London is hotting up, with a summer of warm sunny days ahead (well, we can all dream can't we!). We've no idea how many days of sunshine our unreliable British summer will dish us up this year but one thing's for sure, London's beer gardens will be ready and waiting with open arms, a sizzling BBQ and plenty of ice cold booze. So grab your straw hat, whack on that sun cream and don your best shades. Summer in London is well and truly here!
King's Head Cocktail Bar & Courtyard
Fulham / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Eclectic
This award winning cocktail bar is a mere five minute walk from Putney Bridge tube station and has fast become one of the most popular al fresco hangouts in West London. The cool courtyard has capacity for up to 250 people with a fab cocktail bar taking centre stage serving a choice of 13 amazing cocktails. Saturday's Bottomless Prosecco lunch draws in the crowds and the DJ's soundtrack keeps the weekend vibe banging until the early hours. Oh yeah, we almost forgot - the food is pretty awesome too. Check out The Cheese Lover - burger and cheese heaven! Download
Clapham / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Bar
Gigalum is a dance music bar with the alfresco terrace that provides a perfect summer sun trap for that young, naked flesh cometh the hour for a cool down, or a cosy place to warm up under the heaters during winter. It's all year round Ibiza in south London, baby! Guest DJs have included Basement Jaxx Felix Da Housecat, Format B, Norman J and Guy J and the legendary Sunday sessions are for those who refuse to let go of the weekend. This is a beer garden to be seen in.
The People's Park Tavern
Hackney / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
You'll be hard pressed to find a beer garden quite as big as this hugely popular venue in East London. Overlooking the award winning Victoria Park, The People's Park Tavern boasts a hacienda style beer garden of gigantic proportions. There's an outdoor bar, a BBQ and even crazy golf if you fancy a round with your mate (always more fun after a few pints). Summer weekends see this place filled to the rafters pretty much from lunchtime to closing and cheesy tunes keep the punters dancing on the tables come dusk. Download
Camden / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
This Camden pub is at its best during the summer months. In its detachment from the noisy Camden High Street, the alfresco beer garden would seem like a quiet place to enjoy a pint of real ale, except that well over 300 other sun worshippers have had the same idea. This sun-blessed and tree-shaded picnic bench beer garden also comes complete with hog roasts and BBQs, romantic fairy lights, and warming heaters. Regent's Park is only a short walk away for those who crave grass under their arse. We find it hard to think of a better north London beer garden than this.
Wandsworth / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
This huge beer garden overlooks the River Thames and enjoys a slight breeze on those hot (and rare) summer beer garden days. Expect a huge beer garden, outdoor bar, and riverside cabins which can be hired for private parties. There's also a state-of-the-art American BBQ providing a whole menu of tasty al fresco treats. This outdoor terrace is not easily found but it is certainly popular. Don't bother coming if you don't consider yourself sexy in the sun. The vibe is most definitely Mediterranean at this pub.
Hampstead / Bar / Cuisine: Eclectic
There aren't many historical beer gardens in London quite like this one. The Spaniards Inn pub is thought to be haunted by former customer, Dick Turpin, and the beer garden itself has literary connections with the past: Charles Dickins chose the garden as the setting for Mrs Bardell's arrest in The Pickwick Papers, and the poet John Keats allegedly wrote his Ode to a Nightingale whilst sat in the garden. Nowadays, the beer garden - which can seat up to 400 alfresco drinking and dining guests - hosts regular BBQs and an outdoor bar, and is often seen as London's most dog-friendly pub thanks to its very own dog wash, doggie snacks, and walkies-proximity to Hampstead Heath over the road.
The Water Poet
Shoreditch / Bar / Cuisine: British
East London - especially the City of London - is hardly known for alfresco beer garden drinking and dining (it's all rooftop private bars around there), and yet this pub nestled in amongst the backstreets near Spitalfields on the Liverpool Street side of business is a real slice of nearby Shoreditch, with an outdoor area to match the edgy vibe. This sun-trapping beer garden 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 outdoor barbecue and hog roasts are very popular in the summer, as is the table service and the beer garden screen showing films and sport.
Shepherds Bush / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Gastro
This pub in Ravenscourt Park, west London, is a true Geronimo Inns classic with the comfy sofas, open fires, Master Of Wine-chosen wine list, board games, events, guest ales on draught and hearty gastropub feed. Out back, however, is the alfresco jewel in the crown: the beer garden. Split into several layers, this beer garden starts at the top with an Ibizan style decking area with stools and soft cushions, all basking in the sun. The bext level down is the picnic bench area, complete with British bunting and giant Jenga. And then right at the back is the lawn, boasting deck chairs, bean bags, seaside huts and just enough grass to stretch those weary legs of yours.
The Garden Gate
Hampstead / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
The Garden Gate is named after its beautiful walled garden which has plenty of sun-blessed tables, covered seating and an outside bar. The pub is situated amongst the cafes and shops of busy Belsize Park, just a few minutes walk from Hampstead Heath so worth taking a nice walk up to Parliament Hill first to see the impressive view, before rewarding yourself with a pub lunch.
The Duke of Edinburgh
Brixton / Bar /
A cool hangout in Brixton, The Duke of Edinburgh is not your average London pub. Yes, it has a good range of beers, decent grub and a pool table for showing-off in front of your mates. But its best kept secret? The huge beer garden and by huge; we mean one of the biggest in South London. Perfect for soaking up some sunshine, expect an urban oasis with a well-stocked outdoor bar, banging BBQs throughout summer and a lively buzz ?til well after the sun goes down. Don't fear if the weather isn't looking great, just plonk yourself in a leafy, covered area and carry on living the alfresco drinking dream.
Angel & Islington / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Celebrate the sunny days of summer at this beautiful north London beer garden, with its wisteria covered pergolas and potted plant surrounds. You'll almost feel like you're in the countryside, so idyllic is the setting. Having won a fair few awards for its menu, expect some pretty damn fine food too. The perfect choice for weekend drinking and dining. Download
The Magic Garden
Battersea / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Pub
If you've spent the best part of the afternoon sunning yourself in Battersea Park and are in need of some cooling refreshment, head to The Magic Garden, a charming drinking establishment found just beside the park. Grab a pint and a spot in their quirky, fairy light strewn beer garden and enjoy nightly music sessions. The cocktail list is top notch too! Download
The Union Tavern
Notting Hill / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
This place is made for hot summery days drinking at the pub. Perched right beside the canal, The Union Tavern in Notting Hill is a fine choice of venue for those lazy summer afternoon booze sessions with a corker of a beer garden overlooking the canal. Sip on a variety of craft beers and watch the narrow boats drift past. You might even catch a movie on the outdoor screen if you've come on the right day! Download
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