Forget soggy picnic sandwiches – these days, alfresco dining is all about sizzling street food, live music and killer cocktails. Read our pick of the best outdoor pop-ups happening throughout the UK this year.
The Roof Deck, London
Soak up some LA sunshine from the centre of London at Selfridges’ latest restaurant, The Roof Deck. A modish West Coast vibe is woven throughout, with tropical plants, burnished wood furniture and a canopy of surfer-chic basket lights, while the Californian-inspired dishes are perfect for balmy summer evenings: think San Francisco sourdough with smoky whipped ash butter; chicory and kale salad with scorched feta; and seared pink prawns with blistered corn. The main dining area is covered with a retractable roof – a savvy move, given the British climate – but if the sun is shining, head to the open-air bar for cocktails with views across the capital. Try the summer sour, a lip-tingling combo of gin, lime, cucumber seeds
and crushed pepper.
Pergola Paddington Central, London
London’s Pergola on the Roof was the hottest alfresco ticket in town when it launched last summer, and now the team have added a second venue to the mix. Pergola Paddington Central is two floors of open-air joy; there are DJs, live music and eating options galore, from Chinese dumplings to Louisiana oysters. Our tip: try the crispy fish tacos with chipotle
mayo at DF/ Mexico – they’re sure to fire up your weekend.
Quayside Seaside, Newcastle
Feel the sand between your toes without leaving the city centre at Newcastle’s quayside seaside, which returns to the riverbank this summer. Recline on colourful deckchairs while taking in a film, or get in on the volleyball action. To keep you sated, there are tacos aplenty from Mexican street-food masters Barrio Camida. The charcoal-grilled flat-iron steak with salsa negra is a fiery favourite, while local Lindisfarne oysters, served aguachile-style in a ceviche marinade of lime, red onion, cucumber and green chilli, are ideal washed down with a grapefruit margarita or two. Don’t miss the Mexican twist on affogato for dessert; vanilla soft-serve ice cream and creamy Biscoff spread drowning in Patron Café tequila. Now, who said it was grim up north?
Goodness Gracious rooftop garden, Oh Me Oh My, Liverpool
The rooftop bar run by creative café and dining venue Oh Me Oh My is back for a third year. A hidden oasis located high above the city, this tropical plant-filled space boasts dramatic views of Liverpool’s famous trio of buildings, the Three Graces. Sip on a cocktail from the large selection of craft spirits while you listen to live music from local artists – the perfect way to spend a sunny weekend afternoon.
B.Eat Street, Manchester
B.Eat Street has transformed The Great Northern Warehouse – a former railway goods exchange in Deansgate – into a hub for live music and delicious street food. There’s New York-inspired salt-beef bagels, paella and deep-fried halloumi, as well as cocktails from Havana-style bar The Golden Pineapple. That’s the rest of your summer weekends sorted.
Brixton Beach, London
Inspired by the vibrant culture of Cuba, this rooftop ‘beach’ is guaranteed to get you into the festival sprit. Their legendary weekend parties see south London play host to an eclectic collection of urban artists, such as Artful Dodger and DJ Luck. To perk you up after all that raving, they’ll be plenty of street food on offer: think plantain katsu curry, gooey mac ‘n’ cheese toasties and spicy fish tacos.
Neverland Pop Up Beach, London
Bringing the great British seaside to London’s Fulham, this unique Thames-side spot has colourful beach huts, stripy deck chairs and a beach of actual white sand. Kick off your shoes and feast on sticky Dr Pepper and chipotle brisket tacos or pillowy bao buns. What’s more, it’s BYOB: bring your favourite spirit and team of mixologists will whip up a cocktail to suit.
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