Cambridge's top al fresco dining spots

The Varsity Roof Terrace

Possibly one of the most spectacular locations in Cambridge to enjoy a bite to eat, the Varsity Hotel’s rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of the city and an irresistible food and drinks menu. Recline in style as you sip on a cool glass of champagne, or enjoy cocktails such as a passion fruit and lychee Collins or a raspberry Bellini. The terrace serves up a barbeque menu that features dishes like tuna steak with nicoise relish, burgers, salt beef rolls and portobello and halloumi brioche (served on Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm until 8.30pm, and on Sundays until 5pm). The rooftop also plays host to various special events including astronomy masterclasses and film screenings – so keep an eye on the Varsity Hotel website to see what’s coming up. www.thevarsityhotel.co.uk

The Anchor

The River Cam is a flurry of activity during the summer months, and there’s no better place to watch people drifting by on a famous Cambridge punt than from The Anchor on Silver Street. Recently refurbished, the pub serves traditional British fare, real ales and more. www.metropolitanpubcompany.com/our-pubs/the-anchor

The Fort St George

Stride out across Midsummer Common (mind the cows... and the cowpats) to The Fort St George – another typically British pub, serving hearty meals, salads and sandwiches in a stunning location. Famously visited by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2012, it’s just a 10 minute walk from town, though you’ll feel like you’re deep in the countryside. Their beer garden is big enough to almost always guarantee you a table, and affords wide views over the common. A great place to sit back with a beer or a G&T and watch the cyclists skimming by. www.fortstgeorge-cambridge.co.uk

De Luca Cucina & Bar

Regent Street’s chic Italian eaterie De Luca already boasts a great, authentic menu and a super cool New York loft style cocktail bar, and it’s now added a rooftop dining area to its offering. Opened last summer (2014), the Regency Terrace is an intimate outdoor space which seats 20 people and boasts beautiful views of Parker’s Piece. With al fresco eating options in the city centre currently minimal, a spot as stylish and central as this one is likely to be a monster hit – check it out before the stampede. Weather permitting, the terrace will be open from 12pm to 3pm daily, and again from 5pm to 10pm. www.delucacucina.co.uk

DoubleTree

Pitch up on the stylish rattan furniture in the DoubleTree’s pretty garden and you’ll be treated to postcard-perfect views of the River Cam, fabulous food and a drinks selection to die for. Whilst the punts drift past you can relax and enjoy a bite from the tempting bar snacks menu or an indulgent afternoon tea – or you could really treat yourself and enjoy some fine dining fare courtesy of the hotel’s brand new Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill. Having only opened its doors last month, the celebrity chef’s latest eaterie offers an extensive selection of top quality steak cuts, as well as hearty Brit classics like traditional rare breed pork sausage and mash and steak and ale pie with minty garden peas. www.doubletreecambridge.com

Hotel Felix

Graffiti restaurant at Hotel Felix has established itself as one of Cambridge’s hottest fine dining spots, known for serving up cutting-edge modern British cuisine in a cool and contemporary setting. The restaurant looks out onto a large south-facing terrace which is ideal for pre-dinner drinks or al fresco dining on a sunny day. Soak up the views of the hotel’s glorious gardens while you sample Graffiti’s innovative fare for lunch or dinner, or opt for a quintessentially English afternoon tea which includes dainty finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and filled macarons. www.hotelfelix.co.uk

d’Arry’s Cookhouse & Wine Shop

A real Cambridge favourite, it’s easy to fall in love with the relaxed sophistication of d’Arry’s at any time of the year – but even more so when it’s warm enough to take advantage of the restaurant’s gorgeous courtyard, with its soft jazz and twinkling candlelight. Located right in the city centre on King Street (which itself is becoming hipper by the day), this little spot serves up some of the finest food in Cambridge, and boasts a brilliant wine list that’s bursting with top picks from the d’Arenberg vineyard in Australia. Expect a modern British menu packed with seasonal produce and delicious dishes such as Moroccan lemon, haddock and prawn pie with a Parmesan crust. There are always some intriguing specials to tempt you too – like the citrus cured rainbow trout with carpaccio of beetroot, pink grapefruit and tequila gel with smoked trout mousse. www.darrys.co.uk

Blue Lion Hardwick

A fantastic spot for a little out-of-town al fresco feasting, the Blue Lion is located around five miles from Cambridge in Hardwick. Owners Luke Edwards and Stuart Tuck pride themselves on their modern, seasonal menus, which feature dishes packed with top quality local produce. They’ve just built a brand new outside dining area in the pub’s large garden too, all the better for relaxing in while you sample the summer menu. New dishes include marinated crayfish with a wild rice and mango salad, and chicken mousse with pressed ham hock and baby gem, served with caesar dressing and Parmesan crisps. If you’re gluten free, this place should be top of your must-visit list, as rather uniquely, the pub offers a whole menu of delicious dishes, minus gluten.They also host a range of events throughout the year, including a beer festival in June. www.bluelionhardwick.co.uk