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May 10, 2010 07:43 AM

London--Outdoor Fine Dining and one other night

First time in a long time that we'll be in London when the weather may be nice (beginning July). Looking for a nice restaurant (French, Contemporary British, etc--not ethnic for this night) that has outdoor dining in a scenic location. We'll be coming into Waterloo or driving into the same area so nothing way up north, but I thought maybe along the Thames or somewhat nearby up to say Hyde Park. Sort of a romantic place would be a plus. As an option, is the River Cafe still good? Haven't been in many years and they used to have an outdoor area.

Want another night with same type of food, but can be indoors. Is Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley as good as some say? Love the Blue Bar in the hotel, but haven't been in that space since Vong and Tante Clair were there. Long time.

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  1. I will leave the indoor recommendation to people that frequent these places more than I.
    It is quite hard to find very good restaurants in London with scenic outdoor seating. The River Cafe is still great, in my opinion. Another outdoor option is L'Autre Pied just off Marylebone High St. Offshoot of the very good and very well acclaimed Pied a Tierre on Charlotte St and recently won a star (if that matters to you!). The food there is good modern French Michelin fayre and although there are no views of the serengeti or St. Mark's Square, it is on a nice local street in Marylebone.

    Funnily enough, thinking about it, of all the Michelin starred restaurants in London, I can only think of two where you can eat outside - River Cafe and L'Autre Pied. The Greenhouse sounds like it would have an outside but having never been, I can't help! (Clearly Michelin isn't the only decider but for fine dining, it is a safe bet).

    1. The best location would be Inn the Park, I guess, but it's up to you as to whether the food's of the standard you want.

      If you headed towards the sky rather than the grass, you might have more luck, though - Boundary has a rooftop dining area, and has impressive, if seriously urban, views.

      1. If you're willing to travel out of zone 1, Trinity in Clapham is excellent. I liked my experiences there more than L'Autre Pied. On warmer days I think they open the folding doors.

        1. The Gun in Docklands used to be good. It has a great view and is a short Jubilee line ride from Waterloo. If you find Dockland's romantic...

          4 Replies
          1. re: MonkeyC

            Lovely though The Gun is, I'm not sure it meets the fine dining brief. Nice food, but I would say much more of a pub with a restaurant than a "dining experience".

            1. re: juniper77

              Ahh... sorry, you are right! Clearly my "date night" standards are slipping...

              1. re: MonkeyC

                I haven't been yet (going on Monday, woo!) but the Bingham has just gained a Michelin star and has outdoor space by the river in Richmond.

                1. re: helen b

                  OK, went last night, gosh but it's lovely. Perfect setting. G&T on the terrace overlooking the Thames as the sun set over the willows...Incredibly attentive service. Pouilly fume to start, amuse bouche of lobster saute with a pea mousse in a shot glass, bread was OK. Starter of cauliflower risotto with lobster, topped with a jelly presumably made from the shell, lick the plate good. Then beautifully cooked duck with polenta, artichoke and more cauliflower, with a dark and deep (balsamic?) jus...accompanied with a lovely NZ pinot noir...only let down was the cheese, tiny choice, all a bit sweaty. But petits fours were great, and we felt very looked after. Lovely treat. Recommended.

          2. there is some outdoor space at The Ledbury - I ate indoors, but it was certainly worth the trip to Notting Hill!