There’s no denying that summer is officially here. That barbecue smell is lingering in the air, the Tube is now your local sauna and all we can think about is where our next cold pint is coming from. Fear not, this may be one of the most metropolitan cities in the world but London has some real gems for alfresco drinking, and now is the time to make the most of them.
360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT
Since it opened in 1845, Victoria Park (also known as the People’s Park) has been a firm favourite of Londoners. More than 150 years later, we can all still enjoy the splendour of Victoria Park – especially since the People’s Park Tavern opened at the end of last year. Backing onto the park itself, the beer garden here is an ideal spot to refuel after a tiring afternoon of sunbathing. Sit outside under one of their sheltered booths and enjoy a pint from their very own microbrewery.
Image: One Fine Stay
The Edinboro Castle
57 Mornington Terrace, London NW1 7RU
When the sun comes out so do the drinkers at the ever popular Edinboro Castle in Camden Town. Their huge fairy light-trimmed beer garden is very well equipped with ample seating, sheltered areas and heaters (for the chillier evenings) and can fit up to 300 people at a time! They serve a large range of speciality beers and local ales on tap and during the summer look out for their yummy hog roasts and barbecues for a quick, no-fuss bite to soak up the booze!
Image: The Gentleman’s Journal
215 Askew Road, W12 9AZ
The atmosphere at The Eagle is 100% relaxed – so relaxed it can be easy to forget that you’re still in the heart of London! Kick back in a deckchair, laze on the giant bean bags or take shelter from the heat under a wooden hut as you wile away a summer’s afternoon with a couple of cold ones. If you’re feeling a little more active they also have giant Jenga and Connect Four, and if you’re lucky you might even catch one of their free BBQs.
Image: Fluid London
The Water Poet
9-11 Folgate Street, London E1 6BX
Inside, the interior at The Water Poet has a very baroque feel with ornate mirrors, dark wood furniture and upholstered leather chairs, but step outside into their walled beer garden and you’ll be greeted by a colourful array of picnic benches and rainbow bunting.
This popular watering hole stocks a good range of beers and ciders and they hold weekend BBQs and hog roasts during the summer months. For something a bit different they also play host for a weekly swing dance class and
free comedy nights. This place gets really busy though so make sure you get there early or book a table if possible.
Image: Design my night
41 Jews Row, SW18 1TB
Once again The Ship has made it into one of our Top Five lists, (we really must be their biggest fans!) but with a view overlooking the Thames and such an extensive drinks menu, it would have been difficult not to include it. Head down at the weekend and tuck into some proper pub grub or ‘sink’ a pint under the stars. If you’re not a fan of sticky suntrap gardens then the riverside breeze and tranquil sunsets at The Ship could be exactly what you’re looking for.