Nottingham's Best Restaurants for Eating Al Fresco


There aren’t too many days in Nottingham when the weather will lend itself to a meal outside, so when the sun does show up, it’d be rude not to make the most of it. Here are 7 restaurants in Nottingham where you can enjoy a delicious meal, Al Fresco style.


Part of the local “Ever So Sensible” restaurant group, Fothergills is situated in the historic castle area of Nottingham, just over the road from the famous Robin Hood statue and along a quaint, cobbled, pedestrianized street.

The location is prime sunny-day real-estate and a popular tourist spot (the legendary “Olde Trip” is just down the road) – outdoor seats will fill up fast at both Fothergills and next-door-neighbour and sister pub “The Castle” (which also serves food), so get there early.

The food is bistro-style with mains coming in between £10 and £18. There’s also a fixed price lunch menu available Monday through Friday between 12 and 3 – two courses for £12.30, or three for £14.95.

World Service

Situated in the stunning 17th Century Newdigate House, World Service is (arguably) one of only two central Nottingham destinations for real fine-dining (the other being the nearby Harts). The restaurant holds 2 prestigious AA rosettes and is a four-time winner of the Nottingham restaurant awards – consequently, the menu doesn’t come cheap (starters average £10, mains £20), however mid-day diners can order from a far more reasonable lunch menu (2 courses, £14.50, 3 courses, 19.50).

On a sunny day you’ll definitely want to try and grab a seat in the beautiful walled garden – “the perfect spot for al fresco dining on a summer’s day” and “a haven to escape from the bustling city centre”.


Saltwater is one of Nottingham’s trendiest destinations, boasting good food and expertly-made drinks accompanied by a backdrop of eclectic, laid-back dance music; however the real reason locals flock here is the huge roof terrace (voted sixth best rooftop bar by The Times).

A meal on the terrace won’t strictly adhere to restaurant standards (although there is a full-service restaurant located inside); you’ll have to order at the bar and may be restricted to choices from an (extensive) bar menu. However the food (bar menu included) is good quality and fairly-priced, while various offers throughout the week will help keep the bill in check and your belly full.

Bella Italia

The Nottingham branch of this laid-back Italian chain is one of a number of bars and restaurants located within the popular Cornerhouse development, most of which are accompanied by large, outdoor seating areas.

The restaurant’s al fresco territory runs alongside a bustling thoroughfare that links the main entrance of the Cornerhouse to the city’s biggest shopping centre, so this isn’t the place to come if you’re looking for a quiet bite to eat, however, what the area lacks in peace it makes up for in atmosphere and people watching opportunities.

The food itself is standard chain fare with prices and offers to reflect that fact – the lunch menu (11-5 Mon-Fri) is especially good value at £6.95 for one course, and £8.95 for two.

The Rum House

This stylish bar/restaurant is one of a number of (mostly) independent venues that line Hockley’s Broad Street and boast outside seating for sunny days.

Since Broad Street is away from the city’s main shopping hubs a meal here should be somewhat more relaxed than outside the aforementioned Bella Italia, however the adjacent Broadway cinema can sometimes get a little loud with live DJs, resulting in nearby diners trading laid-back for lively.

The grub is in keeping with the rum theme with Caribbean-inspired tapas being the order of the day. The portions are (generally) generous and if you dine before 7pm you can choose 3 dishes for £12.

The Riverbank

The only non-city centre venue on this list, The Riverbank is situated by the renowned Trent Bridge cricket ground. The location means it’s a popular drinking and dining destination, especially when there’s a big match on, however the venue’s real draw is its stylish and extensive terrace and stunning riverside views.

The food is a mix of British, Asian, and French flavours and considering the plush surroundings is fairly priced at around £6.50 for a starter and £14 for a main. That said, there are plenty of offers to take advantage of, including £10 mains during lunch service and a 2 course for £16, 3 for £20 early-bird menu.