It seems strange to want to go to a Bavarian beer hall on the first week of extreme sunshine. But this is England. We all know it’ll start chucking it down again in about five days time, so you might as well plan ahead. All across London there are halls full of German beers, German sausages, and even German brass bands.
Lederhosen is the dress code and dancing on tables is the entertainment. The trusty beer hall is the ultimate solution to having a good old knees up, and here are some of the best.
Near Borough market is the great wonder that is Katzenjammers – an all-singing all-dancing beer hall. The venue has beautiful barrel vaulted ceilings and an industrial design accented by oak furniture and feature lights rescued from a communist-era German power station.
Now this is the important bit, upstairs is the sausage bar, serving a selection of 10 imported Bavarian sausages, including the Katzwurst, made especially for Katzenjammers in Munich.
However the best bit to the whole thing is the bierhall downstairs which comes alive with dancing on tables and cheery songs when the legendary Oom-Pah bands come out with their brass instruments.
Where: The Hop Exchange, 24 Southwark Street, Borough, SE1 1TY
So you thought Oktoberfest was just for October? You thought wrong. Over on Fulham Road there is one of London’s finest German beer hall experiences. Just a five minute walk from Parsons Green and you are greeted with more than 60 types of German beer. The pub is supported by one of Munich’s finest breweries, Paulaner, which supplies everything from their famous steins to pork knuckles.
On weekdays, they mix things up a bit with some English food and fans, with screens for sports, poker tournaments and pool. Lederhosen is actively encouraged.
Where: 678-680 Fulham Road, SW6 5SA
In Liverpool Street, the beer hall Bierschenke has got all your sports watching sorted. They have big screens for the Bundesliga, DFB, Champions League and Euro League all in HD and it’s topped off with steins and sauerkraut. The chefs serve up unpretentious plates of German fare, including several types of sausage, a crispy Haxe (roast pork shank with, gravy and potato dumplings), schnitzel, goulasch and spätzle and many more delicacies.
Where: 4 London Wall Buildings, Blomfield Street, Liverpool Street, EC2M 5NT
Munich Cricket Club
A big warm Willkommen awaits you at Munich Cricket Club. Don your lederhosen, grab a stein and raise a glass to Oktoberfest every day of the year! There’s authentic Bavarian food aplenty with Bavarian classics and sharing specials in both of their venues in Victoria and Canary Wharf. Think lots of sausages: bratwurst (pork), käsekrainer (pork and cheese), rindsbratwurst mit red chilli (beef and red chilli), and vegane wurst (vegan style sausage).
As well as that, glug on nine different Munich beers on draught together with a delicious selection of bottles. Everything from your favourite biers and wine, to a cocktail list with a German twist, such as the Double Deutsch, which is a mix of Jägermeister and berry liqueur shaken with lemon. Prost!
Where: 1 Abbey Orchard St, Victoria SW1P 2LU; and West India Quay, Canary Wharf, E14 4AE
This young, trendy German beer company is focused on the drinking traditions in Franconia (a region in Germany). Their raison d’etre is to create a locally brewed beer, full of character that people can drink fresh from the tank.
They use state-of-the-art equipment to deliver high-quality brews that are unfiltered, unpasteurised and without additives or preservatives. It means the beer has a short shelf life but it’s goddam delicious. They brew it strictly to the German purity law from 1516, using water, malt, hops and yeast.
Less of a beer hall, and more of a beer stall, you can find them in the Mercato Metroplitano markets in Mayfair and Elephant & Castle.
Where: Mercato Metroplitano, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR; and Mercato Metroplitano, 13A North Audley Street, Mayfair, W1K 6ZA
Perched along the river, this Bavarian experience is perfect for the summer. Sit down at one of the long wooden benches for a delicious slap up German meal on the Richmond riverside. The epic beer garden serves up Munich wine as well as beer and some classic Bavarian dishes. Snacks include: Austrian savoury soft cheese served with radish and a pretzel; creamy red herring salad with beetroot and apple and beef goulash. You can also follow up the meal with a walk along the Richmond Towpath.
Where: Richmond Towpath, Richmond upon Thames, TW10 6UX
Okay, so imagine Gucci was designing a Bavarian beer hall… it would look like the German Gymnasium in King’s Cross. Okay so it’s not a beer hall at all, but how many beer halls do you think there’d be in London? This is an all-day café, with a sophisticated first floor restaurant, two bars and an outdoor terrace. You can enjoy a Mittel-European inspired menu for breakfast lunch, dinner or weekend brunch, as well as a few late night tipples at the Meister bar.
The German Gymnasium was designed by Edward Gruning and was England’s first purpose-built gymnasium, with funding coming solely from London’s German community. It was built in 1865 for the German Gymnastics Society (established in 1861 by Ernst Ravenstein) and hosted London’s first indoor Olympic Games, back in 1866. Now it’s where you go to eat and drink the finest German fare.
Where: 1 King’s Boulevard, King’s Cross, N1C 4BU