The Canonbury is reputed to have been George Orwell’s local favourite when he lived in Islington. We’re not sure what he’d make of the establishment's recent, extensive refurbishment, but it's nice to imagine he'd still enjoy a relaxing pint in the garden area. It’s the perfect backdrop for sampling one of the locally sourced dishes from the menu.
The Canonbury, 21 Canonbury Place, London, N1 2NS; +44 (0) 207 704 2887.
As soon as the sun begins to shine, The Avalon’s expansive garden fills up with locals hell-bent on extracting maximum enjoyment out of the city’s mercurial weather. Still, we can’t think of a better spot to treat ourselves to a burger with all the trimmings and a summer cocktail or two. Just be prepared to share a table if you manage to find a spare.
The Avalon, 16 Balham Hill, London, SW12 9EB; +44 (0) 208 675 8613.
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People’s Park Tavern is the latest reincarnation of Victoria Park’s Brittania pub. In fact, it's so close to the park's edge, it’s hard to decipher where the beer garden ends and Victoria Park begins (the AstroTurf is a clue). But, that just makes spending an hour or two there all the more lovely. The food is traditional gastropub fare (think fish and chips), but the beers made in the company’s microbrewery are anything but conventional. A pint of “Sour To The People,” anyone?
People’s Park Tavern, 360 Victoria Park Road, South Hackney, London, E9 7BT; +44 (0) 208 533 0040.
The Duke of Edinburgh
The next time you’re heading to Brixton Academy, make a pit stop at The Duke of Edinburgh. This elegantly disheveled pub has one of the largest beer gardens we’ve ever seen and is host to countless cider and beer festivals in the summer. Its BBQs are pretty legendary, too.
The Duke of Edinburgh, 204 Ferndale Road, SW9 8AG; +44 (0) 207 326 0301.
Prospect of Whitby
Entering Prospect of Whitby is like taking a step back in time. A tavern has stood on the site since 1520, and the cobbled tiles are original from the very first drinking den. But, it’s the riverside view that really takes our breath away. We like to bring all the Sunday papers and slowly devour them as we sip a pint of cask ales and let the world sail on by — literally.
Prospect of Whitby, 57 Wapping Wall, E1W 3SH; +44 (0) 207 481 1095.
Fancy a circus show with your pint? At newly launched Aeronaut, that's exactly what you get. Check out the cabaret and circus shows taking place each and every weekend, or just create your own high jinks in the venue’s magical outdoor terrace.
Aeronaut, 264 Acton High Street, London, W3 9BH; +44 (0) 208 993 4242.
We’ve lost many a summer’s afternoon to the suntrap that is The Woolpack. It’s where we go to decompress from visiting the weekend crowds at Borough Market. The fluro-green AstroTurf isn’t our favourite thing about the outside drinking area, but after a stiff Bloody Mary, the faux grass' startling hue begins to pale.
The Woolpack, 98 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UB; +44 (0) 207 357 9269.
If you’re looking for a place to have a rowdy get-together with friends, The Ship is the pub for you. This riverside joint is famous for its beautiful views of the Thames and its rip-roaring music nights. Live bands play regularly, and customers think nothing of pushing back the tables and dancing until closing time.
The Ship, 41 Jew’s Row, Wandsworth, London, SW18 1TB; +44 (0) 208 870 9667.
The White Hart
The White Hart’s massive beer garden is just one of the reasons to visit this boho boozer. The pub has an eclectic offering of real ales and fine wines, and the late license and live music keep the party jumping long into the midnight hours. The overall vibe is that of a real home away from home.
The White Hart, 69 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 8EL; +(0) 207 254 6626.