Beer Gardens: Guide to Eating & Drinking outside at London's best bars and pubs. With global warming apparently giving the British Isles more of a continental weather style – that is uninterrupted warm summer days - the hunt is on for the perfect London Beer Garden to soak up those refreshing cool pints and those 'harmful' sun rays and London has some of the best Beer Gardens around! With the smoking ban sending smokers into the pubs garden that outside space has become more important than ever. Some pubs and bars offer the best Al Fresco experience as well.
By Paul Caffell
Grand Union Brixton
Brixton / Bar / Restaurant / Club / Cuisine: Bar
Brixton / Clapham - Another peach of a beer garden in the Clapham area - you south London folk are spoilt for choice - with a huge BBQ in the summer, an outdoor fire pit, al fresco bars, and amazing Thai huts with TV screens everywhere so you never miss a match. Probably the best beer garden in London.
Wandsworth / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
Wandsworth - Overlooking the River Thames, The Ship is a charming pub and restaurant with a private beer garden and live Irish music sessions. There is an outdoor barbeque kitchen during the warmer months. Full of history and character, The Ship was founded as a public inn in 1786 and sits on the banks of the Thames by Wandsworth Bridge. With a cosy interior, there is a warm ambience and homely, traditional decor.
Fulham / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Pub
Beer garden in Fulham - this large west London bar is well loved for its HD and 3D live sports action, and its party atmosphere fuelled by Thursday night cocktail mojitos for £2.95 and 2-4-1 happy hours until 8pm every day of the week, but its crowning glory is its picnic bench beer garden out back. The Big Smoke, the appropriately named alfresco BBQ in the beer garden, serves up burgers all summer long such as 7oz 'Squealer', or the pulled pork, chorizo, bacon and cheddar. CONTACT THE VENUE
Clapham / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Bar
Gigalum's sun terrace is in the ideal position in the afternoon sun, overlooking Clapham Common and a stone's throw from Clapham South tube. The team serve a great range of bottled and draught ales and lagers to sip under the huge palm tree while watching the world go by. And don't worry if it's cold or raining, they have it covered, literally. Plus a combination of gas and electric heaters to keep you warm. You can, of course, dine alfresco too, the bar's new chef is the best yet. At the weekends the DJs spin tunes that really get the dancefloor going, and if you haven't been to one of their Sunday parties yet, well...
Shepherds Bush / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
Shepherd's Bush - Large outside beer garden that likes the sun. The Eagle offers those around the Shepherd Bush area one of the best beer gardens in this area of London to soak up the sun and enjoy your pints.
Camden / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
Camden - This pub will be in its element over the summer months. In its detachment from the noisy throngs of Camden High Street, the new beer garden, large interiors and appetising selection of light food all favour the Edinboro Castle as a fulfilling lunchtime detour off the market path.
The Water Poet
Shoreditch / Bar / Cuisine: British
City of London - A slice of nearby Shoreditch nestled nicely in amongst the streets near Spitalfields on the Liverpool Street side of business. This sun-trapping beer garden - of which there aren't many in the City - is sheltered on all sides by high walls and has enough space for 150 work-addled souls to relax during their well-earned lunch break (and beyond). The BBQ and hog roasts are very popular in the summer, as is the table service and the garden screen showing films and sport.
Clapham / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
Clapham & Balham - The Avalon is truly blessed with outside space, the large terraces being glorious sun traps in the warmer months. They have recently opened their new rear beer garden, which provides a gorgeous new space in which to dine, drink and relax. The beer garden is open daily from noon; on Thursday and Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday, there is a fantastic Mediterranean grill menu, providing the perfect accompaniment to a pint or chilled glass of rosé in the sun.
Angel & Islington / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
Islington - By far the best and most important thing to mention about The Castle is the fact that it has a roof beer garden. Perfect for summer, the beer garden is a roof garden - a high up open space looking down on Pentonville Road.
Hammersmith / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
Hammersmith - On Brook Green the Queens Head is both perfect for lunch with the parents on a Sunday or a cozy night with a loved one and in the summer, break free from the hustle and bustle of London in the massive beer garden at the rear.
The Gipsy Moth
Greenwich / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Greenwich - This 200-seater beer garden in south east London boasts a retractable roof cover so that even when the weather turns from great to pretty awful, your al fresco fun amongst the pots plants and picnic tables is never interrupted. During the summer the BBQ is fired up and there?s also the occasional hog roast. Back inside, it?s a posh affair, where roasts reign supreme.
The Garden Gate
Hampstead / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Hampstead Heath - The Garden Gate is named after its beautiful garden for which it is known locally. The pub is situated amongst the cafes and shops of busy Belsize Park, just 500 yards from Hampstead Heath.
Wandsworth / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
Earlsfield - This pub offers one of the best and biggest beer gardens in South West London with over 250 seats. With a newly raised decking area for outdoor eating (non-smoking) along with a heated patio area and boules area, the Leather Bottle is up there as one of the best in London! For those private summer parties they can also provide you with your very own hog roast or summer BBQ.
City of London / Bar / Club / Cuisine: Eclectic
Brick Lane - Still going strong and still Brick Lane's best know bar, the Vibe is the meeting point for all of London's trendiest music industry types. Established in 1995, the Vibe Bar is one of the East-End's longest running, and best loved drinking dens. Situated in the middle of would-be famous Brick Lane; the Vibe Bar enjoys a whole host of customers from all around the globe and all walks of life. The large courtyard is fantastic in the sumer months.
Peckham & Camberwell / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern International
Camberwell - A key feature to this multi-talented sanctum is its secluded rear sun garden, replete with functional foliage, split-level decking, and amusing 'Jugs and Cocktails' signage (which has puerile written all over it). The Cambria is a beautiful friendly pub, serving fantastic food and running many different themed nights including, live jazz, quiz, cabaret and a comedy night. Great service and atmosphere, with one of the best beer gardens in this area of London.
Grand Union Wandsworth
Wandsworth / Bar / Restaurant / Club / Cuisine: Bar
Wandsworth Town - Situated in the heart of Wandsworth Town right on the High Street, GU Wandsworth is a hidden gem of South West London. The highlight of the site is the large beer garden with outside bar and Thai treehouses; the perfect place to spend the warmer months. Inside the site, floral wallpaper adorns the walls and vintage furniture fills bar area. The private Snug can be hired for up to 60 people; with a separate bar and fully fitted audiovisual equipment.
Garden Bar and Grill
Notting Hill / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
Kensington - Garden Bar & Grill is a relaxed, contemporary pub with great food and the largest beer garden in Nottinghill and perhaps central London. The atmosphere is laid back and the style is an eclectic mix of stone mosaics, leather booths, candles & an abundance of flowers. The beautiful garden is always open for alfresco drinking, dining & weekend BBQ's. In a previous life the Garden bar used to be the venue of the very famous blues club ? "Bad Bob's Blues".
Kensington / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern Eclectic
South Kensington - The Admiral Codrington is split between a small pub with a heated patio and a full dining room that has a removable roof just in case that sun pays a visit; this is a classy venue with mature clientele and a decent atmosphere.
Richmond & Kew / Bar / Cuisine: Eclectic
Richmond - The Marlborough has possibly one of the largest beer gardens in the Richmond area with over 800 square metres of garden to spread into. Open BBQ during the summer and large leafy trees give shade to those that desire it.
Henry J Beans Chelsea
Chelsea / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
Chelsea - Henry J Beans is situated on the Kings Road, Chelsea, and must have the largest beer garden in this part of London! Only shame is that part of it closes at 8pm and all of it by 9.30pm.... those Chelsea neighbours have had their say.
London Bridge & Bermondsey / Bar / Restaurant / Club / Cuisine: European
Southwark Rooms is a classy cocktail bar with DJs regularly playing a selection of tunes. The place has a great atmosphere and a modern yet classic look. There is a large selection of champagne and sexy cocktails to choose from. Fresh, home cooked food, canapes and weekly Borough Market Specials are available. There is a great seating in the sunshine to be had.
The Drawing Room Cafe
Fulham / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Eclectic
Fulham - Afternoon tea at The Lawn has to be one of most quintessentially British experiences London has to offer. After a stroll through the grounds or a visit to the museum, a selection of finger sandwiches and pastries, including freshly made scones with Jersey clotted cream and Peyton and Byrne jams and loose leaf teas awaits, whilst soaking up one of the largest gardens London has to offer.
The Old Bull & Bush
Hampstead / Bar / Cuisine: Modern British
Hampstead - In the 18th century the pub was famous for its pleasure garden which was originally laid out by Hogarth, who was also reputed that to have planted one of the many trees. In fact, when the plants and shrubs are in full bloom, the Old Bull & Bush is the perfect stop-off point after a brisk walk on nearby Hampstead Heath.
Angel & Islington / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Islington - The Albion has that rare feeling of a country pub in the city, possibly due to the complete lack of traffic noise, making it perfect for escaping the rat race with good food and a delightful beer garden out back.
Hampton & Teddington / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
Teddington - If you're boating on the Thames and in need of refreshment you can't get any better than The Anglers. There's mooring space for three boats, which takes you directly into the beer garden - perfect.
Chapel Bar & Club
Angel & Islington / Bar / Restaurant / Club / Cuisine: North African
Islington - The Chapel Bar & Club is a 280 capacity, split level venue with a large, newly redecorated ground floor bar with designated covered smoking area, first floor Venetian Chandelier Bar and a spacious heated and enclosed roof terrace, with a second covered smoking area.
The Duke's Head
Putney / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
Putney - A pub so beautiful and authentic you are left wondering how so many others have got it so wrong. With a large beer garden dropping down onto the Thames, the Duke's Head is one of Putney's best riverside pub.
The Duke of Edinburgh
Brixton / Bar /
Brixton - Not the easiest to find but worth it once you do. The Duke of Edinburgh has one of the largest beer gardens in London - it's massive! With gas fires and Barbecue's in the summer the Dukes a must.
Clapham / Bar / Cuisine: Thai
Clapham North - The Falcon is a classic example of new Clapham drinking. The beer garden out the back is a large feature of this pub with a fantastic BBQ on the weekends during the summer. Tunes pump from speakers throughout the day.
Swiss Cottage & Primrose Hill / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
Primrose Hill - One of London's first and best gastro-pubs The Engineer immediately won the Time Out, Michelob award for "Best Bar" in 1995. The restaurant and function rooms are gloriously "arty" and the garden in the summer must be the best place to eat in London.
Shoreditch / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Old Street - The beer garden of the Eagle is reminiscent of a Greek tavernier - brick walls, complete with climbing ivy, are decorated with ornate, gilt mirrors and hand-painted glass. Strings of fairy lights coloured lamps and candles further enhance the atmosphere.
Crouch End / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Highgate - The Flask has a large beer garden that gets so busy in the summer that people tend to spill out onto the grassy knoll opposite, and on warm summer evenings The Flask fires up the BBQ and opens its own alfresco bar.
The Hare & Hounds
Barnes & Sheen / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
East Sheen - One of the few, if not only, decent pubs in this area of London that still shows the football, plus the Hare & Hounds has a huge beer garden (children friendly with a playground to keep them amused and away from adults wishing to sip their pints peacefully) that gets the sun all day during the summer - lovely.
Canada Water & Rotherhithe / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Fish
Rotherhithe - The Mayflower is situated right by the Thames and you can sit in the snug bar or take a seat outside on the jetty-cum-beer garden to watch more energetic revelers cruise past on hired party boats!
The Mucky Pup
Angel & Islington / Bar / Cuisine: International
Angel - With a central drinking area with tables, couches to lounge in, adverts for a quiz night on Wednesday, a pool table in a smoky room, and an enclosed-in-large-brick-wall beer garden, The Mucky Pup is the antitheses of All Bar One.
The Plough Inn
Ealing / Bar / Cuisine: Eclectic
Ealing - Nice enough Fuller's pub that has a history going back a couple of hundred years. One of the biggest pluses is the pleasant beer garden that conduces to stay and sip those cool pints.
The Red Lion
Barnes & Sheen / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
Barnes - Without the beer garden we wouldn't be recommending The Red Lion, not the cheapest of venues to eat or drink at, but it does catch the sunshine all day.
Hampstead / Bar / Cuisine: Modern European
Hampstead - The revamped beer garden at the rear of the Roebuck has a heated gazebo that will ensure that even as the sun goes down you can enjoy alfresco food and drink well into the summer evenings.
Wood Green & Palmers Green / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Bounds Green - The Ranelagh has a gorgeous two-tiered beer garden, complete with an American-style raised decking area and offers ample seating with capacity for 140 people. There's plenty of outside space to kick back have a drink and relax.
Hampstead / Bar / Cuisine: Eclectic
Hampstead - Possibly the most historical beer gardens in London. The pub is said to be haunted by Dick Turpin and the beer garden also has a literary history: Dickens chose the Spaniards garden as the setting for Mrs Bardell's arrest in The Pickwick Papers, and Keats allegedly wrote his Ode to a Nightingale here.
Hammersmith / Bar /
Hammersmith - Another pub that hasn't much attraction unless the sun is out - then it's grab your pint from the bar and head straight to one of the best beer gardens Hammersmith has to offer.
The Windsor Castle
Notting Hill / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Notting Hill - Small and cozy interior for those off the smaller hobbitesque size who like to drink the odd glass of champagne, the beer garden is somewhere to enjoy the summer warmth reflecting from the stone slabs.
Barnes & Sheen / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Barnes - Ye White Hart has an extensive Riverside Beer Garden with loads of benches and tables along the river front of the pub, on the patio and on the river bank itself, all of which are perfect to relax on in the summer all day long, but beware of the upcoming tide that could catch you out.
Clapham / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Pub
Clapham - With the whole of Clapham Common as your beer garden (well almost) the Windmill has got the perfect formula for the summer days.
The Colliers Tup
Wimbledon / Bar /
Colliers Wood - There is no better place to enjoy the summer than our fabulous GARDEN - BBQs at the ready. Our music activity has really grown in popularity. Local music legend Aidy Sweet is here hosting The Shed Club, our Friday night special. We showcase lcoal talent with open mic slots and then have a different headline act each week. We also have an 'old school' DJ filling in the 'quiet' bits!
Balham / Bar /