Eating out has become a more literal concept as al fresco dining comes to the fore, with restaurateurs and hoteliers adapting to the new normal. With our food and hospitality industry in recovery mode, it's up to us to show our support, and if we have to suffer through stellar food, dazzling scenery, cool cocktails and great times with friends and families to help, then so be it. We're all trying to be responsible in these uncertain times, and for many of us, outdoor dining feels like the way to go. So, if eating in is 'out' for you, today Lucinda O'Sullivan reveals her 20 Best Outdoor Hotspots.
Overlooking the Grand Canal at Baggot Street Bridge, the Press Up Group's Angelina's has tasty casual fare and cocktails. The interiors are fab, with plush leather banquettes and a huge bar, but its biggest draw, right now, is its terrace area with great views over the canal. Pizza, steak, fish, etc.
Not only is there a spacious urban terrace at the new Canteen at the Marlin Hotel, there's a fine big bar, great cocktails, a plush restaurant and one of the best chefs in the country. James Sheridan originally opened Canteen in the Blackrock Market, where he knocked the socks off people with his food. Now, he's in the Golden Mile just off St Stephen's Green. Early evening and dinner menus, plus great canapes. See Tabletalk review: page 29
FIRE Steakhouse & Bar
Set in The Mansion House on Dawson Street, and originally built in 1864 as the Lord Mayor's supper room, the dining room at Fire features vaulted ceilings and stained-glass windows, not to mention the beautiful terrace overlooking the Lord Mayor's garden. They also do private barbecues on the terrace, if you're thinking of hosting.
MARCO PIERRE WHITE Courtyard bar & grill
The garden at MPW's Courtyard restaurant in Donnybrook has been turned into a dining area, offering a cool D4 oasis, with a new bistro menu including hors d'oeuvres and steak au poivre.
RADISSON BLU ST HELEN'S
Set on four acres of beautiful gardens on the Stillorgan Road, there are three fabulous terraces at the Radisson St Helen's where you can take the sun and enjoy excellent food from the Orangerie Bar. A popular meeting place for the SoCoDu crowd.
SOPHIE'S AT THE DEAN
Boasting a 360-degree view from atop The Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street, Sophie's is a great place to while away the hours with friends, good food and cocktails. With wood-fired pizza, Parmesan fries or mac 'n' cheese, it's hard to go wrong.
On Fitzwilliam Place, behind one of Dublin's finest Georgian terraces, lies one of the best 'secret' terraces in town, with a retractable awning, open fireplace and the inimitable 'sizzle sizzle' of GM John Healy, host of The Restaurant, who runs the show. Lunch and dinner, Wednesday to Friday; dinner on Saturday.
THE NURSERIE AT THE DYLAN
From early afternoon to sunset, the super stylish Nurserie Terrace at the Dylan Hotel on Eastmoreland Place enjoys direct sunshine, but is also partially covered and heated, lest it gets nippy. With excellent cocktails, you can breakfast, lunch, and dine here like a lord from 6.30am until late.
THE ROOFTOP AT THE MARKER
A sleek, spacious roof-terrace area with wraparound views over Dublin's cityscape, the Rooftop Bar & Terrace at The Marker Hotel is perfect for some post lockdown lounging. Open to non-residents from 5pm Friday and Saturday from July 8-20, and Wednesday to Sunday thereafter. Great cocktails and stylish contemporary food on Grand Canal Square.
The TERRACE AT THE SHELBOURNE
At the heart of the Grand Old Lady of St Stephen's Green is The Terrace, a divine little plaza at mezzanine level with wonderful views. Open from 4pm to 10pm Sunday to Thursday and from 2pm to 10pm Friday and Saturday, it's perfect for a glass of bubbles and a mini seafood platter for two, or a charcuterie plate.
THE BAYVIEW at BALLYCOTTON
You could be forgiven for thinking you were in Sorrento as you gaze out from the Bayview's terrace over the endless blue sea of Ballycotton Bay in east Cork. It's the only hotel I know of with all seaview rooms. Head chef Ciaran Scully's food is second to none and, overlooking the fishing boats in the harbour of this gorgeous locale, you must try his Fish Board, with or without lobster.
Whether it's glamping, a stay in the 'Potting Sheds', dining in the nautical Hamptons-style Boathouse, or chowing down at Shutters Pizza on the Pier, Dromquinna Manor, on the shores of Kenmare Bay in Co Kerry, is just what the doctor ordered. There's also a great gin menu in the Boathouse.
LIMERICK STRAND HOTEL
With stunning views of the mighty River Shannon rushing past, the airy, spacious Terrace Bar & Restaurant at the Limerick Strand Hotel serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea, not to mention their popular Sunday lunch. Lots of local produce here from chef Tom Flavin. Booking essential.
In Co Cork, perched high up at Scilly, overlooking Kinsale, at the legendary Man Friday, Dan Horgan has built an amazing new heated terrace with a vast, French-style cheminee for cooking by fire. Great food and wonderful views.
Not only is horsey honcho John Magnier's gastropub, Mikey Ryan's, a great watering hole; its food is great, too. Definitely worth the detour - it's in Cashel, Co Tipperary, just off the M8 - it's buzzy and happening, and the Garden Terrace, with its Horse Box Bar, is one of the best around. Its new brunch menu is proving a real hit.
PARK HOTEL Kenmare
With stunning views of Kerry's Kenmare Bay, not to mention the fabulous manicured gardens of the hotel itself, the five-star Park Hotel is a cut above. From Hereford beef to smoked trout, Francis Brennan's culinary team won't disappoint.
TANKARDSTOWN GARDEN VILLAGE
Whether you're dining in the Brabazon restaurant or having afternoon tea in The Tea Garden, both are set in the former stables of the beautiful Tankardstown in Co Meath, and both offer superb surroundings for dining al fresco.
THE GALMONT HOTEL
In the heart of Galway City, close to Eyre Square, The Galmont Hotel is a beacon of good taste, in every sense of the word. Grab a table on the gorgeous outdoor terrace of its Coopers Bar & Lounge and lose yourself in the beautiful panorama of Galway Bay and Lough Atalia.
THE RIVER CLUB TERRACE
Overlooking the rippling waters of the river, the Terrace at the River Lee Hotel in Cork is a sophisticated urban haven of soft riverside lighting and tropical ferns, where you can enjoy great cocktails, lunch, brunch and dinner, including great seafood, flame-grilled burgers and robata-grilled prime Irish sirloin of beef.
Al fresco dining doesn't get any better than in the garden to the side of White Horses in glorious Ardmore, Co Waterford. You won't find better Dublin Bay prawns or sole on the bone, and as for the 'old school' Cordon Bleu desserts, they're just divine. It's Ardmore meets Cannes meets the Hamptons.
Sunday Indo Living