For those 5 or 6 days a year where we get some really good weather, we as a nation are compelled to 'make the most of it'. In short, this means spending every waking second avoiding the shadows and soaking up that vitamin D as much as is humanly possible. 

This guide is focused on all our favourite places to soak up that sweet, sweet sun, and while we haven't included anything from Wapping Wharf (which is basically a giant sun trap), you can find our guide on Cargo + Cargo 2 here. Or if you're looking if you're looking for some outdoor drinking, check out our pub garden guide here. 

Overlooking Bristol's historic harbour, Arnolfini Café Bar's outside bar is quite possibly the finest place in Bristol to enjoy a cider or beer in the sun. Or one of their new restaurant options if you're peckish.

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I barely have to try and convince anyone of this one! Not only do they have 3 options when it comes to seating outside, the top balcony has the best views in Bristol (possibly) it's own bar and you can enjoy the full menu out there. Winner.

Read more about Bambalan (Centre)

Tapas in a relaxed suntrap whilst watching the crowds on Whiteladies Road go by is a great way to spend an evening if you ask us. With plenty of cover for those with more delicate skin and a fantastic drinks and food menu, we suggest you get there early to grab a good seat.

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All the Burger Joint's have some pretty sweet outdoor seating, which means it doesn't matter how much chilli you opt to go in your burger, you won't be over sweating. Enjoy burgers, people watching and a cooling breeze at Bristol's original craft burger bar.

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It's a bit out on the pavement but Burger Theory have erected a fine boundary wall and stuffed it full of plants and tables. What better place to enjoy a burger brunch or dinner with mates in this heat than outside? Get some cold lagers in and enjoy the summer nights.

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Head on over to Zetland Road for the best Mexican food in Bristol. They've got a big outdoor seating area which is perfect for some alfresco eating. Pro tip: Zetland Road gets the sun way into the evening, so you'll get maximum sun soak here.

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Another harbourside seating triumph comes in the form of Mud Dock. Climb the stairs and pray not everyone else in Bristol has had the same idea so you can grab a seat on their beautiful terrace. The wine is chilled, the beers are cold and their new summer menu is fantastic. Don't miss out.

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Wend your way over to Mardyke Wharf, and climb aboard the historical water-borne Bristol icon that is The Grain Barge. Offering both boat top seating for views across the harbour and Hotwells or the more intimate seating on the side for those that don't mind a squeeze, there is no better place to enjoy a pint and a plate if you have a bit of a nautical flare.

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The Volley is well known for being a cracking spot to gather with friends. Whether it is for after work drinks, a Saturday session on the cobbles or a bite to eat, it always has a nice buzzing atmosphere. Congregating outside one of the many bars seems to be a favourite pastime for many of us, however the upstairs roof terrace is definitely far more sophisticated.

Read more about Famous Royal Navy Volunteer (Kings Street)

This town needs more rooftop terraces so we thank the summer Gods that Old Market Assembly have one. Lots of seating, plants and good chilled vibes can be found here as well as some fantastic local beers, home cooked pizzas and cracking vegan small plates. Get there early to make sure you get the best seat and enjoy seeing Old Market from a totally different perspective

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This whole strip of Gloucester Road is brilliant sun-soaking, but we thought The Galli is worth a special mention just for the quality of food & drink on offer. A frequently changing menu of great small plates and quality local beers makes it a first-choice for us on a sunny day.

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All hail the secret garden. If Stokes Croft is the place to be but a little too hectic, head to the back of 51 and relax in the lovely garden. Plenty of shade for the ray dodgers and sun for the worshipers whilst pizza and beer comes as standard.

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Tucked away on a back street in Montepelier, The Cadbury is a great retreat for thirsty locals. It's garden gets the sun best in the early afternoon so head there for some tasty lunch, served up by St Werburghs legends Popti + Beast.

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If you're looking for something to eat, The Grace do a simply legendary Sunday roast and a heavenly tapas menu; globally inspired small plates which are perfect for sharing with loved ones over a few drinks. These are all best enjoyed in their suntrap of a garden adorned with small apple trees, plenty of shade if you need it and lots of lovely, fragrant plants. Bliss.

Read more about The Grace (Gloucester Road)

Nestled in Clifton Village on the beautiful Boyces Avenue, East Village Cafe is a plant-filled, leafy slice of paradise. Serving up all manner of delicious veggie and vegan brunch and lunch options, and with a cracking cake counter to boot, EVC is a great destination for some relaxed eats in a truly lush building. When the sun is shining, get yourself installed at one of their lovely outside tables under the arches, and watch the world go by.

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Gloucester Road is prime people watching real estate so at Planet Pizza you sit slightly elevated from the crowds, watching the world go by as you tuck into one of their fab pizzas. Paired with a carafe of chilled white and balancing it with a good shake of the chilli flakes provided on the table onto your planet themed pizzas, you've got yourself a summer treat.

Read more about Planet Pizza (Gloucester Road)

A permanent fixture on the harbour for the past 20 years, Riverstation is multiple layers of Al Fresco brilliance. It's open all day which means that whether you want a coffee or a cocktail, you'll get your fix here. A good quality wine list and a focus on British produce make it a safe bet.

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Hearty Italian fare, fresh bread, seafood and a great spot on the Gloucester Road to enjoy a chilled glass of white wine with a partner or friends. Plus if the sun gets too intense there coomes relief from the retractable sun shade. Perfect!

Read more about Bomboloni (Gloucester Road)

Famous for food, theatre, markets and being a lovely chilled place to hang out and work, The Tobacco Factory is a much loved feature on North Street. However, did you also know they have a HUGE garden area with plenty of seating, plants and access to all the vitamin D you could possibly want? Get there early for prime seating and soak up those BS3 rays.

Read more about The Tobacco Factory Café Bar (North Street)

Potter over to Cotham Hill and prepare to get your sun soak on in a beautiful, decking clad garden of eden. Tuck into outrageously healthy, rejuvenating plant-based food (we're big fans of the buddha bowl after a heavy weekend) and swig on a freshly pressed juice, all while a great playlist drifts out into the garden.

Read more about Beets n' Roots (Cotham)

Published -24th June 2019