If only choosing where to dine out was only about the food. As a design lover, especially during peak al fresco dining season, the bar for beautiful restaurant ambiance gets higher and higher. Is there a garden? But is it blooming!? To unleash, and unload, all our pent up wanderlust in these final summer days, we’ve created a bucket list, straight from our Instagram feeds, for the savvy food and design connoisseur (because of course the food does matter). From cliffside views to wisteria-strewn skies, see how a few of our favorite restaurants are reinventing the art of dining al fresco.

Blue Bliss

Drop any restaurant on this gorgeous Mallorca coast, and it’s bound to become a cocktail haven. Natural accents, casually mismatched chairs, and deep wooden textures make Cas Patro March worthy of a reservation that lasts from lunch well into the evening hours. Built into a cliff and beautifully woven together with rope-like tree branches to create a light and airy ambiance, you won’t find a better place to enter vacation mode immediately upon arrival. 

Rustic Warmth

From the light wood communal table to the grain-sack lumbar pillows and lightly textured walls, Barcelona’s Gats has mastered rustic indoor-meets-outdoor design. Steal a page from their design playbook and consider adding modern pendant lighting to an otherwise rustic scheme for a hint of contemporary cool.

Floral Oasis

We are constantly impressed by Dalloway Terrace’s ability to reinvent their London al fresco experience through seasonal floral displays. Most recently, in one of our favorite transitions, the restaurant’s “Spring Jungle” transformed into a “Dalloway Summer Estate,” highlighting the elegant flora of the English countryside. Complementary design additions like a black and white, cabana stripe awning, oversized lanterns, Lutyens benches, and chic black bistro chairs allow the flowers to blossom into their role of colorful dashes adding unexpected style.

Wisteria Wonder

There are only a few things that can rival a good wallpapered statement ceiling, and a wisteria sky is one of them. This special flower blooms for less than a month a year, and during that time, many restaurants celebrate with al fresco spots that rival any done up dining room. London spot Aubaine Selfridges showcases the magic of this bloom, accentuated by a printed tile floor, refreshing light walls, and traditional-leaning seating paired with modern marble tables. 

Sky High Serenity

The courtyard of Mexico City’s Rosetta is an outdoor oasis within a colonial era townhouse. Enclosed among gorgeous high ceilings, the space is given even more height with hanging vines, low hanging globe pendant lighting, and a soaring skylight that is almost always open to the elements. From the artistic wall decor to the lush ambiance, accented by beautifully colorful mix-and-match dinnerware, the space evokes the same attention to detail and seasonality as Chef Elena Reygadas’ famous menu. 

Photo courtesy of Dalloway Terrace / Doyle Collection.


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August 16, 2019

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