Sunny weather is the only excuse we need to head outside and relax with a refreshing beverage. The best place to enjoy this cherished pastime? A beer garden, of course. Luckily for us, London has an abundance of choices perfect for an outdoor tipple. We found an eclectic offering of alfresco drinking locations where we can celebrate long summer nights with a cold ale. Ahead, riverside terraces with views of the Thames, circus-themed gardens, charming verandas, and more must-visit settings for a sunset brew. Bottoms up!
Photo: Courtesy of the Canonbury.
The Canonbury 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 Avalon 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.
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Photo: Courtesy of People's Park Tavern.
People's Park Tavern 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?
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.
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.
Photo: Courtesy of Aeronaut.
Aeronaut 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.
The Woolpack 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.
Photo: Courtesy of The Ship.
The Ship 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 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.