The Handbook
The Handbook

This is the summer of the beer garden! As the hospitality industry starts to figure out how on earth to welcome customers under the new social distancing rules, there’s one place that will be booming: the beer garden. According to Environment Sectary George Eustace they will be among the first areas of hospitality to be fully open and as we look at the blue skies outside we don’t think it can come soon enough.

So for everyone planning their July weekends, for everyone stuck indoors because they don’t have a garden, for everyone longing for a freshly pulled pint with their best friends, here are the beer gardens we’re looking forward to.

The Prince, West Brompton

On the border between the wild-lands of Fulham and genteel West Brompton sits The Prince.

The home of West London’s leaving drinks, birthday drinks, cheeky drinks and work drinks, the stand-out feature is the garden.

Sit under the floral pergola in the ‘woodland garden’ and settle in for an afternoon and evening of drinks and laughter.

The single connecting deck between all areas of the venue gives a pleasing continuity between indoors and out.

The Ship, Wandsworth

Sundays just haven’t been the same since lockdown, while enduring bank holiday Mondays without The Ship in Wandsworth was a feat of self control.

With stunning West London sunsets, river-side drinking and dining, booths and booze, The Ship is the perfect place to raise a pint to the reopening of the beer garden.

It can’t come soon enough…

Hope & Anchor, Brixton/Clapham

Previously AKA’d as The Grand Union, in normal times The Hope & Anchor makes use of its garden in winter and summer alike, with a big-top style tent covering the garden in the wetter months and opening things out when the summer arrives.

The chalets around the edge of the garden are ideal for an afternoon of lounging, drinking and chilling. It’s hard to believe anyone ever drinks inside here, making it the perfect post-coronavirus spot.

People’s Park Tavern, Hackney

Let the people have what the people want, which in this case is the People’s Park Tavern. Set alongside Victoria Park, known as The People’s Park for its lefty history.

The garden, which backs onto the park isn’t your usual beer garden, for a start it’s got trendy East Londoney stuff like a mini golf course, along with the now ubiquitous huts and lodges we now expect from a beer garden.

Magic Garden, Battersea

The clue’s in the name, right? The pub might seem a little ratty from the outside, but give it a chance as the place opens out into what really is a relatively magical garden.

Located a short walk from Battersea Park, the garden comes complete with the carcass of an old black cab, picnic tables and banquette seating.

The Castle, Tooting

Ever since Lonely Planet left most of London scratching its collective head by naming Tooting the world’s coolest neighbourhood, this South West London locale has gone from strength to strength.

The Castle is a reflection of a changing Tooting, with a multi-million pound overhaul a few years ago resulting in a great interior (check out the quiz, there’s a food round!) but the garden is where The Castle shines (probably a bit of a kick in the teeth given this must’ve been the cheapest part of the refurb!), with pergolas and a number of chalets.

Pergola London

After their White City hit, Pergola On The Roof spawned two offspring in the form of Pergola Paddington and Pergola Olympia, London has been Pergola crazy.

Relax with a jug of Pimm’s and soak up the summer’s heat on one of their glorious terraces.

Pub On The Park, London Fields

Pub On The Park is a pub on, um, the park. London Fields, to be precise. The pub’s DJs play to the spacious gardens throughout the summer months

Ideal for watching sport (when that’s a thing again) with its huge screens, or you can become part of the game by booking time on the Pétanque area.

Where: 19 Martello Street, Hackney, E8 3PE
Website: www.pubonthepark.com

The Tattershall Castle, Westminster

Curveball, it’s not strictly a garden in the strict sense. No grass, trees, huts or, y’know, solid land. That’s because The Tattershall Castle is a ship, moored opposite the London Eye.

The open decks are ideal for post-work socialising, enjoying drinks and a little seas-sicky-ness.

Where: Victoria Embankment, Whitehall, SW1A 2HR
Website: www.thetattershallcastle.co.uk

The Eagle, Shepherd’s Bush

One of Young’s Pubs Geronomio  Inns (so the posh gastro ones, not the old man boozers), The Eagle does everything that you’d expect from a smart pub (expect expensive looking mismatched furniture and nice wallpaper), but it adds something special with its outside space.

The Eagle is the perfect place for a summer Sunday roast, just gather friends and a board game or two and sit outside.

Where: 215 Askew Road, Shepherd’s Bush, London, W12 9AZ
Website: www.theeaglew12.co.uk

The Leather Bottle

Busy and, at times, not-so-salubrious Garratt Lane plays a blinder with The Leather Bottle. Despite being in the hinterland between Tooting and Earlsfield it feels like you’re in the middle of the countryside. The pub itself has an olde-worlde thing going on, but the garden is brilliant.

With a burger shack, huts, outdoor tables, a pergola area The Leather Bottle’s outdoor space makes for one of London’s best beer garden experiences.

Where: 538 Garrat Lane, Earlsfield, SW17 0NY
Website: www.leatherbottlepub.co.uk

The Handbook has teamed up with The Grill at The Dorchester for an exclusive competition. Entrants will have the chance to win a dinner for two at The Grill at The Dorchester when it re-opens! www.dorchestercollection.com