This Is Summer: Eating out

Nobody wants to be inside on a lovely day – so make a note of these delightful eateries around Britain that have outside spaces, from garden benches to elegant terraces

Petersham Nurseries Richmond
off Petersham Road, Richmond,
Surrey TW10 7AG (020 8605 3627)

Set among meadows, complete with grazing cows and distant church steeples, on a stretch of the Thames known as Arcadia, Petersham Nurseries enjoys the most idyllic of locations. Diners sit at an assortment of wooden and wrought-iron tables in one of the nursery's earth-floored conservatories. The IoS's own Skye Gyngell, formerly a private chef to the likes of Madonna and Charles Saatchi, cooks with seasonal and impeccably sourced ingredients, including fruits and salads from the garden behind her shed-like kitchen. It's unfussy, self-confident and fabulously flavourful – she likens her technique to making music – with dishes designed to run the full scale, from earthy base notes to fresh top notes.

The Bell at Skenfrith
Monmouthshire NP7 8UH (01600 750 235)

2007's Michelin Pub of the Year has much to recommend it – its heritage as a 17th-century coaching inn, its views over the Monnow river, its flagstone floors and oak beams. But for superb local food served on the garden terrace on a sunny day, The Bell is particularly worth a visit.

The Lawn
Fulham Palace
Bishops Avenue
London SW6 6EA (020 7736 3233)

Restaurateur Oliver Peyton has already had a hit with Inn the Park, his St James's Park eaterie. Now west London has the brand-new Lawn. This child-friendly café serves delicious dishes outside overlooking the palace gardens: from sardines with white beans to classic English afternoon tea.

The Inn at Whitewell
near Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 3AT (01200 448 222)

This historic rural inn has a riverside garden in which to enjoy "a plate of something delicious and a glass of wine". The Inn has bedrooms for a longer stay, but if you fancy a summery lunch with simple dishes sourced from local ingredients and organic cider, for instance, then this is an unmissable stop.

Casa Mia Millennium, Leeds
Millennium Square
Leeds LS1 3AD (0870 444 5154)

Leeds city centre has an excellent place to sit outside and enjoy a pitstop of well-executed Italian dishes. Casa Mia's "flagship" branch is bustling, with café, deli and bar inside – but during the sunny months it makes the perfect resting place between shops for some energy-giving pizza!

The Riverside Brasserie, Bray
Bray Marina
Monkey Island Lane
Berks SL6 2EB (01628 780 553)

From June till October, those who like boats, or just watching the world go by, should head to this delightful brasserie right by the river at Bray. For yummy Mediterranean food outside on the terrace, this can't be beaten. And your booking includes a table inside, should the British weather turn...

Oddfellows, Chester
20 Lower Bridge Street
Chester CH1 1RS (01244 689 809)

Oddfellows offers a variety of eating options, and for summer the poolside tables and cabanas are a very chic and funky way to while away a few hours with a cold cocktail and some delicious food. It's a hotel, too, so a great weekend bolthole!

Start Bay Inn, Torcross
near Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2TQ (01548 580 553)

Situated on Slapton Sands, fish is the emphasis at this fabulous inn. In fine weather you can sit outside overlooking the sea, and feed your family with lip-smackingly fresh dishes like crab sandwiches, lemon sole and chips and local ice cream. Delicious!

The Sticky Prawn, Flushing Quay
Cornwall TR11 5TY
(01326 373 734)

The Sticky Prawn is right by the water and offers a tempting array of dishes, from lemon posset to devilled whitebait. The busy quay means outside eaters have plenty to distract them, but the imaginative wine list is well worth concentrating on.

The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon
Powys LD3 0UB (01874 620 111)

Home-made boudin blanc, saddle of local lamb, Welsh cakes with honey ice cream... Is your mouth watering yet? As the menu suggests, this restaurant specialises in "the simple things done well" and the Griffin has richly deserved its reputation as "best family restaurant" in this year's Good Food Guide. And the garden is where part of your meal will have been grown.

The White Horse, Brancaster Staithe
Norfolk PE31 8BY(01485 210 262)

Sit outside on the terrace of The White Horse and enjoy local seafood like cockles, mussels and oysters – fetched practically from the bottom of the garden. There are also local cheeses to polish off an elegant meal from a restaurant that also serves its own hotel guests.

The Ship Inn, The Toft
Fife KY9 1DT Scotland
(01333 330 246)

Join the folk who've visited this off-the-beaten-track pub since 1838! But innovations at The Ship, which overlooks a white sand beach, include summer weekend barbecues with home-made burgers and sausages. Take your fish and chips outside with a pint, and watch the pub's team play cricket.

The Black Horse, Woburn
Bedford Street, Woburn MK17 9QB
(0152 529 0210)

Tucked away at the back of this 18th-century pub is a secret courtyard garden where visitors can while away the hours drinking traditional beers and tucking into pork, apple and sage burgers, bacon, beetroot and goat's cheese tarts, yummy bites from the deli menu or full afternoon tea. A delight.

Daylesford Organic, Daylesford
near Kingham
Gloucestershire GL56 0YG (01608 731 700)

Daylesford has become a byword for swanky organic produce, and its London sister is a King's Road "destination". But the original café at Daylesford itself is unmissable – anything from brunch to afternoon tea in the garden will stay long in the memory.

The Inn on the Hill, Haslemere
Lower Street
Surrey GU27 2PD
(01428 642 006)

From full breakfasts to deft salads and juicy steaks, The Inn on the Hill has everything Surrey's foodies might want – all in elegant surroundings where children are welcome. The Inn also offers a South African braai (barbecue) through the summer months.

Sevendials Restaurant, Brighton
1 Buckingham Place
Brighton BN1 3TD
(01273 885 555)

Residents of the south coast adore Sevendials and it's easy to see why. Whatever time of day or evening, there's a foodie treat in store – and during the summer the wood-decked terrace is the place to linger.A Brighton institution.

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