with statues and subdued lighting for special-occasion champagne lunches. Whether it’s a taste of freshly caught seafood in Brighton, or tucking into homegrown veggies in Cambridge or cross-cultural cuisine in London, here’s where to embrace the sustainable, fulsome flavours of Britain’s great outdoor eateries.

London

Take in the dreamy views at The Culpeper London. Housed in Shoreditch, visitors can surround themselves with colourful flora, indulge in homegrown veggies, and take in the impressive London skyline from this rooftop oasis. With a focus on sourcing produce from regenerative farms, visitor will be treated to ethical roasted aubergine and meaty steaks. In East London, Netil 360 is an unmissable urban retreat with chilled vibes topped with stargazing opportunities. Visitors can dial in their food as the venue partners with local restaurants offering the likes of bao buns and Mexican-inspired tacos.

For endless oysters and rooftop views, Seabird in Southwark offers flavours inspired by the coast. Towering high on the 14th floor, expect to eat octopus rolls, lots of oysters and a filling Sunday brunch.

Birmingham          

Watch the world go by from The Button Factory’s roof garden. Set in the historic Jewellery Quarter, this sanctuary is filled with endless entertainment, bottomless brunches and coal-grilled foods. On Birmingham’s waterways, try The Canal House for delights like juicy hanging kebabs and popping prawn. Visit on a bank holiday weekend and visitors will be in for a treat – a live waterfront music festival.

Brighton

It’d be hard to name a more scenic location than right in the middle of Brighton Beach, and with Lucky Beach Café visitors get just that. Serving up fresh, sustainable grub, try their signature crab benedict or an organic diablo burger. Alternatively, take visitor dining discovery to new levels at Chez Mal Brasserie, located in the stylish Malmaison hotel. Sit on the terrace and take in vistas of Brighton Marina – a fusion of flavours with a dash of refreshing sea breeze.

A local favourite, Patterns packs the punch for parties and drinks. Its outdoor terrace has palm trees, tropical florals and soaring sea views, alongside bottomless brunch and £5 pizza parties on a Friday.

Cardiff

In Voco St David’s hotel, let The Admiral on the shore of Cardiff’s bustling bay take visitor tastebuds on a journey round the world, featuring international flavours made with seasonal Welsh produce. A hidden gem in the heart of the city, Jacobs Roof Garden is a haven for foodie lovers and party goers. Overlooking Cardiff’s nightlife hub, Mill Lane, visitors will be enjoying anything from an Italian-themed evening, summer parties, live music and more.

Liverpool

Spot Britain’s largest Cathedral and Liverpool FC’s iconic Anfield stadium from the 17th floor of hotel INSiDE BY MELIA at Gino D’Acampo’s 360 Sky Bar. Cooking up rich Italian dishes, this place offers all-facing panoramic views of the city and the River Mersey, all while tasting the sweet flavours of blushing tomatoes and grilled fish.  

Or choose to dine dockside at Maray and get disco cauliflower doused with yoghurt and tahini, lamb kofta lashed with saffron and vegan dopiaza. Located in the city’s Royal Albert Dock, Maray is the place to pick up some grub after a trip to the Liverpool Tate gallery. Looking for a place to party? Liberte’s rooftop boasts dramatic views of the city’s waterfront and skyline with big tunes and big events. Visitors can load themselves up with messy fries and sticky wings from their expansive menu.

Glasgow

Get a taste for fine dining at Glasgow’s only rooftop restaurant full of local produce and an impressive citywide view. From dipping into a delectable afternoon tea, to Scottish fish and hand-selected steaks, Windows Restaurant in the Carlton George Hotel offers scenic alfresco dining.

For a lively outdoor space, head to Brel. Wooden shacks and twinkling fairy lights set the scene, leaving visitors to enjoy a meal of hearty tacos, truffle macaroni and fully loaded buns. Visit in the summer to see the space transformed into a cool beach club, equipped with a firepit and alcohol drenched snow cones.

Edinburgh

For a unique perspective of Edinburgh Castle, head to Cold Town House’s roof terrace. Lying in the shadow of the historic building, visitors can tuck into pizzas, hot buffalo wings and truffle fries. But if whiskey is more visitor’s thing, embark on a malty adventure at Johnnie Walker. Look beyond its tasting session to discover 1820, a rooftop bar and restaurant. Open seven days a week, visitors can dine to their heart’s content with Edinburgh’s picturesque Old Town as their backdrop.

Manchester

Grab a slice and a bevvy at Manchester’s Roby 1844 – a buzzing alfresco waterfront social hotspot with a two-storey terrace. Or choose to soar above the city at 20 Stories in Spinningfields for a taste of modern British cuisine paired with panoramic views. Keep an eye out for live music events, sunset dinners and late-night parties at weekends.

For alfresco eats with local hops, try Seven Bro7thers Beerhouse in Salford. Whether visitors are venturing on a brewery tour or just visiting for a bite to eat, take to their terrace for kebab flatbreads, burgers and schnitzel. Feeling adventurous? Try their Rice Krispies or cornflake infused draughts.

Bristol

A popular brunch spot in Bristol’s harbourside, Mud Dock is a bike shop come café, where the relaxed atmosphere is complemented by its feast of food, from stacked buttermilk pancakes to shakshuka. Sit out on its terrace for waterside views and an invigorating breeze.

Bambalan is a hot destination in Bristol for alfresco fun. With a roof garden and awe-inspiring views, visitors will be immersed into an urban paradise, perfect for any party loving foodie. Dip into mediterranean inspired bites, and woodfired pizzas - on the weekends expect DJs in the mix bringing booming anthems to the terrace.

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

pressandpr@visitbritain.org

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