There is something special about eating outside and taking advantage of a brilliant summers day. You no longer need to go abroad to have the best al fresco dining experiences; you simply need to identify what matters to you most about the experience and you can find it right here in the UK.

To help you turn your meal out into a valued memory, we’ve provided this short guide to ensure that you have thought of everything you need to have the best time possible.

Where Should You Go?

As with any incredible dining experience, where you go will often be dictated by the rest of your plans for the day. For example, if you’ve ever experienced the excitement of having tickets to Les Misérables in London, you’ll know that the anticipation grows as you eat in style. Added to that you’ll also know that it’s even better when you’re in the heart of the West End.

In short – your location matters.

Another consideration is that the best views are made even more impressive when you are eating and drinking at an amazing outdoor restaurant. An exceptional view can turn what would’ve been a good dining experience into an outstanding one. You’ll also be inclined to return again to the same restaurant if the experience was one to remember.

When Should You Go?

Your al fresco experience is going to be very different depending on when you go. Your timing has the power to change what is on the menu or determine the atmosphere when you arrive on the day.

Here at Côte, we’re passionate about our chefs using the freshest ingredients and our buyers pay attention to what is in or out of season. As a result of this passion you can always be sure that the items on our menu take advantage of the produce that is reliably sourced and in season.

Beyond your food choices, the time of day will also have a significant impact on not just the views, but also the ambiance of the chosen restaurant or location. A great place to start with al fresco is overlooking a city, with great company and a beautiful sunset – in fact we’d recommend this to experienced al fresco diners too!

How Will it Feel?

The very best al fresco experiences will be accompanied by a relaxed atmosphere with fellow diners looking for the very same atmosphere that you are. In many cases you can look to the mood of the surrounding areas for an indication of what to expect.

Review sites are now more prominent than ever and provide you with the opportunity to ensure that the restaurant can offer everything that you are looking for. If you are unsure where to go, this can also be a great way to identify options and images will help you get a feel for what it is really like in their outdoor spaces.

What Will You Drink?

Whether you are looking for a Châteauneuf-Du-Pape, a Sauvignon Blanc or even a Kir Royale, then ensure you take a look at our extensive wine menu on our website so that you can plan ahead and ensure you make the right choice.

The most important thing when planning your al fresco dining experience is to ensure that your choices match the cuisine on offer. Remember that a well selected drink can bring out the flavours that have been carefully selected by the chef, and so a great choice here will compliment an already

If at any time you are unsure about your pairing, then simply ask any of the Côte team during your visit. They will be happy to help you by sharing their incredible knowledge of our wine menu. As part of your dining experience we also offer a carefully selected new wine each month to accompany one of the specials on offer.

What Food Should You Choose?

We are big believers that your choice of food should be central to your decisions. Once you’ve selected the type of cuisine, remember your surroundings when selecting off the menu and choose lighter dishes alongside summertime favourites.

Tuna nicoise, a Croque Monsieur or a chicken and walnut salad all make fine choices for al fresco dining. As would a steak and chips if you are looking for recommendations on larger options.

When the time comes and you’ve chosen the stunning location, at the right time, with the perfect mood, good company and the best food and drink on offer you will be assured of having the best al fresco dining experience.

Get started on planning your next amazing experience by booking a table with Côte for your next night out.