It’s time to really make the most of the beautiful weather and light evenings before autumn kicks in. I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite things about summer is al fresco dining. One of the many reasons for our relocation to Cambridge was that it had slightly better weather than anywhere else we have lived. I know that’s not saying much for the UK weather but more blue skies than grey is always a winner in my book.
Luckily for us Cambridge has so many wonderful places to eat, drink and relax. We’re truly spoilt for choice when it comes to event venues here in Cambridge. With other 300 restaurants to pick from throughout the city and beyond there is something for everyone.
Today I’m sharing 9 relaxing outdoor dining spots in Cambridge that I think you should book before the summer is over. Many of these also have covered outdoor eating areas because, well, because we live in England. So, even if you don’t get ’round to going ’til autumn you just know they’ll have some cosy blankets outside too.
9 relaxing outdoor dining spots to book this summer in Cambridge
Limoncello is a must visit if you’re looking for a delicious slice of Italy right here in Cambridge.
It’s an Italian Deli on Mill Road with casual al fresco dining. They serve up the most delicious traditional Italian pizza and it would be rude not to order an Aperol Spritz too. The atmosphere is always fantastic and the staff are very friendly.
Address: 212 Mill Rd, Cambridge CB1 3NF
The Mill Works
The Mill Works has been selected as one of the most romantic restaurants in Cambridge but it’s also perfect for families, with a working water wheel to capture little imaginations.
The Mill Works is situated just by the River Cam with two outdoor terraces to pick from. They have a varied menu with burgers, pizzas and much more to offer. They’re also more than happy to help anyone with allergies and intolerances which is something I’m (did you know I’m dairy free?) always pleased to see.
Address: The Watermill, Newnham Rd, Cambridge CB3 9EY
The roof terrace at Novi is open all year round. Every time I visit here I’m always surprised by what a magical hideaway it is. It’s the perfect spot for fruity cocktails and brunch on a warm summers day and when winter roles ’round it turns into a magical teepee den complete with heaters and cosy blankets.
I think Novi has to be one of my favourite city centre spots for a casual yet chic and magical dining experiences. You can expect to find wonderful botanical cocktails, some of the best brunch options and sumptuous smoked BBQ dishes.
Novi are committed to running their business in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way as possible. This includes their recycling policies, zero landfill guarantee and food waste schemes and also their suppliers.
Address: 12 Regent St, Cambridge CB2 1DB
You need to visit the iconic roof terrace that is SIX with breathtaking 360° panoramic views across the Cambridge skyline. It’s on the Varsity Hotel’s top floor and has the most stunning views across historic Cambridge.
It’s a relaxed brasserie and cocktail bar serving up pizza, steak, afternoon tea, Sunday roast, small plates and cocktails – you must try the lychee martini. They also have 30 gins to try….Challenge accepted!
Address: 24 Thompsons Ln, Cambridge CB5 8EQ
The Rupert Brooke
Nestled alongside the River Cam in Grantchester you’ll find The Rupert Brooke.
The food and cocktails are fantastic, you can’t fault it. They keep things simple focusing on offering good locally sourced food in a beautiful setting. If you can get booked in for their Sunday Roast then that’s always a good idea.
I recommend going here in the evening while they still have their magical tipi.
Address: 2 Broadway, Grantchester, Cambridge CB3 9NQ
The Auction Cafe at Willingham Auctions is looking fantastic these days. Since I last went they’ve added lots of outdoor dining with some areas saved for bookings and others for drop-ins. It’s smart and chic while having a casual and homely feel to it.
They serve up a good breakfast, tasty sandwiches and homemade cakes. The staff are always friendly here and it’s a pleasure to visit.
Address: Auctions Cafe, Willingham, Cambridge CB24 5ES
The Senate Bar & Bistro
The Senate is an independent Bistro in the heart of Cambridge offering up delicious Mediterranean food and fine wines. Everything is made using locally sourced produce in a wonderfully relaxing environment.
While you dine outside you’ll have a wonderful view of Great St Mary’s Church and The Senate House.
Address: 1 St Mary’s Passage, Cambridge CB2 3PQ
The Orchard Tea Garden
The Orchard Tea Garden is nestled away in beautiful Grantchester.
The best thing to do here is to sit in the deckchairs in the orchard and enjoy a cream tea. It’s a truly relaxing place to take your time and relax.
Address: 47 Mill Way, Grantchester, Cambridge CB3 9ND
Cambridge Chop House
Cambridge Chop House sits in the heart of Cambridge, just 50 yards from King’s College. They have some seating outside the front of the shop and it’s perfect for people watching and admiring the beautiful college opposite.
Their food is all about traditional British roots and it’s the place to go for a good steak or a Sunday Roast. What I particularly like about the chop house is that they have specific menus for dairy-free and gluten-free eaters.
Address: 1 King’s Parade, Cambridge CB2 1SJ