Al Fresco Dining: The Guide

When the sun is shining, London really is one of the best places to be. People are happier, the streets busier and the overall hum of day to day life, a little brighter. And with the end of summer quickly approaching, it's the perfect time to make the most of the last few rays, as well as the abundance of summer produce available with a little al fresco dining. We've put together a couple of our favourite summer recipes, packed with seasonal ingredients, creating the perfect summer palate of light, fresh and refreshing with just a hint of indulgent for dessert. Light a couple of candles, pull the dining table outside, and partnered with the balmy evenings we've been having lately, the end of summer will still feel miles off. 


WATERMELON AND COURGETTI SALAD

 Serves 2 

INGREDIENTS 

2 courgettes 

1/4 of a watermelon 

1/2 cucumber 

1 tbsp black sesame 

1 cup quinoa, cooked 

optional: grilled king prawns, 4 per person 

METHOD 

1. Using a spiraliser, make the courgette into ribbons and cut the cucumber into small chunks 

2. Mix the courgetti with the white quinoa, cucumber, lemon juice and rind, himalayan salt and olive oil 

3. Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut into squares 

4. Mix the watermelon into the courgetti mix and sprinkle the back sesame over the top - topping with the prawns if desired  

LIME AND CHILLI DRESSING

INGREDIENTS 

- 2 chillies 

- 3 limes juiced 

- 1 lime, zested 

- 2 tbsp honey 

- ½ cup oil 

- ½ cup water 

* salt to taste 

METHOD 

1. De-seed and remove the stalks from the chilli’s 

2. Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix until fully combined 

3. Serve 


CREAMY PASSIONFRUIT + LIME CHEESECAKES  

BASE 

INGREDIENTS 

- 1 cup almonds 

- 1 cup brazil nuts 

- 1 cup walnuts 

- 1 cup desiccated coconut 

- 2 tbsp coconut sugar (optional) 

- 100g coconut oil, melted 

- pinch of salt 

METHOD 

1. Blitz all the nuts in a food processor until fine 

2. Mix in the desiccated coconut and coconut sugar 

3. Rub in the coconut oil in with fingers 

4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, spread the mixture on the tray and bake for 10-15mins, until golden brown 

5. Leave to cool whilst making the filling 

FILLING 

INGREDIENTS 

- 1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked overnight) 

- 2 ripe avocados 

- 1 cup coconut oil 

- juice and zest of 5 limes 

- jucie and zest of 5 lemons 

* 4 passion fruits 

METHOD 

1. Melt the cup of coconut oil then add all the ingredients except the passionfruit to a food processor 

2. Blitz until smooth

TO SERVE

These can be made as either individual portions or a larger cheesecake. For pots, use individual ramekins, or for a larger cheesecake, use a loose-sided baking tin. We recommend individual pots for a fuss-free picnic option! 

METHOD 

1. Evenly add the base to the bottom and press down until firm and even 

2. Add the filling to the top and smooth down until even 

3. Finally, add the pulp of half a passionfruit to the top of each cheesecake if individual, or over the whole cheesecake if making one large cheesecake. 

4. Leave in the fridge to chill and thicken before serving. 


OUR FAVOURITE PLACES

Because let's face it, we're in London and a garden is a luxury hardly anyone can afford (and as much as we like to think it's ok, eating our salad hanging out the bedroom window just really isn't the same). So pack it up instead and head to one of London's many parks - these are our favourite spots.  

1. Alexandra Palace 

What for: Beautiful views across London, a Sunday farmers market for all the extras, a family atmosphere complete with rowing on the lake. 

2. Hampstead Heath 

What for: Cooling off in the lido, a countryside escape in the city, beautiful gardens to explore post-picnic 

3. Haggerston Park 

What for: A quiet option amidst the bustle of East London, close proximity to Broadway market, shaded private parks 

4. Epping Forest 

What for: Taking the bikes, exploring for miles, a quieter picnic with nobody to disturb 

5. Camley Street Natural Park 

What for: An unknown spot, picturesque surroundings, canal side dining