Eating outdoors is said to have started in medieval times, when groups of people would eat meat and filling foods before going out to hunt. While this was quite a functional beginning to the outdoor eating tradition, al fresco dining started to become more of a social occasion with the rise of picnicking from the 18th century onwards. Eating a picnic outdoors in green spaces with family and friends is a tradition that has continued to this day.
In European countries blessed with warmer climates, al fresco dining has been a tradition for centuries. Until about a decade ago, us Brits hadn’t caught on to the al fresco dining trend in a significant way. Yet recognising we often have mild weather and summers that can be positively balmy – the perception of how well suited we are as a country to al fresco dining has all changed. Rooftops, courtyards and terraces have now become homes to al fresco dining options across London. Giving us the ability to enjoy the elements while tucking into higher end meals compared to what’s possible at a picnic, al fresco dining is here to stay in London.