From floating boats to hidden Italian courtyards, when it comes to brunch – there’s nowhere in the world that does it quite like London. And, if you’re on the hunt for a special brunch to kick off the bride’s hen party, we’ve got you covered with our pick of the best al fresco brunches in London.
13 of the Best Al Fresco Brunches in London Perfect For A Summer Hen Party
[words by Leighanne Bent]
If the bride isn’t one for staying out late and loves a luxurious setting for a catch-up, you can’t go wrong with planning her brunch at Dalloway Terrace. This beautiful space is hidden from the hustle and bustle of London and this summer it’s blooming with hundreds (possibly thousands) of flowers that will trick you into thinking you’re in a Jane Austen novel.
The two-course menu is £35 and it includes your choice of a hot drink and a juice. But there is, of course, Champagne on hand if you’d like to toast with some bubbles. For any pancakes fans at the table, we highly recommend ordering their ever popular buttermilk stack.
No 197 Chiswick Fire Station
Walking into No 197 Chiswick Fire Station is like walking into the pages of a glossy magazine. Think white washed walls, giant cacti and velvet pink couches that once you sit in, you’ll never want to leave. What’s even more special about this Chiswick pad is that they have a secret suntrap out back where you can perch underneath falling foliage and (hopefully) get a tan while you munch.
The menu is packed with surprises including sweet potato hash and coconut chai bowls and if it’s super hot you can cool down with a frozen raspberry frappes, watermelon spritzes and organic juices if you’re going booze-free.
Planning a hen party can be a little stressful – the goal is to make sure nobody cries, peaks too early (there’s always one) and to, of course, ensure that the bride has the best night of her life. If you want to go all out for your best friend’s last hurrah before she gets hitched, you can’t go wrong with 14 Hills.
Two courses will set you back £37 and if you want that extra lining on your tummy (you can never be too careful), for £42 you can make it three courses. Oh, we almost forgot to mention that this place is tear-jerkingly stunning with jungle interiors and an unforgettable view of London.
If you’ve read our piece on the best rooftops to celebrate an engagement party, you may already be familiar with Aqua Kyoto. This photogenic Japanese rooftop with a larger than life flower display is one of the very few in London where you can look down on Regent Street.
For £75 per person you and your group will have 90 minutes of endless prosecco and cocktail refills alongside a selection of platters, from sushi all the way to dessert. If someone on the table isn’t feeling free-flowing, no problem. There’s a booze-free option that just includes food for £40 a head.
Whether you’ve seen it on the big screen or in real life, there’s no denying that London is one of the greatest cities in the world. If you’re after movie-worthy views to set the tone for your best friend’s hen party, believe us when we say there’s no place like Skylight Peckham.
This rooftop promises vistas of the city and depending on what you fancy – a bottomless prosecco or cocktail brunch. That’s not all though, you get to pick one main from their menu and you get access to their DIY Bloody Mary cart. Have your phone fully charged for your visit because you’re sure to get some snaps destined for your mantlepiece.
Darcie & May Green
There’s just no telling with British weather. But when the clouds disappear and the sun’s dominating the sky, you’d swear you’re in a different country. We recommend no better place to soak up these holiday vibes than at Darcie & May Green.
This floating barge in Paddington will see you and the bride tribe aboard an actual boat, tucking into a two-course meal which includes their award-winning banana bread. Best of all? You get to choose between mimosas and straight up fizz for just £48.90 each. When you’re done, head up to their top deck with a drink for plenty of photo opps.
Smith of Smithfield
When it comes to rooftops, London’s got two a penny, so when trying to pick where to go, it can be a little overwhelming. If you’re keen to take the bride somewhere that’s a little more family-orientated and sophisticated, that can be even harder but not to worry – we know just the place.
Smith of Smithfield is a Grade II listed building with four floors plus a rooftop bar and terrace. Every weekend they put on an impressive brunch spread that consists of three courses, a welcome Sipmith gin cocktail and endless Prosecco, Bloody Marys and mimosas. The views are a sight for sore eyes too.
Hidden tropical wonderland The Mandrake has recently launched a Sunday brunch for £65 per person where you can drink and dine on their Jurema terrace. Nestle yourself amongst their hanging greenery and tuck into their sharing concept brunch with unlimited sides and if you fancy it, free-flowing Champagne for £150 per person.
This brunch is a little more on the expensive side but you’re guaranteed to walk away with a happy bride and a photo album of cute snaps.
If you’re organising a hen party and are tasked with finding a space that’s big enough to house all your best friend’s pals and family members (second cousins included), you can stop your endless scrolling.
The Prince is rumoured to be London’s biggest beer garden and in the likely event of bad weather, they have a retractable roof to keep you and the bride tribe dry – no frizzy hair here, thank you very much. It isn’t a bottomless affair here but they do have £35 pitchers and three street food vendors to choose from; pick from cheesy Italian pizzas and moreish Japanese bites.
Bourne & Hollingsworth
Penis straws are probably a no go at Bourne & Hollingsworth (it’s one of the fancier ones on our list) but what they lack in not allowing tacky plastic, they make up for in good looks. Hanging greenery, potted plants and mismatched furniture dominate the space of this dazzling restaurant and they have a greenhouse out back where you can dine in privacy.
Brunch here can be bottomless for just £39 which includes two hours of endless bellinis and Bloody Marys. As for the menu, expect everything from the traditional eggs benedict to an exciting crab and lobster roll big enough to keep you going until dinner.
If you haven’t been to any of the Big Mamma Group restaurants, all you need to know is that they’re gorgeous and they give you plenty of bang for your buck, including Circolo Popolare.
Circolo, however, has something the others don’t: a secret fairy-strewn alfresco garden where you can order Italian-inspired brunch dishes, metre-long pizzas and sharing cocktails. Not far from Tottenham Court Road, it’s super easy to get to which means you’re less likely to lose members of your group along the way.
The Princess Royal
If your bestie is a hardcore foodie, give her a hen to remember and make your way to The Princess Royal in Notting Hill. This gastro pub is one of the area’s most popular hangouts, boasting two outdoor spaces perfect for group gatherings. As for the food, it’s been curated by acclaimed chef, Ben Tish, where he places an emphasis on seasonal British produce with a Mediterranean twist.
There’s sadly no brunch but they do have breakfast with comforting options like fried bread and a lunch menu with steak on homemade focaccia. One last thing you need to know: this place is effortlessly stunning and it has four bookable bedrooms.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
There’s guaranteed to be something for everyone on the Ivy Chelsea Garden‘s weekend brunch menu, especially as they have vegan and vegetarian menus on hand for those who eat meat-free.
There’s fluffy pancakes with lemon balm and eggs benedict with fries plus loads of refreshing cocktails to keep you cool, including the candy floss fizz. If you haven’t been, their Chelsea Garden home is the crème de la crème of outdoor spaces, with ivy-covered pergolas, water fountains and lots of intimate corners for your celebratory get together.
For more information on outdoor restaurants in London, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Instagram and Twitter; @DesignMyNight.