Almost Alfresco - London restaurants and bars with retractable roofs

Be prepared for anything the British weather throws at you. We've drawn up a shortlist of restaurants and bars with retractable roofs so they're great come rain or shine.



Mayfair - 1 Dover Yard, London W1J 8NE

Chef Tom Sellers’ restaurant at the 1 Hotel Mayfair boasts a massive terrace that’s perfect no matter what the weather - the retractable roof and fireplace covers all options. The USP here is the build-your-own options from the DIY frozen margarita menu to the knickerbocker glory trolley.


The Hawks NestThe Hawks Nest

Shepherd's Bush - Goldhawk Rd, Shepherd's Bush Market, London W12 8DF

Tucked away underneath the railway arches beside Shepherd’s Bush Market, The Hawk’s Nest says it’s got the largest retractable roof of its kind in the UK. That means that there’s space for up to 300 Londoners to book a table here knowing the weather won’t get in the way. High on the list if you do get a seat is their early bird Margarita deal of pizza and cocktails.


Studio Frantzén LondonStudio Frantzén London

Knightsbridge - Fifth Floor, Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL

There aren’t many rooftop spots in Knightsbridge so the full-blown weatherproofing of the rooftop terrace at Studio Frantzén is even more welcome. The space is split into bar and dining room and there’s a retractable roof and heating. It’s a great place if you can secure a booking for weekend brunch.


Il GattopardoIl Gattopardo

Mayfair - 27 Albemarle St, London W1S 4HZ

Go straight through the first dining room at this newish Mayfair Italian and you’ll find yourself in The Terrazza - a tucked-away conservatory with a retractable glass roof in the heart of the restaurant. It’s a particularly good place to enjoy a Negroni gelato this summer.


8 at The Londoner8 at The Londoner

Leicester Square - 38 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7DX

Both the Shima Garden and the izakaya terrace at this rooftop bar have weatherproof elements. The former has a fully retractable roof and a firepit so it’s perfect all year round for inventive cocktails. If you’re after Japanese small plates too, their lounge and terrace up here also has retractable skylights for when the weather’s good.



Kensington - 94 Kensington High St, London W8 4SH

Every part of this Big Mamma restaurant in Kensington has something to catch the eye but you need to head to the Sicilian dining room on the mezzanine floor to find a space that can be opened to the elements. Enjoy dining under the stars while tucking into the spaghetti al tartufo.



Clerkenwell - 88 St John St, London EC1M 4EH

Hidden away at the back of this gorgeous modern Italian in the heart of Clerkenwell you’ll find their garden terrace,  half of which has a retractable roof. It’s an incredibly pretty spot to enjoy a quiet lunch or dinner in the heart of the city.


Clos MaggioreClos Maggiore

Covent Garden - 33 King St, London WC2E 8JD

All year long the conservatory dining room of this self-proclaimed ‘most romantic restaurant in London’ is festooned with flowers. During the winter the roof remains closed and the open fires burn, but come the summer months the glass roof is fully retractable making this the perfect spot for a summer proposal or anniversary lunch. 



Shoreditch - 17B Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AA

Having dropped the liquor from its name, it’s all change up on the rooftop too at TT in Shoreditch. It’s both enclosed and with a retractable roof so dining up here is an all-weather endeavour throughout the year. 


Marquess of AngleseyMarquess of Anglesey

Covent Garden - 39 Bow St, London WC2E 7AU

After an extensive renovation, this Covent Garden pub now has a rooftop bar where the roof is optional depending on the British summer. It’s a very handy spot if you’re looking for an alfresco pint somewhere pre or post-theatre in this part of town. 


Mama ShelterMama Shelter

Hackney - 437 Hackney Rd, London E2 8PP

From outside on Hackney Road you’d never know that at the heart of this East London boutique hotel is a Garden Bar, covered in foliage and with a retractable roof so you can enjoy your cocktails without worrying about the weather.


Light Bar & DiningLight Bar & Dining

Shoreditch - 233 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6PJ

You’d never know you were moments away from the craziness of Shoreditch High Street when you step out into Light Bar’s garden. When the sky is clear it’s a total suntrap - perfect for enjoying a margarita - but it can also be covered and heated too on cooler evenings.


Secret Garden at South Place HotelSecret Garden at South Place Hotel

Coty of London - 3 South Pl, London EC2M 2AF

A little oasis in the heart of the City, South Place Hotel’s Secret Garden is festooned with greenery and the sound of water features. It’s a useful spot to know about whether you’re after a frosty beer or cocktail and nibbles and the roof is fully retractable.


Alto at SelfridgesAlto at Selfridges

The Rooftop, Selfridges, Oxford St, London W1A 1AB

One of London’s OG rooftop restaurants with a retractable roof, Alto enjoys great views across London and along Oxford Street. When you’re weary from shopping retreat up here for truffled burrata, arancini and pasta.



Also see

The very best restaurants in London for eating alfresco
For days of glorious spring sunshine, knowing a good alfresco place to eat is invaluable. Here's our guide to London's loveliest spots for outdoor dining...
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