Soak up some rays with your cocktail and recline in style at one of the city’s top outdoor dining venues
The Varsity Hotel
Cambridge’s original roof terrace experience, this stylish spot is where to head for city views with wow factor, tasty cocktails and gourmet BBQ food. Drinks range from summer favourites like Pimm’s, Aperol spritz and sangria to perfectly mixed classics like negronis and caipirinhas.
Brix and Mortar
A firm Edition favourite, Brix and Mortar is a cafe, deli and restaurant in Whittlesford run by the team behind Provenance Kitchen. Since opening in 2019, it’s won an army of fans with its flame-cooked dishes and Sunday roasts, and it’s about to pick up even more with its new garden dining area. A rolling meadow dotted with picnic tables and shady trees, you can order drinks at the outdoor bar (an Airstream van), and tuck into dishes including creamy burrata, chargrilled chicken flatbread and exquisite desserts. There’s loads of space, making it ideal for kids (or social distancing like a pro), and there’s also a courtyard dining area to the side of the restaurant for a more intimate dining experience.
The Lodge, Duxford
Tucked away in the sleepy south Cambs countryside, the chic courtyard at The Lodge, Duxford is a total revelation. A large, multilevel space with stylish furniture, festoon lighting, firepits, an outdoor bar and even a DJ at weekends; it’s the latest string to this boutique hotel’s bow to be revealed. On the menu are a range of fabulous-sounding pizzas, an expansive cocktail and wine list, plus afternoon teas and an ‘off the grill’ selection, where you can find steak, burgers and the like. If you really fancy a treat, why not book in for an overnight stay? The rooms are gorgeously designed and full of mod cons to make your minibreak as comfortable as possible.
A brand-new addition to this riverside restaurant’s offering, Millworks’ roof terrace was revealed when the eatery reopened after lockdown. With bags of space, it’s a good spot for some socially distanced bevs, plus this Cambscuisine outpost serves a lip-smackingly good range of steaks, burgers and sharing boards – not to mention the Rupture Rapture; a giant ice-cream sundae loaded with brownies, churros and whipped cream.
The Rupert Brooke
Tucked away in historic Grantchester, this sleek venue cuts a strikingly modern figure and boasts a fantastic reputation for its food. The stylish terrace – added in 2014 – is the icing on the cake, offering a gorgeous spot for afternoon tea or lunch looking out across the thatched rooftops and rolling fields of the surrounding countryside.
De Luca Roof Terrace
Boasting great views across Parker’s Piece, this fairy-lit terrace is one of the city centre’s best-kept secrets. There’s an extensive cocktail list to make your way through, as well as indulgent Italian dishes aplenty. The restaurant is also taking part in the government-backed ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ offer on Wednesdays, so snap up a bargain!
With botanical cocktails, lush foliage and fragrant tabletop herb pots, the roof terrace at Novi is a treat for the senses. It’s ideal for summer, but come winter, it’s cleverly transformed into a cosy tipi den, complete with outdoor heaters, sheepskins and cosy blankets.