The Secret Garden
There’s an abundance of al fresco dining options in Warsaw – but as soon becomes apparent, for each secret garden are flimsy tables planted right by the curb: is that SUV going to back into me, you splutter over coffee. We bring you a countdown of the Insider’s favorites…
Restauracja Polska Różana
ul. Chocimska 7
The rarified atmosphere of Różana is a pleasure indeed. Close to the frontline of Mokotów / Śródmieście, you’d never guess the proximity of the center. Seated in their garden, one feels removed from the city – a fountain burbles quietly in the background, starlings hop around the trees. From the inside, one hears the distant tinkle of the house pianist. Just being here is a thrill in itself.
ul. Belwederska 23
Carefully shielded from the outside world by a phalanx of greenery, Venti-tre feels slick and polished with its sail-like canopies and the glinting mirrored windows it looks onto. There’s a buzz to the place that goes beyond the half a million bees kept in the apiary on the rooftop, and that’s never truer than on a Sunday afternoon – swing by for one of Warsaw’s top brunches, before completing the weekend with an excursion to the Royal Park and gardens three minutes away.
ul. Nowy Świat 49
You can tell those new to Warsaw: they’re the ones who sit on Dawne Smaki’s terrace, amid the hubbub of Nowy Świat. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this, least not if you want to soak in the atmosphere. But their real attraction is a 360 sq/m garden through the back. Bursting with greenery, it’s an inner city oasis amid the clamor of outside – the perfect spot to enjoy a candle-lit dinner to remember.
ul. Francuska 11
Walking up the pathway to Dom Polski one senses something special – and the hunch is soon confirmed. Greeted by bow-tied service, allow yourself to be led past gleaming chandeliers and aristocratic trimmings to the garden: secluded and still, it’s a riot of flowers and shrubs and a glorious spot for whispered trysts. For good reason it’s regarded as one of the most romantic retreats you’ll discover in the city.
ul. Wał Miedzeszyński 389A
The name gives it away, doesn’t it? Situated in what is indeed a former boathouse, this venerable institution comes into its element each summer when the great and the good of Warsaw go riverside to dine at this restaurant. Set in three acres of manicured parkland, there’s something immensely satisfying about watching the sunset with a glass of wine in hand. Kids are welcome – as the bouncy castle indicates – but the layout of this place means that peace is assured.
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