The government’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme offers diners a discount of up to £10 per person, excluding booze, when they eat out from Monday to Wednesday throughout August.
We’re not going to lie to you. Anytime we use a deal of any kind we pretty much consider ourselves to be the world’s best accountants for the next week. “So, I bought this pair of socks, and then I got the other pair of socks for free! That’s four individual socks, four, when I only paid for two individual socks,” we declare to the poor humans we count amongst our nearest and dearest, as they placidly nod along.
But seriously, there’s no denying the deep satisfaction of a good deal especially when it comes to eating out. And what’s better than using the Eat Out To Help Out scheme to save money on your meals? Using the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to save money on eating out al fresco. Here are the ones you need to get involved in.
We’ve got more guides if you want to ‘Eat Out To Help Out’, from the five best pasta restaurants taking part in the scheme and where you can get a full meal for a tenner, to the best vegetarian and vegan spots.
Ciao Bella’s terrace should come with a good times guarantee. Seriously, we’ve never had a bad time out on their pavement, sipping wine, shoveling spaghetti al cartoccio into our smiling mouths, and listening to Norman the piano player singing inside. Cut a tenner off your bill on top? Perfection.
Let us tell you all about eating outdoors at this seriously excellent British restaurant. Oh wait, we already did, in our report from our very first meal back at a restaurant. TLDR? This place is fucking fantastic.
Scientists might tell you that sunshine comes from that big, sexy ball of fire in the sky. And sure, they’re probably right, but in our humble opinion, sunshine is also emitted from Fish, Wings, & Tings. This Caribbean spot in Brixon never fails to put a smile on our faces and the same applies to eating jerk chicken in the sunshine. All in all, it’s one of our favourite places for an al fresco summer hang that’s as affordable as it is feelgood.
It doesn’t get more Soho classic than Quo Vadis. A few glasses of wine, their smoked eel sandwich, a little eavesdropping. Sign us up any day, any week, and any lifetime. Plus, for the very first time - dun dun dun - Quo Vadis has outdoor seating. Eating al fresco on Dean Street has peak people watching potential and be sure to leave enough room for a round of profiteroles.
We have a theory that heaven is just one big pasta bar. Sure, there’ll probably be some pretty clouds and that childhood dog that your parents told you ‘moved to a magical farmyard’, but mostly, we think there’ll be pasta. More specifically, pasta in the form of Padella’s handmade cacio e pepe. This legendary spot will not only be taking part in eat out to help out, but for the first time they have outdoor seating at both their Shoreditch restaurant and OG spot in Borough Market.
Some people want to spend their retirement in Spain. Some people want to spend it surrounded by miniature poodles. Us? We want to spend the entirety of it sat at Llewelyn’s eating our way through a whole Cornish lemon sole with no teeth and zero worries. This Herne Hill restaurant is as idyllic as you can get this side of the home counties and their food is just as good. Heads up, they’ve also extended their outdoor seating for the summer.
It’s not that we’re saying that we love Brat’s whole turbot more than 90% of our friends. But we’re not not saying that. Judging us? That’s okay. We’d judge us too, right up until the moment where you’re met by an epiphany in fish form. But Brat’s turbot isn’t the only thing on the menu you should be getting involved in, they also serve some of London’s best bread. Find them throughout August at their al fresco pop up at Climpson’s Arch.
Now and again - approximately every 18 seconds - we get a craving for fried chicken. And a lot of the time, when we think of fried chicken, we think of the kerala fried chicken with curry leaf mayonnaise from Kricket. This Indian-inspired spot in White City is what we believe the kids call ‘trendy’. Basically, it’s cool, the food’s great, and their huge outdoor terrace overlooks the old Television Centre so it’s perfect for a little people watching.
Kiln used to be known as one of London’s best Thai restaurants. Now, Kiln is known as one of London’s best Thai restaurants with outdoor seating. Thanks to the pedestrianisation of Soho’s streets, Kiln now has several tables along Brewer Street. Expect a jolly sort of street party feel, only instead of sharing a sad little Victoria sponge, you’ll be eating excellent lamb and cumin skewers and clay pot baked glass noodles.
Sager and Wilde is the poster child for summer outdoor hangs. Housed in an old Bethnal Green railway arch, it’s got that whole cool industrial thing going on, with enough nice bottles of wine and small plates on the menu to keep things feeling a little classy. It also benefits from being much larger than your average London al fresco situation and you can even have a little holiday moment, involving a great plate of mussels and some flickering candles come evening.