Eating outdoors seems to be a beloved worldwide institution nowadays, but we were interested to have a look into its roots as we gear up for some exciting alfresco plans of our own over the summer season.
In the late 1800s, German pie salesman Charles Feltman (credited with the invention of the hot dog!) saw an opportunity to bring a taste of his native country’s lively outdoor beer gardens to Coney Island’s hordes of tourists and thrill-seekers. There’s a fantastic Vice article documenting his journey which you can read here.
Thankfully, the kind of fare that’s available for enjoyment outside has come on in leaps and bounds since the humble hot dog, and now alfresco eats of all kind are a staple of that mythical beast, the British summer time. Here, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite outdoor eating spots up and down the country.
Petersham Nurseries Cafe, Richmond
Nestled in the nursery’s greenhouse, this offering is only sort-of totally alfresco, but it’s such a treat to enjoy your lunch surrounded by fragrant jasmine and bougainvillea. Petersham Nurseries Cafe offers slow Italian food, prepared with seasonal ingredients and plated up to perfection. Expect edible flower arrangements topping your salad!
Nancarrow Farm, Truro
This beautiful organic farm located in the Cornish countryside is also a highly sought after events and wedding venue. Every few months punters are invited to join farm staff and chefs around the open air courtyard fire pit to enjoy a themed feast of seasonal produce grown right there on the land. As you can imagine, tickets sell like hot cakes! Their Instagram is absolutely gorgeous too. Anybody fancy a trip down south?
The Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds
A laid-back, informal option for the young’uns (and young at heart), this cracking event space towers over Leeds’ city centre with a roof terrace to die for. Enjoy a pint of craft beer in the sun and tuck into indulgent Dough Boys pizza or Patty Smiths’ sumptuous burgers, or keep your eyes peeled for incoming kitchen residencies (past guests include Bundobust and Fish&). Don’t miss their gigs, art markets and the famous Belgrave Feast street food festival.
Moorgate’s South Place Hotel is home to this fantastic fish-focused restaurant. Angler’s Michelin-starred menu places sustainable British seafood at the centre of things, with a beautiful west-facing terrace and adjoining bar for enjoying a glass of wine and fishy feast to the accompaniment of a live DJ in the afternoon sun. Amazing!
Riley’s Fish Shack, Tynemouth
When you’re enjoying seafood, though, the best place to be is by the seaside. Jay Rayner fave Riley’s keeps it simple, serving up perfectly chargrilled fish wraps, whole lobsters, and seasonal fish cooked over a wood fire. Take your food and a cold beer out onto the covered verandah with a stunning view of the wild bay beyond.
Of course, it would be silly not to give a nod to our own gorgeous outdoor area here at Hathersage Social Club. The garden space was what attracted us to the location, and we’ve created a lovely suntrap on our patio and a peaceful, semi-shaded terrace on the bank of the babbling Hood Brook for your alfresco enjoyment. Lovely!
In our eagerness to make the most of the summer season, we’ve been hatching an exciting plan. From 21st June until 20th September, we’ll be launching StrEAT our fortnightly alfresco street food offering. Working with amazing local suppliers to dish up Greek strEAT or Zanzibar strEAT and bEATS. Customers will get the chance to grab a tasty meal and enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine in the evening air (or inside round a communal table or on our comfy sofas if the weather isn’t cooperative). Find out more here. On the Thursday’s that we’re not strEATing you can just come for our Thursday night Socials, our great standard menu with specials inspired by our weekend events theme. Check out a sample Club Social right here.
We’d love to see you there! Keep an eye out on-site or join our mailing list here to keep up to date with all of our alfresco dining opportunities.