From riverside lunches to floral flanked afternoon teas, with such glorious weather shining down on London why not make the most of the start of the summer holidays and grab a bite alfresco with the kids. The British weather may be a little unpredictable, however, these family outdoor dining spots are guaranteed to satisfy gourmands both big and small…
Just a stroll away from Ealing Broadway, Soane’s Kitchen is the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy seasonal dishes produced within John Soane’s original walled kitchen garden. With a weekends only brunch menu, grown ups there can enjoy virtuous smoothie bowls, homemade granola or mushrooms on toast drizzled with truffle oil and pecorino or an sinfully sweet French brioche toast loaded with crispy bacon, almonds and a dollop of maple cream. For mini ones there’s a menu of a classic dippy egg and soldiers, a sizzling sausage and mash and penne pasta in a fresh tomato sauce. High chairs a plenty, a spacious changing room and gorgeous grounds for a post-brunch amble.
Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing, W5 5EQ
Chucs Cafe Serpentine
Set within a modern architectural landmark, Zaha Hadid’s renowned ‘Magazine’ extension to the Serpentine Gallery, Chucs Cafe Serpentine, in the heart of Hyde Park is a must-try with the family this summer. Their brilliant Bambini Brunches each Saturday from 10am to 2pm allow parents to kick-back with healthy breakfast bowls & eggs every which way, while little ones are kept busy with arts & crafts, and a whole host of fun games, courtesy of on-site leading children’s entertainers. When tiny tummies start to rumble, Chucs have stacks of Nutella pancakes, babycinos & freshly pressed juice (amongst other sweet breakfast treats) on hand.
The Serpentine Gallery, West Carriage Drive, Hyde Park, London, W2 2AR
Dulwich Picture Gallery Cafe & The Colour Palace
A bijou treat nestled in the heart of Dulwich Village, the world’s first purpose-built public art gallery not only boasts an enviable art collection for local families to enjoy but their contemporary glass-sided cafe offers quite a kids menu too. From juicy aged beef burgers served piled high in a brioche bun to brunch-ready buttermilk pancakes topped with caramelised banana. Kids picnic boxes are generously packed with York ham or Lincolnshire poacher cheddar sandwiches, Pipers crisps or Propercorn and a choice of market fruit. For sleep-deprived parents, why not grab a Union coffee and cheeky sausage roll! This summer be sure to explore The Colour Palace, the second ever Pavillion at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. For foodie families with an older brood, why not tickle your tastebuds at the Pavilion Supper Clubs from Michelin-star chef Ollie Dabbous and Stories on Our Plate.
Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD
A Tiny Table favourite, at Dishoom Shoreditch why not opt for a sky-view with a seat on their cosy and eclectic verandah. Dishoom’s children’s menu has been designed with chote (little) Dishoom-wallas in mind – smaller portions, very little spice, but just as nice. Tender Murgh Malai – a sweet and mild tender grilled chicken thigh, traditional paneer cheese tikka and a meaty white talipia fish fillet marinaded in yoghurt are all served with moreish Bombay potatoes, Dishoom slaw and a glass of fruit juice. An accessible and adventurous foray into the world of Indian cuisine the whole family can enjoy.
7 Boundary Street, London, E2 7JE
The Lido Cafe
Looking out onto the azure waters of the open air pool at Brockwell Lido, The Lido Cafe flaunts a famously fabulous Grade II listed Art Deco building and is a go-to with famished families nearby. Following the seasons, their mainly vegan and vegetarian dishes that are great on their own but you can add meat if that’s your thing. All eggs and chicken are free range, our Longhorn beef is aged for at least 35 days and our pork is Gloucester Old Spot. The kids all day menu includes comforting faves – peanut butter banana toast, mac and cheese and beef sliders with chunky homemade chips. Scoop up a Purebecks ice cream on scorching summer days.
The Lido Cafe, Dulwich Road, SE24 0PA
With panoramic views overlooking the river Thames and a backdrop of London’s sleek skyline, Gordon Ramsay’s The Narrow restaurant is a handsome retreat from the city, within the city. Kids upto the age of 12 can tuck into Tilly’s Treats menu for free all day, every day. An exciting selection of dishes to please the pickiest eaters with mains of sausage and mash, fish and chips and meatballs with pasta. They’ll then have the delicious decision of choosing a sweet treat of chocolate brownie, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce or sticky toffee pudding. There’s even Tilly’s Treats Kids Pack for craft loving little ones.
44 Narrow Street, London, E14 8DP
The Brew House Cafe
A failsafe choice of families across North West London, Kenwood House’s Brew House Cafe has long been an al-fresco fave. With food by Searcys, there’s a host of healthy dishes including salmon and haddock fishcakes with pea salsa, chargrilled chicken spiked with garlic and chilli and the veggie quiches and plentiful salads are always a popular park lunch choice. Those looking to soak up the sun, make a bee-line for The Steward’s Room for kids pick and mix picnic boxes. Mamas, there’s even a decadent afternoon tea if you fancy channeling the historic ladies of Kenwood.
Kenwood House Hampstead Lane, London NW3 7JR
The Good Egg Soho
Having a little ones in tow doesn’t mean you have to compromise when it comes to grabbing an epic brunch. The Good Egg Soho sits in Kingly Court and their outdoor seating is not only great for a spot of people watching but ideal for mini ones looking to meander mid-course. Breakfast plates comes with fudgy eggs, pita and a plethora of dips, go meaty with a spicy merguez or veggie with, as the kids call it, ’squeaky cheese’ AKA halloumi. The kids version is half the price and a more palette friendly offering of egg, pita, jam, yoghurt and fruit at £6. For the journey home grab Oded’s baba slice – YUM!
Ground Floor, Kingly Court, Kingly Street, Soho, London, W1B 5PW
Petersham Nurseries – The Teahouse
If a cuppa and light bite amongst the bougainvillea is the order of the day why not treat the kids to a charming afternoon at Petersham Nurseries Teahouse. With dishes inspired by the kitchen garden and a nod to British and Italian cuisine, the menu offers up everything from asparagus and herb frittata, ideal for little ones at lunchtime, to roasted spiced veggies and yoghurt. Towering cheddar and black Iberico tomato sarnies on seeded bloomers will do for Dad and the chicken pie is pretty epic too! Seasonal fruit, dairy, egg-free and veggie options really do ensure this menu is fit for all families.
Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Off Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7AB
The River Cafe
A firm favourite with a myriad of our Table Talk guests, Ruthie Rogers and Rose Gray’s Thameside stalwart, The River Cafe, is a summertime joy. Nab a seat in the glorious riverside garden, planted out with endless herbs, salad and edible flowers, and you can your family can feast on the best Italian food this side of Florence. Primi plates of ravioli stuffed with buffalo ricotta, garden herbs & lemon zest and taglierini with cherry & marigold tomatoes and basil are the perfect size for smaller guests and the dreamy Gelati del River Cafe will set gleeful grins on tots for days – roasted almond and caramel are a winning combination. Mums for those who pick the Chocolate Nemesis, you have been warned, tiny nimble fingers will be a-pinching this stellar dessert!
Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, Hammersmith, W6 9HA