Looking for outdoor restaurants in London? Want some al fresco dining ideas across the UK? Here’s our guide for the best outdoor dining restaurants, and check out the best outdoor restaurants in London here. Then discover the best restaurants with rooms in the UK and the best chef's table experiences in the UK.


Now find out the best female-owned restaurants in the U.K and our favourite informal dining spots. Now find out the best food and drink festivals to visit.

Best outdoor restaurants in London

This guide is dedicated to restaurants outside of London, but here are a few in the capital to get you started. Find our full list in the link above.

Kapara, Soho

Channelling Tel Aviv, this vivacious Soho complex mixes music, food and cocktails, the fun spilling out onto a large covered, heated terrace. Chef Eran Tibi’s creative food revels in theatrical presentation and playful dish names. Dessert ‘gramp’s cigar’ very much looks like it, while deep-fried paprika marinated chicken thighs, with orange harissa kimchi and wild garlic mayo, are subtitled ‘crispy crunchy bums’. Core plates from £11; kapara.co.uk

A range of Tel-Aviv inspired plates at Kapara in Soho

Dinings SW3, Knightsbridge

Shaded by an ancient oak, the cute courtyard behind this west London mews offers a serene escape. Chef Masaki Sugisaki’s elevated fish dishes, sushi and sashimi are equally restorative. Plates from £6.50; larger dishes from around £16.50; diningssw3.co.uk

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Shaded by an ancient oak, the cute courtyard at Dinings SW3

Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia

With its extravagant décor, Neapolitan-style pizza and fresh pastas (including a carbonara served in a hollowed- out pecorino wheel), Circolo feels like a portal to Italy. Its leafy terrace, like a courtyard you might stumble across in Sicily or Rome, continues that vibe. Mains from £13.50; bigmammagroup.com

Outdoor dining area in Circolo Popolare

Toklas, Strand

Large, peaceful, plant- festooned terrace above the Strand, serving – example plate: dover sole with courgette trifolati, marjoram and Amalfi lemon – some of London’s best Italian food. Larger plates from £19; toklaslondon.com

Tokla's large, peaceful, plant- festooned terrace above the Strand

Petersham Nurseries, Richmond-upon-Thames

Petersham Nurseries Café, made green with fragrant jasmine, provides a charming setting for a meal. Set within a glasshouse a stone’s throw from Richmond Park, Petersham Meadow and the River Thames, it’s the place to go for seasonal Italian food eaten in a room draped with Indian blinds and decorated with antique furniture, mirrors and paintings. petershamnurseries.com

A glasshouse filled with tables, chairs and lush greenery

Best outdoor restaurants across the UK

Waterlane, Hawkhurst

There's something magical about this idyllic walled garden located on the Kent and Sussex border – and it's not just the historical setting. With the peaceful sounds of nature, earthy aromas and pops of vibrant colour everywhere you look, it's a real treat for the senses. First, wander through the rows of fruits, flowers and vegetables before you enjoy them with your meal. Sit under the canopy or in the greenhouse on cooler days and enjoy an outstanding meal of seasonal dishes from their ever-changing menu. Highlights include delicate, crisp parmesan straws filled with salsify and garlic aïoli for dunking; soft-boiled egg mayonnaise with sweet grilled leeks; smoked mackerel, pickled rhubarb and horseradish salad; and proper rice pudding with homemade marmalade.

Find out more waterlane.net.

Waterlane restaurant

Holm, South Petherton

A spin-off from London’s acclaimed Levan, this gorgeous Somerset restaurant-with-rooms has a kitchen garden terrace where you can linger over Orkney scallops with salsify and dulse butter or Westcombe ricotta agnolotti with pecorino and wild garlic. Larger plates from £18; holmsomerset.co.uk

Hands holding out a vegetarian dish at Holm in Somerset

The Gallivant, Camber Sands, Rye

There is a take-out menu to graze on while lazing in the dunes, or seek out this hotel’s chill alfresco area for English wines and sustainable plates such as Brit burrata with ember-cooked leeks and romesco. Mains from £22; thegallivant.co.uk

The leafy interiors at The Gallivant, including hanging plant pots and dark wooden chairs

Updown, Deal

There’s a Tuscan villa vibe to this renovated Kent farmhouse. Both in the more Italian of chef Oli Brown’s seasonal dishes (pork, borlotti, cime di rapa and salsa verde; Amalfi lemon sorbet), and in its outdoor space with its pergola of vines and wisteria. Mains from £22; updownfarmhouse.com

The outdoor area at Updown Deal, featuring silver heaters, logs and brick walls

Beckford Canteen, Bath

Chef George Barson’s modern British cooking (sardines on toast; monkfish with cauliflower and curried butter) is gathering plaudits and Beckford’s new courtyard garden only intensifies its appeal. A varied drinks list includes own-label wines, or for a great choice pop into nearby Beckford Bottle Shop where you can buy wines to drink here (plus corkage fee). A commitment to sourcing locally and choosing suppliers with strong sustainability credentials make it extra popular. Larger plates from £19; beckfordcanteen.com

A meat dish on a white plate served at Beckford Canteen in Bath

Pompette, Oxford

With its pavement terrace, steak frites, panisse and jambon persillé terrine, Pompette is a slice of Paris in Summertown. Two courses from £26; pompetterestaurant.co.uk

Pompette's pavement terrace at sunset

Hilltop Kitchen, Godalming, Surrey

Farm-to-fork lunch spot (think brawn croquettes, chilli mayo; squash ravioli with hazelnuts, brown butter), whose terrace commands sweeping views. Mains from £11.50; hilltop-kitchen.co.uk

Sweeping views of fields at Hilltop Kitchen in Godalming, Surrey

Celentano's, Glasgow

Nurse a negroni made with homemade vermouth on the handsome terrace, before trying chef Dean Parker’s Italian plates, such as linguine, cod cheeks, pistachio, preserved lemon and dill. Larger plates £15-26; celentanosglasgow.com

A range of Italian sharing plates at Celentano's in Glasgow

Heaneys, Cardiff

Serving ambitious dishes such as barbecued Welsh lamb, goat’s curd, black garlic, mint and nori, chef Tommy Heaney’s buzzy restaurant is a fave with Pontcanna foodies. Now includes a neat pavement terrace. Two courses from £25; heaneyscardiff.co.uk

A plate of oysters, a beer and a glass of wine on a black table at Heaneys, Cardiff

Barnaby’s, Padstow

Prawn on the Lawn’s new summer pop-up at Trevibban Mill Vineyard, an indoor-outdoor affair with lush views of vineyards and wildflower meadows. Expect dishes such as scallops, fenugreek and pistachio butter or BBQ mackerel and mojo verde. Plates around £7-24; prawnonthelawn.com

Lush views of vineyards and wildflower meadows at Barnaby's in Padstow

The Barn, Ascot

Stylish covered terrace amid hotel Coworth Park’s splendid gardens. The Barn’s British brasserie menu, from upscale burgers to elegant seafood dishes, is designed by Adam Smith, Michelin star holder at the hotel’s Woven restaurant. Mains from £26; dorchestercollection.com

Stylish covered terrace at The Barn in Ascot

Paco Tapas, Bristol

From prized presa ibérica pork to Galician-style octopus, next-level Spanish dishes alfresco on Bristol harbour. Dishes £8-49; pacotapas.co.uk

Meat canapes and a glass of wine at Paco Tapas in Bristol

Chalk, Washington, West Sussex

Lush courtyard setting amid a renovated 18th century barn complex, on winemaker Wiston’s estate. After an appetite-sharpening glass of brut NV, enjoy well executed dishes of beef tartare or lamb, juniper-smoked potato and salsa verde. Mains from £17; wistonestate.com

Chocolate pot and a glass of wine served at Chalk in West Sussex

Purnell's Café & Bistro, Coventry

Glynn Purnell’s latest venue, within a restored 14th century monastery and gardens. Sharing plates around £6-11; historiccoventrytrust.org.uk

Grilled octopus dish at Purnell's Cafe in Coventry

Maray, Manchester

Colourful global plates on a terrace by the famous Hidden Gem church. Plates £5-13.50; maray.co.uk

Maray restaurant's outdoor terrace

Argo, Newlyn

Celebrating Cornwall’s fishing fleet, this modish, wood-clad restaurant serves daily changing menus of, say, grilled chard and scallop butter, sand sole with preserved lemon or coley skewers with togarashi. Its terrace and low-intervention tap wines seal a sweet summer deal. Plates £9-30; argoenewlyn.co.uk

The blue bar at Argoe featuring glasses, overhead lighting and plant pots

Fordwich Arms, Kent

Chefs Dan and Natasha Smith have turned this handsome 1930s pub into a Michelin-starred destination for clever, approachable cooking which, in dishes such as pig’s cheek with lardo, prune and cracked wheat, or roast lamb with confit breast, nettles and broccoli, makes stellar use of the UK-Kentish larder. The pub’s pergola-shaded River Stour terrace has been extended and, with a glass of English sparkling wine in hand (Kent vineyards such as Gusbourne and Simpsons are prominent on the menu), it makes for a truly idyllic location. Mains from £34; fordwicharms.co.uk

Sargasso, Margate

Run by electronic musician Matthew Herbert and the team from London’s Brawn, Sargasso, sat on the harbour above Margate beach, is renowned for its terrific terrace views, chef Marcelo Rodrigues’s cooking (think grilled scallops and saffron butter, onglet, Tropea onions, anchoiade dip) and monthly DJ sessions. Plates £8-£20; sargasso.bar

Henrock, Windermere

As a Simon Rogan restaurant, exacting execution and seasonality are standard at Henrock. But its pop-up summer marquee in the grounds of Linthwaite House will showcase the team’s cooking at its most populist. Expect next-level buttermilk fried chicken and Korean pork belly brioche sandwiches, while salads (ingredients picked daily at the farm which also supplies Rogan’s three-Michelin-star L’Enclume), are served from a tableside trolley. Mains from £16; henrock.co.uk

Henrock’s pop-up summer marquee nestled in the Cumbrian countryside

The Stables, Sedbergh

Located in the Black Bull hotel’s meadow garden, the Stables is where chef-owner Nina Matsunaga vents her creativity in street food. Utilising a custom-built oven, grill and rotisserie, the menu runs from pizzas (15-year-old starter, British charcuterie) to langoustine with chimichurri and Herdwick lamb flatbreads. Mains around £9-£13; theblackbullsedbergh.co.uk

Nook by the River, Cardiff

Pop-up small plates and natural wines by the Taff. Plates £6-£14; nookcardiff.co.uk

Topsham Brewery & Taproom, Exeter

Sweet beer garden on the quay with Napoli-style pizza from Portal. From £6.50; follow on Instagram @topshambrewery

Garden House, Cambridge

From beetroot and goat’s curd salad to afternoon tea on lawns by the River Cam. Dishes from £9; gardenhousecambridge.co.uk

Pythouse Kitchen Garden; a beautiful tomato tart at Garden House

Salt & Malt, near Bristol

First-rate fish ’n’ chips by Chew Valley Lake. From £12.50; saltandmalt.co.uk

Civerinos, Edinburgh

Great pizza on Portobello beach. From £4.25; civerinosslice.com

Buyers Club, Liverpool

Awesome handmade pastas in a cool courtyard. Mains from £12; buyers-club.co.uk

A table at Liverpool’s Buyers Club, with handmade pasta and pizza

GRUB, Manchester

Street food hub with brilliant DIY yarden (definition: a post-industrial-yard-cum-beer garden). Dishes from around £7; grubmcr.com

Yuzu, York

Neat bao and rice bowls in Brew York’s yard. Mains from £10.50; yuzustreetfood.com

Cook House, Newcastle

Anna Hedworth’s modish Cook House occupies a leafy corner of once industrial Ouseburn. Eat in the kitchen garden or terrace space, which, as well as a busy BBQ and smoker, incorporates a dedicated outdoor kitchen. Expect local, seasonal, foraged, fermented goodness: from breakfast through to lunch and dinner plates of barbecued oyster mushrooms with peanut sauce and chilli oil, or lamb belly with lovage salsa and beans. Mains from £18; cookhouse.org

The Sardine Bar, Plymouth

Little sis’ to neighbour Rockfish, this bar-takeaway (colourful seating area, harbour views), opened in May. MSC-certified cod/hake and chips is the main lure but the menu includes dressed crab or tinned sardines and sourdough. Meals from £9.95; therockfish.co.uk

Alfresco fish and chips at The Sardine Bar

Kampus, Manchester

From NY-style pizza on Nell’s terrace (try the ’nduja, Cobble Lane pepperoni and hot honey; slice from £2.50; nellspizza.co.uk), via brunch at Pollen (follow on Instagram @PollenBakery) to the imminent arrival of Scouse taco kings Madre (thisismadre.co.uk), the alfresco options at this canalside garden – part of residential development Kampus – make it a hot address this summer.

The Zebra Riding Club, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire

Part of Birch, a very on-trend hotel and creative retreat, chef-restaurateur Robin Gill’s latest venue is an indoor-outdoor idyll in a former stables, where diners can linger in a lavender-scented courtyard. Chef Amber Francis executes dishes, including cured bream, peas radish and dashi, or monkfish, courgetti, wild garlic and seaweed butter that vibe off the Birch farm’s seasonal harvest. Extend your day with foraging and baking classes, while Birch guests can also enjoy a barbecue or picnic across its 55 acres. From £48pp; thezebraridingclub.com

The Moorcock Inn, near Halifax

Eat overlooking Ryburn Valley as live-fire ace Alisdair Brooke-Taylor creates magic on his medieval-looking grills. Plates £6.50-£21; themoorcock.co.uk

Marle, Hampshire

Skye Gyngell’s seasonal, sustainable slice of luxury at Heckfield Place hotel. Mains from £24; heckfieldplace.com

The Barn, Aughton, Lancashire

One-Michelin-star brother to neighbouring Moor Hall set in five attractive acres. Mains from £20; moorhall.com

Nick’s, Port of Menteith, Stirling

Globe-trotting dishes and classy pizza at Nick Nairn’s restaurant, where diners can eat in beautifully designed gardens. Pizza from £12; nairns.co.uk

Pythouse Kitchen Garden, Tisbury

Naturally, at a restaurant so rooted in its Wiltshire setting, Pythouse diners can lunch at canopied terrace tables in its 18th-century walled garden. This year, chef Darren Broom will also host several open-air Eat the Equinox and Garden Gathering communal feasts, where guests can enjoy dishes such as celeriac carpaccio with a smoked spring onion vinaigrette and Old Winchester, or lamb, fermented garlic and wild leeks. From £35pp; pythousekitchengarden.co.uk

open-air communal feasting at Pythouse Kitchen Garden

The Bailiwick, Egham

Eat Windsor Great Park venison bon bons overlooking said park. Bar mains £15; thebailiwick.co.uk

The Pool House Restaurant, Exmouth

Swimming and dining overlooking the Exe Estuary at Michael Caines’ Lympstone Manor. Mains from £14; lympstonemanor.co.uk

The White Hart Inn, Mersea Island, Essex

Historic pub close to Monkey Beach, reopened by the Sun Inn at Dedham team, with a lush sheltered beer garden. Naturally, oysters feature on a menu that ranges from pork belly sando to skate in Café de Paris sauce. Mains from £14.50; whitehartinnmersea.co.uk

Hare & Hounds, Bath

This stone-built, dog-friendly inn is only a mile from Bath city centre, but nevertheless the Hare & Hounds is surrounded by beautiful countryside and extensive gardens. From the terrace there are sweeping 10-mile views across the city towards Solsbury Hill, an Iron Age hill fort immortalised in song by Peter Gabriel. The garden comes into its own in the summer, with its large lawn, picnic benches and children’s play area. It all makes for a lovely spot to enjoy a pint of Somerset-brewed Butcombe ale and simple dishes such as beer-battered fish and chips, or mash and beef braised in red wine. hareandhoundsbath.com

Double doors look out over the Bath countryside. To the side is a terrace with tables and chairs

20 Stories, Manchester

In the heart of Spinningfields, the restaurant at 20 Stories lays claim to the highest rooftop terrace in Manchester and provides magnificent 360° views of the city’s vast skyline. It’s a dramatic setting to enjoy modern British dishes in, including sweet-cured bacon chop, sauerkraut and lentils, and rhubarb panna cotta and crème fraîche sorbet. 20stories.co.uk

20 STORIES, Manchester

Riddle & Finns, Brighton

Riddle & Finns, tucked under a Victorian arch beneath the promenade at Brighton beach, is both a seafood restaurant and champagne and oyster bar. It has one of the town’s most sought-after views – the window area overlooks the skeletal remains of the iconic West Pier. Sit on the alfresco terrace in the summer or dine upstairs and glance over the pebble beach, gazing out to sea as you feast on grilled langoustines with chilli and salsa verde, followed by fish pie or pan-roast fillet of turbot with confit potato, burnt apple, Asian pear and shiso leaf butter. riddleandfinns.co.uk

A window table and chair looking out over the beach

The Griffin Inn, East Sussex

As Britain begins to warm-up, the two-acre garden at this rural dining-pub shines. Nicknamed ‘the Serengeti’, it enjoys sweeping views of the South Downs and, on summer weekends, includes its own BBQ kitchen and an outdoor bar where, as the sun sets, you can sip at a ‘Sussex Serengeti’ cocktail of homemade elderflower cordial, prosecco, mint and raspberries. You can also eat on the neat outdoor terrace. Expect dishes such as South Brockwell Farm asparagus, buffalo mozzarella and baby basil as well as Portland crab linguine with chilli, garlic and white wine. thegriffininn.co.uk

A man playing the keyboard on a lawn at The Griffin Inn, East Sussex

Nancarrow Farm, Cornwall

Each month this organic farm throws open its swanky barn for feast nights, cooked in the outdoor kitchen. Open fires and elemental hardwood cooking are a focus, and super-seasonal dishes might include oak-grilled lamb with wild garlic pesto, braised lentils, sweetheart cabbage and asparagus or a novel beef carpaccio (‘cooked dirty, on the embers’) with rosemary salt, horseradish and radishes. All the meats are reared at Nancarrow, which also has a fecund kitchen garden. nancarrowfarm.co.uk

Lots of people at a feast at Nancarrow Farm, Cornwall surrounded by flowers

Ruin Beach Café, Isles of Scilly

This happily situated café, overlooking Raven’s Porth beach, is on the privately-owned island of Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, less than 30 miles from the Cornish coast. It uses the best island produce available for its Mediterranean-inspired dishes, and the view towards St Martin’s from the sun terrace of this former smuggler’s cottage offers an equally Mediterranean-style view. A wood-fired oven produces excellent pizzas and is also used to roast top-quality Tresco beef and island-caught fish. tresco.co.uk

A wooden table and chair on decking looking out to sea

The Inn at Whitewell, Lancashire

Lancashire gem The Inn at Whitewell is a 16th-century pub perched high on the banks of the River Hodder, with spectacular views down the valley to the grouse moors beyond. The kitchen sources game from the surrounding woods and moors (the inn sits within the Forest of Bowland, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and neighbouring Burholme Farm produces delicious Lonk rare-breed lamb. innatwhitewell.com

A pretty garden with tables and chairs looking out over green fields

The Godolphin Arms, Cornwall

A short walk along the beach from Penzance, The Godolphin Arms restaurant-with-rooms overlooks the iconic St Michael’s Mount with farreaching views of the Lizard Peninsula. In the summer, the suntrap terrace is the place to sip a Cornish gin and eat excellent local fish and chips. godolphinarms.co.uk

The Old Coastguard, Cornwall

The Old Coastguard, sister hotel to nearby Gurnard’s Head, is set in the idyllic Cornish fishing village of Mousehole (pronounced ‘Mouzzal’), close to Newlyn fish market. The views from the hotel’s tropical garden, positioned as it is on rocks looking across to St Michael’s Mount, are breathtaking and, if you watch closely, you’re sure to see dolphins and seals gliding through the water as you enjoy a meal in the restaurant or on the terrace. oldcoastguardhotel.co.uk

A green garden with palm trees and the sea in the background

Riley’s Fish Shack, Tyne and Wear

This no-bookings seafood restaurant is well worth queuing for. It’s a rusty shipping container on the rocks above the beach at Tynemouth, with a tarpaulin-covered terrace. Watch the waves over a daily-changing menu of the day’s catch cooked in the wood-fired pizza oven, and served in brown cardboard boxes with wooden cutlery. Seafood at its simplest and with one of the best views in the North East. rileysfishshack.com

A little shack with yellow awning with people sat eating food

Angelica, Leeds

On the sixth floor of the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, Angelica has a wraparound planted terrace and panoramic city views. Seats on the terrace are highly prized when the weather allows – it’s the ideal place to relax with a cocktail and a plate of fruits de mer. angelica-restaurant.com

Tables and chairs are set on a lawn with strings of lightbulbs hanging overhead

The Hidden Hut, Cornwall

The Hidden Hut, sat on a coastal path above beautiful Porthcurnick Beach on the Roseland Peninsula of west Cornwall, is owned by the National Trust but run by chef Simon Stallard and Jemma Glass. The outdoor kitchen resembles an army field kitchen and the menu changes daily, with freshly baked pasties and good coffee and cake available before the lunch menu is chalked on the board. On a typical midsummer day, up to 2,000 customers are fed, many of them taking their food to the beach for those sea views. hiddenhut.co.uk

People are sat on picnic benches looking out over green fields and the sea

Coast, Pembrokeshire

Coast is perched on the shoreline at Saundersfoot, just metres away from the sands of Coppet Hall beach. The sea views are matched by head chef Tom Hine’s innovative seafood dishes, including the likes of cod, caramelised cauliflower and shellfish bisque. coastsaundersfoot.co.uk

A light and airy dining room with long glass windows that look out to sea

River Exe Café, Devon

A custom-built floating restaurant surrounded by water, and only accessible by water taxi, the River Exe Café sits in the middle of the Exe Estuary in east Devon. Watch the colourful Devon sunset over food prepared by head chef Chris Dayer, and eat fresh fish from the estuary itself as you hear the water lapping around you. riverexecafe.com

A decked area with tables and chairs perched over the sea

Crab House Café, Dorset

On the water’s edge where Weymouth meets Portland Bill, the Crab House Café is essentially a weather-beaten shack attached to an oyster farm. The oysters and local crabs take star billing on the menu, which can change twice a day depending on what’s landed by day boats working out of Poole, Weymouth or Brixham. The view from the restaurant and tables on the shingle outside looks across Chesil Beach to some of the fishing boats supplying the kitchen. crabhousecafe.co.uk

A beach with restaurant perched on the edge. There are tables and chairs on the beach

The Cherwell Boathouse, Oxford

There can’t be many restaurants with their own punt station... but the clue here is in the name: The Cherwell Boathouse occupies half of a working Victorian boathouse, right on the River Cherwell. There are 80 punts available during the season, weather permitting, but if you just want to relax, then grab a table on the terrace and watch the punts and wildlife while making the most of an award-winning wine list. cherwellboathouse.co.uk

A building is perched at the edge of the river, looking out over the calm river

Beach House, Gower Peninsula

Whether your table is inside or on the terrace, the coastal views at this beachside gaff, towards the famous Welsh landmark Three Cliffs Bay, are breathtaking. Native Welshman head chef Hywel Griffith is passionate about local produce from the Gower coast, and that’s reflected in his menu, which often includes lobster caught from the sea directly in front of the restaurant. beachhouseoxwich.co.uk

A single story building perched on the edge of a sandy beach

Lord Crewe Arms, Northumberland

Set in the picture-postcard village of Blanchland, on the Northumberland and Durham borders, the 18th-century Lord Crewe Arms occupies an idyllic and timeless spot next to an ancient church and opposite the village square. Close to Hadrian’s Wall, parts of the building can be traced back to the 12th century and in summer you can enjoy lunch on the lawn of the walled garden that produces 95% of the menu’s produce. Dishes include local duck breast with summer vegetable salad and ‘rough cut’ pasta with a ‘low and slow’ ragu of Durham rare-breed pork. lordcrewearmsblanchland.co.uk

A grand stone building with a green lawn in front of it

Träkol, Gateshead

Träkol is basically a series of interconnecting shipping containers on the quayside under the iconic Tyne Bridge, and as such has one of the most unique views of Newcastle across the river. An open kitchen with an open fire makes dinner here all the more special, with nose-totail dishes including grilled pork jowl and XO slaw, followed by a sharing dish of ash crust salt-baked sea bass, grilled Jersey Royals and asparagus. bytheriverbrew.co/trakol

A shipping container set against an orange sunset

Words by Mark Taylor and Tony Naylor


Photographs by Matt Austin, Mike Searle, Paul Massey, Nigel John, Ed Schofield, Owen Howells, Girl Behind The Lens, Luke Hayes

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