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Dining alfresco in London is often a luxury but as soon as the summer sun peaks from behind the clouds, we all go in search of a piece of glorious sunshine we can claim as our own, with friends and family in tow.
The modern way to enjoy barbecued meats and burgers is to let your favourite London bars and restaurants provide the alfresco BBQ experience for you, instead of attempting it at home. Pubs with beer gardens suddenly become BBQ havens. Bars with roof terraces suddenly transform into pop-up seasonal BBQ restaurants. And restaurants with alfresco BBQ tendencies, suddenly start to appear outdoors.
This Top 10 guide to the best BBQs in London will have you down by the river, up on a roof garden, and out in the sun in a jiffy.
Tags: Outdoor Dining/Drinking
Wandsworth / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
Situated on the banks of the Thames by Wandsworth Bridge, this pub counts a bustling 360° bar and cosy restaurant among its many attractions. The main draw during summer months, though, has to be the newly-refurbished BBQ area towards the back of the venue, on the banks of the river. State-of-the-art grilling facilities sit alongside sheltered booths providing ample seating room, while the staff serve up the best produce going. Great food and drink have come to define this remote but friendly London pub, which also holds regular live music and quiz nights.
The Jam Tree
Clapham / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
The Jam Tree has launched a summertime barbecue menu at both its Chelsea and Clapham venues. If the weather is glorious, delicious barbecue treats will sizzle outside over coals in the secluded garden space but if it is predictably British, they will be barbecued to perfection on the kitchen grill. The menu includes barbecue classics such as whole rack of meaty baby back ribs in a sticky barbecue sauce alongside more exotic dishes such as plantain kebab and lemongrass & coconut marinated sea bass fillet in banana leaf. As well as its modern take on British cuisine, the Jam Tree is notable for its sizeable beer gardens that come into their own on sunny days and can seat up to 60 people.
Fulham / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Pub
This is usually a vibrant DJ bar, but once the sunshine hits the beer garden, it becomes an outdoor grill offering tasty food like freshly handmade burgers, sticky wings with BBQ sauce and lamb and peri peri chicken marinated skewers. Elk Bar has a relaxed and warm atmosphere with chic and comfortable furniture; combined with an open, spacious design, making Elk Bar an attractive prospect as soon as you walk through the door. One of London's most amazing gardens with incredible plants and flowers creating an oasis of calm; the perfect setting to enjoy their refreshing cocktails.
Courtyard at 51
St James / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Lebanese
With its grandiose fountain, red brick walls and multi-coloured mosaics, the Courtyard of the 51 Buckingham Gate Hotel in St. James Park is an opulent setting for high tea and high society receptions all year round. But from May to August - weather and schedule permitting - it also does a fine line in simple, al fresco barbecue dining, with well-sourced ingredients. The prices start from £15.50 so it's more on the pricey side. The refined service and picture-perfect décor are not those usually associated with a satisfying day's grilling, but the Courtyard pulls off its dual identity with panache, and makes for a delightfully out-of-the-ordinary barbecue venue.
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