The al fresco dining scene really comes alive in Madrid from June to late September when the long hours of daylight and warm days and nights make it perfect to sit outdoors and enjoy a relaxed meal followed by a couple of leisurely drinks. Here are three of the best terraces in the Spanish capital for ambience, cuisine and location.

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Right in the heart of Madrid on Plaza Cibeles is Cien Llaves. (www.cienllaves.com) The garden restaurant is surrounded by lush foliage and towering trees and is fast becoming one of central Madrid’s preferred dining spots. Situated behind the late-18th-century aristocratic mansion Palacio Linares, the noble edifice’s façade, stone stairs and gurgling fountain provide the perfect backdrop to enjoy either lunch or dinner. Highlights from the menu are beetroot gazpacho topped with whitebait, baked John Dory and a truly delicious black paella with cuttlefish.

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Within the verdant gardens of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is the newly opened Thyssen Terrace. (www.elmiradordelthyssen.com) The beautiful, architect-designed space is dominated by a mass of undulating curves in pristine white which form the roof. Tables and bench seating are tiered so that everyone gets a good view of the garden and the nearby Paseo del Prado. Open all day, this unique space is perfect to enjoy breakfast, lunch or an evening glass of wine with tapas. Feast on bacon and cheese quiche, Caprese salad, chilled soups and gourmet sandwiches. Early evening is the perfect time to sit back on one of the white sofas with a glass of Spanish wine and a selection of tapas.

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Providing an exotic touch of the Orient is the elegant al fresco terrace connected to the Chinese restaurant Tse Yang. (www.cafesaigon.es) Set inside the five-star hotel Villa Magna on Paseo de la Castellana the summer terrace attracts locals and visitors who are keen to enjoy the intimate space surrounded by greenery. Adding to the allure is the gentle scent of jasmine flowers and some of Madrid’s best Cantonese food. Tables are laid with white cloths, fine porcelain and glassware. Start the experience with a selection of gourmet Dim Sum or perhaps succulent scallops with fresh ginger. Follow on with a wide choice of traditional Cantonese dishes including Peking Duck and turbot drizzled with an aromatic chilli sauce.