Alfresco Dining Hotspots to Savour the Warm Weather
Food and sunshine are two of the most important factors for travellers when choosing their next holiday destination. In fact, nearly 60% of travellers indicate that the quality of the food is a key factor in deciding their next holiday destination*, and more than half of global travellers give major consideration to the weather (53%)**. So for your next trip, why not combine both?
No matter your palate or budget, enjoying a fabulous meal or a cocktail outside on a terrace is a great way to enjoy the climbing temperatures as the warmer days of summer approach. With that in mind, we present five of the best alfresco dining hotspots. From rooftop wonders with panoramic city views to waterside restaurant gems and hidden eateries nestled in sunny courtyards, so long as the weather cooperates, these unique, open-air options will help you make the most of the outdoor dining season.
The enchanting Grotta Palazzese definitely holds a place on every foodie’s bucket list. This breath-taking restaurant is built inside a cave on the Italian coast, a perfect spot for alfresco dining, while enjoying a warm summer night’s breeze. Arguably one of the world’s most unique dining experiences, this enchanting restaurant located in Southern Italy was actually built centuries ago. Take in the dramatic sea views as you sit at a dimly lit table and watch the waves lap at the cliffs beneath you.
Where to stay: The quaint B&B Relais Del Senatore is only a short stroll away along the charming medieval streets of Polignano a Mare where you will find the Grotta Palazzese. Located in a rennovated 18th-century watchtower, this charming B&B offers its own alfresco dining from the summer terrace, complete with fitted tables and sun loungers.
Bangkok is a city of contrasts, from the hedonistic nightlife scene along Khao San Road, to its entrancing temples and shrines. Along with sightseeing and shopping, Bangkok is also highly endorsed for food by Booking.com travellers. Sirocco is the world’s highest alfresco restaurant and a must-visit for foodie thrill seekers. This iconic rooftop restaurant boasts unrivalled views of bustling Bangkok, where you can indulge multiple senses as you relax to the smooth tunes of the resident jazz band and savour the chef’s tasting menu.
Where to stay: Why not treat yourself whilst you’re in Bangkok and stay in the very home of the Sirocco restaurant. The lebua at State Tower has a range of glamorous suites with impressive views of the spectacular city skyline. Conveniently located near the Chao Phraya River, BTS Skytrain and the expressway, you will have easy access to the city's main attractions. Plus your reservation at the Sirocco restaurant and Sky Bar is just a lift away!
Port Douglas, Australia
With plenty of that famous Aussie sunshine and warm temperatures all year round, travellers are spoilt for choice with alfresco dining options in Port Douglas. Flames of the Forest is Australia’s only rainforest dining experience in the heart of Tropical North Queensland. This unique restaurant utilises local produce served in the stunning beauty of the surrounding forest. You can choose between the Aboriginal Cultural Experience (includes a seven dish banquet and an Aboriginal cultural performance) or the Rainforest Dining Experience (includes a six course tropical tasting menu). It is definitely the place to check out if you’re in Port Douglas!
Where to stay: Port Douglas is a haven for travellers looking to embrace natural beauty and breath-taking landscapes, from the Daintree Rainforest, Bloomfield Falls, to a pristine four-mile beach. This tropical town is also known for its boutique, beach-lined cafes, restaurants and bars, perfect for soaking up the rays whilst tucking into some delicious food. The Martinique on Macrossan apartments is a great place to stay – only 50 yards from the beach and a quick 15-minute drive to the Flames of the Forest restaurant. The spacious self-contained apartments each have a private balcony and are surrounded by lush tropical gardens, boast a saltwater swimming pool and BBQ facilities.
Cederberg, South Africa
A trip to South Africa is incomplete without trying the famous Cape cuisine and the best place to try this is at the Embers at Bushmans Kloof restaurant. Dine under the African skies in the natural sandstone amphitheatre. Embers is perched on a dramatic cliff and overlooks the spectacular valley below. It is lit by a roaring fire, and a myriad of candles and lanterns create a truly magical atmosphere – it’s a truly fairy-tale alfresco experience like no other.
Where to stay: Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat is located at the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains and boasts a spa, wellness centre, heated outdoor swimming pool and lush surrounding gardens. Who ever said camping couldn’t be glamorous?
London, United Kingdom
Brits will know that the summer months can prove all too fleeting, so booking an outdoor table whenever you can is a must. Even with its nickname of the ‘big smoke’ London is not one to be disregarded when daydreaming of alfresco dining. The Coq d’Argent is a must for outdoor dining, serving delicious French cuisine, and customers will love the stunning rooftop garden boasting mesmerising views of the capitals skyline.
Where to stay: Stay in the heart of London at the exquisite and beautifully designed Ham Yard Hotel. Dine at the on-site restaurant and enjoy the frequently updated menu and rooftop terrace. Relax on the large, leafy roof-top garden and admire the sweeping views of London’s skyline.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 56,727 respondents were surveyed (2000+ from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the US, and 1000+ each from Denmark, Croatia, Sweden, and New Zealand). Respondents completed an online survey in October 2017.
**The number of participants who ranked the categories “Tasty local cuisine” and “Reliable weather” an 8 or higher (out of 10) in their motivation to pick a destination.