“Outlasting, outlandish and never outdated, but when the sun is shining, Londoners will always be… outdoors.”
Here are my picks for the hottest outdoor terraces to be seen on this summer.
If you can't escape the city this summer, the sprawling green space of the Roof Gardens will transport you to an Andalucían oasis or the English countryside in an instant. And while it may not be the tropical island paradise that you've been dreaming of, Paradise by way of Kensal Green has a leafy roof top and garden – perfect for a glass or two of rosé on a sunny afternoon.
For something completely out of the box (or salon, rather), Taylor Taylor London have recently opened an outdoor cutting terrace at their Cheshire Street salon where you can sip an Espresso Martini whilst being cut, coloured and blown dry – or away if it's windy…
And while we do all like to be beside the seaside, a riverside spot on a sunny afternoon makes for a worthy substitute. OXO Tower on the Southbank boasts a 250ft terrace with spectacular views across the Thames and just a little further downstream by Hammersmith Bridge is the River Café – renowned for its exquisite Italian cuisine and ideal for relaxed al fresco dining.
Overrun with sightseeing school groups over the summer, the only way to escape the fray of the West End is up. Perched high above Trafalgar Square, the views from Vista at the Trafalgar are a great talking point for a first date. And as far as the West End goes, there are certainly worse places for pre-dinner drinks than the large roof terrace at Aqua Kyoto. City slickers will appreciate swapping their 11th floor desk for an 11th floor table outside at SkyLounge, or riding the elevator to the roof terrace at Madison rather than the office. And for a relaxed client lunch, the buzzing atmosphere and city views from the Robata grill restaurant at Boundary Rooftop are bound to impress.
Smokers can relish in not having to engage in the crossed-arm foot-stamping ritual of the colder months on the Cigar Terrace at Boisdale of Belgravia, where you can unwind to the sounds of live jazz, blues and soul with a Cuban cigar and fine Scotch whisky. Another option (if you can get in) is the newly opened and beautifully designed smoking terrace and lounge bar at Tramp, the iconic private members' club on Jermyn Street.
Be sure to check the Deals page on LadyBlonde.com for special offers from some of the wonderful bars and restaurants mentioned above.
The Roof Gardens
Paradise by way of Kensal Green
Taylor Taylor London
OXO Tower Restaurant & Brasserie
The River Café
Vista at the Trafalgar