We admit it – drinking in the daytime has a bad reputation. But if brunch has taught us anything, it’s that a drink is actually pretty welcome around lunchtime. In the summer, day drinking means lounging in a sunny beer garden with an ice-cold pitcher, while in the winter it’s an excuse to get cosy with a warming bottle of red wine. And since you’re not drinking before bedtime, you probably won’t get a hangover either. Here are some of London’s best bars and pubs for day drinking:
Villandry Great Portland Street
Great Portland Street (0.3 miles)
What: Sophisticated Mediterranean bar and grill with great cocktails
Why: If you’re looking for a drink in the daytime, you won’t want to do it in some sticky bar. You want to do it somewhere that makes you feel classy – like Villandry, the boutique Mediterranean cafe, bar and restaurant with branches in St. James’s Park and Great Portland Street. The warm, inviting European vibe makes for a relaxing afternoon session. Best of all, from 5pm-7pm cocktails are just £6!
Where: Villandry, Great Portland Street, London
What: Unique dockside bar with a stunning terrace
Why: This impressive canal-side venue offers gorgeous views across the water – the perfect place for your afternoon glass or two. With an excellent selection of in-house infused cocktails and a long list of some of London’s finest beers, Number 90’s menu will leave you spoilt for choice. Oh, and if you get hungry there’s some truly tempting food on offer, too.
Where: 90 Main Yard, Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN
The Four Thieves
What: Lovely pub with an enormous retro games room
Why: The Four Thieves does what all good pubs do, and then adds something really special – a sprawling upstairs dedicated to retro games, from ping-pong to a remote control racing car track. It’s a seriously good idea: you could quite happily spend all afternoon playing the arcade machines or the table tennis. If you’re after a bit of fun and entertainment with your day drinking, look no further.
Where: 51 Lavender Gardens, Clapham, SW11 1DJ
London Cocktail Club
What: Cool cocktail lounge with an unbelievable happy hour
Why: The Handbook knows that it’s always five o’clock somewhere, but the London Cocktail Club are taking their happy hour way further. Pop in on a Monday and you’ll find half-price cocktails all day long. And with seven locations across the city, from Shaftesbury Avenue to Islington, you’re never too far from a decent cocktail at an amazing price. Even if you can’t make a Monday, there’s half price on all cocktails from 4.30pm until 7pm. Perfect!
Where: 6-7 Great Newport Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 7JB
The Princess of Wales
What: Traditional pub overlooking a gorgeous village green
Why: Now this is what pubs used to be like. Big yet cosy, bustling yet peaceful, The Princess of Wales in Blackheath is one of those places where you could quite easily while away a whole day: there’s a wide range of beers and cask ales, with a tip-top food menu too. But it’s the sprawling beer garden that really makes this pub a fantastic day-drinking choice. A lovely patio just on the fringe of Greenwich Park seals the deal, especially as the pub are happy to let you wander across with your drink in hand (as long as you bring the glass back, of course). Cheers!
Where: 1a Montpelier Row, Blackheath, London, Greater London, SE3 0RL
What: Canalside brewery with excellent pizza
Why: OK, so this east London converted warehouse is pretty heavy on the cliches – expect craft beers, hipsters and, of course, crates – but if you’re going in for a solid daytime session, you’re going to need top-notch food and drink. Overlooking the Lea Navigation, Crate brew their own beer on site, with live jazz and proper pizza too.
Where: White Building, Unit 7, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN