Summer’s here, and the sunny weather has been (mostly) reliable lately, and you know what that means: time to head to the beer garden. They’ve always been popular in Britain, but beer gardens have expanded in popularity in the last few years, so we’ve put together a new list of the best ones you can find in London.
Here’s the best outdoor spots to grab a nice cold pint…
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.
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
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
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
The Richmond Club, Kew Road
Located in leafy Richmond-upon-Thames, The Richmond Club boasts a beautiful garden with comfy seating areas including an expansive patio, a raised decking area with cosy swing-chairs, a sun-trapped whisky and cigar terrace and a bistro-style pagoda perfect for a bit of welcome shade. Just add friends, a bucket of chilled Champagne or a tray of classic cocktails with a twist, and you’re all set for Summer fun in the sun.
WHERE: 115 – 117 Kew Road, Richmond, TW9 2PN
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
Fest is back and has gone all things summer. Decorated in pastel shades and dotted with life-sized cocktail umbrellas, this seriously instagrammable terrace is already causing quite the buzz.
The perfect haunt for afternoon cocktails and socially distanced catch-ups with friends as buskers play your favourite tracks. Fest has pulled out all the stops to get the summer vibes flowing, they’ve even got a pizza oven behind the bar – what’s not to love?
The Crooked Billet
A fantastic beer garden in Clapton, The Crooked Billet is a lovely place to go for a cool pint in the hotter days of the year. The interior is very stylish yet appealingly homely, and the beer garden out back is huge and inviting.
There’s a great selection of IPAs, lagers and wines, and the food menu is no slouch either, with stone baked pizzas, mains like beer battered haddock and flat iron steak, bar snacks like mac & cheese and fried chicken wings, and tempting desserts like sticky toffee pudding and knickerbocker glory.
Located on Putney Heath just at the edge of Wimbledon Common, The Telegraph has been renovated in recent years and now boasts a very nice beer garden that’ll make you feel as though you’re in the countryside, even if you’re only half an hour from the centre of London.
The food here is excellent, with an evolving menu of diverse cuisines, and fantastic Sunday lunches. Drinks wise, there’s an expansive list of wines, gins and beers, and the whole place has a very warm and friendly vibe.
The Earl of Essex
This craft beer pub may well be the best beer garden in Islington, in a very inviting Georgian era building. The garden itself is quite small but very cosy, with a real back-garden feeling.
But the number one reason you should come here, especially if you’re keen on beer is the pub’s extensive range of craft beer available on tap. There’s a huge range of kegs of beer from all over the world, and even the most picky beer fans will be hard pressed to find anything wrong here.
Vauxhall Beer Garden
One of the biggest in London, if you come to the Vauxhall Beer Garden this summer you won’t be short of things to do. There’s a huge amount of delicious street food available to sate your appetite here alongside the large drinks selection, and the whole place feels almost like small city.
Live comedy is perfomed here throughout the week, and there’s also huge screens showing sport (though sadly there’s no Euros or World Cup in the summer).
Moving up to North London, The Woodman in Highgate is another excellent beer garden to sit in when the sun’s shining. The biggest in Highgate, the pub is both child and dog friendly, with rows of benches in the garden giving a traditional pub garden feel.
The interior is also not to be missed, with the kind of stylish decor you’d expect in one of London’s most expensive suburbs. The food is also very high quality, with head chef Chef Baran, who previously worked with The Ivy and Scott’s of Mayfair, creating an exquisite Brassiere menu.
Where: Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY
Another huge beer garden in North London, The Terrace in Alexandra Palace is the place to go if you feel that your beer garden trip needs more of a landscape in the background. When you’re not gazing across Ally Pally’s famous view, you can endulge yourself on the delicious food on offer.
There’s stone oven baked pizzas, street food on weekends and plenty more. There’s also a fab selection of spirits, wines and cocktails, as well as some great beers from independent breweries.
Truman’s Social Club
Sticking with the “large and spacious” theme, we have Truman’s Social Club in Walthamstow, and it is big, spanning some 35,000 square feet. Less a pub back garden and more a beer hall that wouldn’t be particularly out of place in Valhalla, Truman’s has a great range of food and beer to indulge in in your giant surroundings.
There’s a selection of 20 draft beers on cask and keg, and a “curated guest list” of some of the best beers in the country and beyond. Food wise there’s some great burgers and sharing boards to tuck into from the kitchen. Truman’s also plans to hold some big celebrations for the upcoming Jubilee, should you wish to join in.
Where: Spaniards Road, Hampstead, London, Greater London, NW3 7JJ
The Spaniard’s Inn
The Spaniard’s Inn has been around for centuries- being name dropped in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers among others. But it’s no less excellent in the present day, and has a lovely beer garden to grab a cold beer on a hot day in Hampstead.
It has a chill, relaxed atmosphere, and looks idyllic in the summer months. Alongside a great choice of drinks, there’s some delicious food to have if you’ve worked up an appetite walking on nearby Hampstead Heath.