Dining al fresco in Chelsea

Although this June is set to be the wettest on record, I’m staying hopeful that an Indian summer awaits us. When the warm weather does finally come, these destinations around Chelsea are top of my list – whether soaking up the sun’s rays over a refreshing cocktail with friends, or enjoying some delicious al fresco dining with family.

Duke of York Square terraces

Boasting a mouth-watering selection of cuisines from all over the world, this sunny Square is a little oasis of calm away from hustle and bustle of the main road. Head here for shopping, beauty treatments and contemporary art at the Saatchi Gallery, then refuel and re-energize on its plentiful sunny terraces. 

If you’re seeking the dolce vita, Polpo’s vibrant Venetian sharing plates and spritzers will go down a treat, while the conservatory at Manicomio, or its stunning walled garden, provides ample respite from the rush.

Soak up the feel-good factor on the large, colourful terrace outside Comptoir Libanais, while you sample the equally colourful Lebanese menu for lunch. For Istanbul-inspired dishes, I love The Black Penny and its amazing breakfasts; the coffee is pretty good too – served by Alchemy, one of London’s leading roasters – making it great for a pit-stop. 

Alternatively, the Saatchi isn’t just a destination for art; its popular Gallery Mess is a chic option, whether it’s client lunches or catch-ups on the agenda. It’s especially good for soaking up the sunshine during Wimbledon. 

Pavilion Road: 

Located on the longest mews in London, just off Symons Street, there’s a great atmosphere all along Pavilion Road. This courtyard is my favourite hidden gem in Chelsea, and I love to soak up the atmosphere al fresco. With the likes of Granger & Co. and The Sea, The Sea sequestered down this picturesque side street, you can peruse gorgeous florists and delis before picking a spot. 

Serving sunny, Aussie dishes, Granger & Co is a great bet for brunch (the sweetcorn fritters are to die for). Just be prepared to queue on weekends as they only take reservations for evenings.

Also in Pavilion Road’s courtyard, April’s Café offers customers of designer store Boutique 1 somewhere equally stylish to sate their taste buds, once their sartorial itch has been scratched. Inspired by Chelsea favourite the Physic Gardens, I love the peaceful shaded terrace there: a perfect little spot to enjoy a glass of wine or a plate of something fresh and delicious.

If you want to reserve a spot for dinner, taste the finest seafood in Chelsea at The Sea, The Sea. A fishmonger and deli by day, this gem transforms into a restaurant and Champagne bar after 6.30pm. Its cliff-inspired bare-brick interior is quite something, but the terrace is equally lovely for golden-hour grazing.

Whether you’re vegan, veggie, or just in the mood to indulge your inner herbivore, Wulf & Lamb is a vegan restaurant which non-vegans will also love; their hearty and tasty dishes are very satisfying. I love this place.

Just over the road, Hans’ Bar & Grill’s seasonal British menu is served all day; a lovely spot, nestled amongst the artisanal shops and food suppliers on Pavilion Road.

The Bluebird 

For summer barbecues and Wimbledon screenings while sipping Champagne, Bluebird is the place to be. Head here to people-watch over a coffee or cocktail on the sprawling terrace, sequestered just off the King’s Road but still close enough to feel that your right in the centre of the action. I also love the terrace here in winter, where the plentiful throws and blankets add more than a little hygge to the offering. 

The Market Place Restaurant at Chelsea Farmers Market

With great atmosphere and pumping music, I love Market Place Restaurant at Chelsea Farmers Market on Sydney Street. It’s the perfect spot for Aperol Spritz in the sun, al fresco- catch-ups with besties and a real holiday feeling in the heart of Chelsea.

The Chelsea Courtyard

Tucked between two beautiful Victorian buildings, it’s easy to miss this hidden gem on Sydney Street. An absolute oasis of botanical beauty, this little sun trap is a gorgeous place to unwind with a cocktail or few – and the abundant foliage and flowers will look pretty good on your Instagram grid, too.

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