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20+ places to eat al fresco

Pop the cork! Here's to al fresco meet-ups come April 12. We've picked 25 of the best places in Cov and Warks from snazzy pods to our favourite local beer gardens and terraces. Cheers!

Monday April 12 is the start of outdoor dining and we’re a little bit excited (can you tell?). Whether you want your green space near a river, meadow, canal, village or city rooftop terrace, we’ve scoured Cov & Warks for the best in show. Pick your five fave people and bag a table at one of these al fresco hot spots.

The Arden Terrace, Stratford-upon-Avon

Enjoy breath-taking views across the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the River Avon with your favourite tipple from a prime waterside hot spot in Stratford. The Arden terrace is opening for outdoor dining from Mon April 12, as the team are preparing the hotel and No44 Brasserie for reopening on May 17. Book in for morning coffee, nibbles, light lunch, early dinner or an indulgent afternoon tea from 10am-8pm daily. See the terrace menu here. Online bookings here. Tel: 01789 298682.

The George Townhouse, Shipston-on-Stour

This award-winning Georgian boutique hotel, pub and restaurant is located in the heart of pretty Shipston-on-Stour, south of Stratford on the North Cotswolds border. The lovely garden terrace at the back of the building is a sun trap and they’ve also transformed the car park into ‘The George Alfresco’ – a stylish courtyard-style outdoor dining area. After Monday April 12, food and drink will be served al fresco Thurs-Sun until May 17 when The George will return to a 7- day opening. Cocktail night will also resume from Thurs April 15! Nice. View the Outside food menu here. Book your table here.

The Cross at Kenilworth

Book your spot at this Michelin starred gastro gem and enjoy their signature cocktail, a French 75 – Bombay Sapphire Gin, Champagne, lemon juice and a touch of sugar – on the terrace. Their Al Fresco Pop-up dining experience opens on Wed April 14 and includes heated tents. Choose from a set menu (£50 for two courses, £60 for three courses) and a five-course tasting menu (£80). Highlights include seasonal dishes potato & wild garlic soup, ham hock & parmesan croquettes, Gin Cured Sea Trout, cucumber, borage, horseradish, soda bread and Yorkshire rhubarb fool, jelly, compote & sorbet, warm honey and ginger madeleine. See all menus here. Open for five weeks, Wed-Sun from 2pm (last reservations taken at 7pm).

The Castle at Edgehill, Ratley, near Kineton

Perched atop a hill this historic restaurant, hotel and country pub has views of the fields where the Battle of Edgehill took place in 1642. There’s a rather more peaceful vibe these days thankfully in the large, verdant beer garden, which is lined with fragrant lavender borders. The Castle at Edgehill is re-opening on 12 April and tables are first come, first served. Check the website for food serving times.

The Yew Tree, Avon Dassett

Nestled in the countryside, close to Southam and a stone’s throw from the Burton Dassett Hills, you’ll find this recently refurbished village pub. The garden has been spruced up ready for summer with colourful spring blooms, sound system, fairy lights and new spring menus. A new menu at the revamped ice-cream shack includes milkshakes made with Frellies homemade ice cream sourced from the village, fruit smoothies and paninis to takeaway only. Local Napton ‘Lost Apple’ cider will also be served. (Open on weekends and more extensively as it gets hotter). Several summer events are already in the diary including a great May bank holiday Sunday (May 2) with live music duo Swagger (2-5pm) followed by a great big outdoor pub quiz (7pm-9.30pm). To book a table Tel 01295 690844, book online here or follow the link on their Insta bio

The Open Arms, Warwick Castle

Image: Digbeth Dining Club

Is this the best looking beer garden in Britain? Digbeth Dining Club is back by popular demand! Al fresco award-winning street food nosh and outdoor beer garden with the iconic Warwick Castle as a backdrop. Tickets for May are now on sale here.

Ettington Park Hotel, Ettington, near Stratford

Dine al fresco in the grounds of this impressive Neo-Gothic mansion with its towering turrets and colourful brickwork, overlooking the Norman Chapel, Orangery and gardens. Sit under the shelter the hotel’s beautiful new stretch tent. Dogs welcome too with a special ‘a la bark’ menu! Open 10am – 8pm daily. View the menu here and to make a reservation book here.

Fizzy Moon Brewhouse, Leamington Spa

This previous Muddy award-winner has always been one for the after work drinkies crowd and those ooops-is-it-1am -already? nights. Thankfully it also has one of the biggest beer gardens in Leamington Spa, so the fun begins on April 12 when it’s open for drinks and meals on an umbrella covered bench or one of the snazzy pods. Bookings taken for tables of six here and download Fizzy Moon’s app in advance to order pizza, tapas or burgers to your table and work your way through the extensive gin menu. 160 options! Open Mon-Sun 12pm-11pm.

Generators rooftop bar, Telegraph Hotel, Coventry

The iconic Telegraph building at 157 Corporation Street was home to the city’s newspaper for more than 50 years – it’s now been converted into an £18m mid-century 88-room boutique 4-star hotel and restaurant. The long-awaited opening begins with the rooftop bar on Wed April 14. It’s currently fully booked until May 5. Small plate Mediterranean tapas, drinks and headline cocktails will be served. The hotel will follow suite on May 17 with room bookings being taken.

Hilltop Farm Café, Hunningham

Throughout the lockdowns Hilltop Farm has been serving up top dine-in boxes and street food takeaways, but the café doors will be opening for outdoor dining on April 12. You’ll be greeted by far reaching countryside views, a play area to keep littlies entertained and lovely farm shop to pick up seasonal produce. Bookings taken for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. Menu here. See what’s on here.

The Hatton Arms, Hatton, Warwick

Overlooking the Grand Union Canal and surrounding countryside, this former 18th-century coaching inn is part of the 900-acre Hatton Estate. There’s a refurbished fully covered heated terrace opening on April 12 from which to nurse your glass of rosé – with stunning views over Hatton’s 21 Stairway to Heaven canal. Decked out with fairy lights, with plenty of rugs in case it gets chilly, it has a new spring menu. Also worth noting if you’re looking for a party venue, a new private celebration marquee in the large garden for up to 30 will be available from May 17. You can register your interest here. Walk-ins welcome, bookings recommended.

The Boathouse, Stratford-upon-Avon

Views from upstairs at The Boathouse

Views from the garden of this riverside bistro – located on the first floor of an 18th century working boathouse run by Avon Boating – take in the Grade I listed Saxon Clopton Bridge and the RSC. It’s the perfect location to watch the world float by. The Boathouse opens April 12 with a container bar and new spring menu.

The riverside garden

West Terrace, Coombe Abbey Hotel, Binley

Award-winning 4-star hotel, Coombe Abbey will be back open for alfresco dining on Wed April 14. The West Terrace with its beautiful views over the formal gardens will be open, along with the outdoor bar area for people in bubbles of up to six to enjoy an afternoon tea. The hotel is also preparing to fully reopen on Mon May 17 with bookings to stay or dine being taken. Book here or Tel: 024 7645 0450.

The Belgrade Café, Coventry

Finishing touches being added to the new Belgrade Café. Image: Lazzeri Creative Interiors

Ready in time for Coventry UK City of Culture, the downstairs Belgrade Café has been newly refurbished as part of a £5.5m 2020 Redevelopment Project. This includes the brand-new Café Bar Nineteen5 upstairs, which will be unveiled when the theatre opens on May 17. Prior to this, from April 12, the Belgrade Café will be offering locally sourced food and drink including the Belgrade bacon bap, vegan sausage bap, loaded fries and nachos to takeaway and enjoy on tables outside the theatre on Belgrade Square, overlooking the fountain and new 1950s boutique hotel The Telegraph. Open Mon-Sat, 8am – 5pm.

The Old Coffee Tavern, Warwick

The walled garden of this former teetotal Victorian coffee tavern is small but very sweet. You’re just off Warwick’s Market Square and high street too, which is perfect for a browse in the sunshine. The Old Coffee Tavern is reopening on 12 April.

Coventry Dining Club, Coventry Cathedral

Image: Digbeth Dining Club

Digbeth Dining Club returns to Coventry, this time it’s taking over the Cathedral square. Tickets available to book from Fri April 23.

The Red Lion, Hunningham

A previous Muddy Award winner, this lovely village pub boasts a glorious riverside garden not far from Leamington Spa. It will be taking bookings for the marquee, but not the uncovered garden. Reopening April 12.

The Boot Inn, Lapworth

This idyllic rustic country pub is close to two National Trust homes, Packwood House and Baddesley Clinton (grounds open), if you’re looking to make an afternoon of it. In the garden there’s tepees, outside garden rooms, sheepskin rugs and heating galore. Self-taught chef Harshad Chavda lives food, from reading mountains of recipes to trawling through the fresh spice markets around Birmingham in order to source the ingredients that often give his dishes the gentlest Asian twists. Relying on local producers as well as Asian supermarkets and coastal fish suppliers, his beef rendang – aromatic and hearty – is as sought after as classic fish & chips and burgers. Bookings should be made via their online portal here.

The Rose and Crown, Warwick

Miso glazed cod with black rice choy sum lime chilli and coriander is one of the dishes on the new spring outdoor menu. Meat-free options include Dirty Vegan burger with Marmite onions, smoked cheese, tomato relish and fries. The pub does a great breakfast too, plus there are new arrivals on the drinks list including cocktails, gins and soft drinks. Smart wooden tables and bright red chairs have been set up outside with big umbrellas decorated with fairy lights and candles. The entire space is heated and there are fleecy blankets to snuggle under and piles of cushions to sink into in a lovely suntrap off Market Square. The pub has also extended its outside area by taking over the four car parking spaces at the front with seating spots to sit and nurse a pint of real ale or a glass of something chilled, again with parasols and heating. Book here

The Crabmill, Preston Bagot

Dine in the front and covered back garden of this rustic former rural cider mill close to Henley-in-Arden. It’s open from April 12 for tables of six for al fresco eating and drinking. There’s a 5.8km circular walk from the pub joining the Stratford canal towpath (download route here). Sister pub The Arrow Mill near Alcester and Stratford also has a brilliant pub garden – with a covered marquee. Check out images here.

Ye Olde Saracens Head, Balsall Common

This stylish village pub is all set for al fresco dining with its wood fired pizza oven, extra umbrellas and heaters in their garden terrace. Book ahead here for April 12 and onwards as covered seating is limited.

The White Hart Inn, Ufton, Leamington Spa

Fancy amazing views with your G&T? This country pub has panoramic views across the Warwickshire countryside – and is hugely popular with ramblers. You can park for free and head out on two Blue Lias Rings walks taking in some of Warwickshire’s finest scenery and an ancient woodland carpeted with bluebells in April/May (download walk route here). Tuck in to the garden menu or a takeaway burger when you come back. Book online. Tel: 01926 612976.

The Saxon Mill, Guys Cliffe, Warwick

This Grade II listed former 12th century mill with working water mill overlooks the attractive landscape of Guys Cliffe and mesmerising waterfall in the adjacent River Avon. The outdoor terrace will be open from April 12 offering a reduced al fresco dining menu. See here. Book here for garden drinks and outdoor dining: Nice riverside walks nearby.

The Fuzzy Duck, Armscote

Once a coaching inn, this refurbished village pub, restaurant and boutique B&B, has a delightful decked terrace and enclosed child-friendly pub garden. Run by the owners of beauty brand Baylis & Harding it’s a welcoming countryside destination for families, including four legged friends. A previous Muddy award winner to boot plus GQ’s Best pub winner 2018. The Fuzzy Duck is planning to reopen fully on May 17.

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1 comment on “20+ places to eat al fresco”

  • Joanna Cook April 11, 2021

    Hi,

    I live in Whichford and think our village pub The Norman Knight definitely deserves an inclusion in this list. Wonderful beef garden overlooking the beautiful village green, dog and people friendly staff! Delicious food both in the garden and as takeaways, with an emphasis on fish. They have looked after us so well during lockdown and think they definitely deserve a mention. Drinking tomorrow and food served from Tuesday onwards. Check out their website and facebook page for opening times.

    Kind regards,
    Joanna Cook
    Whichford

    Reply

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