The Best Pub Gardens In London |
The sun is shining, so naturally the whole of the capital is decamping to the nearest pub garden the moment 6pm rolls around. Whether you’re keen to test-drive a new local or are searching for the perfect summer spot for a spritz, here are 12 of SL’s favourite boozers with beer gardens…
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The Avalon, Balham

Named after the mythical island at the centre of the legend of King Arthur, The Avalon is a striking red-brick public house located in Clapham South. Loved for its gastro-pub grub (think spatchcock chicken with quinoa and apricot tabbouleh), The Avalon’s main draw is its three outdoor spaces – a terrace, a courtyard and a main garden filled with plenty of plant life. Recently refurbished, the garden has feasting-style tables, wooden booths and its own bar and kitchen.

16 Balham Hill, Balham, SW12 9EB

Crown & Shuttle, Shoreditch

This award-winning craft beer pub in Shoreditch is popular with the post-work crowd. Upstairs you’ll find speakeasy-style cocktail bar Filthy Fanny’s, where ‘tacky’ cocktails, a 90s soundtrack and late-night lock-ins are a regular occurrence. Outside, expect to find a sunny courtyard patio that mixes colourful wooden furniture with living plant walls and vintage paraphernalia.
226 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6PJ

Earl of Essex, Islington

Established in 2012, the Earl of Essex was Islington's first brewpub, and is the current home of Earl's Brewery. Within, you’ll find an ever-changing list of the best local and international beers, matched with a great food menu and one of the sunniest beer gardens in the neighbourhood – expect plants aplenty and an abundance of benches for groups. The kitchen turns out classic pub grub during the week, and one of Islington’s best traditional roasts come Sunday.
25 Danbury Street, Islington, N1 8LE

Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park

One for sports fans, this Finsbury Park institution is an Irish pub with a permanent screen that shows everything from football to hurling. But it’s the spacious pub garden, resplendent with colourful hanging baskets, that makes it one of our favourite spots to sink a pint or two. A lively pub quiz every Monday and regular live music adds to the Fullback’s popularity.
19 Perth Road, Finsbury Park, N4 3HB

Magic Garden Pub, Battersea

Often described as a ‘festival in a pub’, weekends at the Magic Garden are all about bands and some of the finest DJs from the London scene: expect to hear everything from funk, Balkan and reggae to hip-hop, ska and Latin. Once the sun goes down, the heaters come on and the blankets come out, while calmer weekdays see the huge garden and covered terrace taken over by newspapers and cappuccinos.
231 Battersea Park Road, Battersea, SW11 4LG

The Prince, West Kensington

A newcomer from the team behind Pergola on the Roof and Pergola Paddington, The Prince in West Brompton has been drawing locals and young Londoners alike since it opened in winter 2017. And now that the sun’s out, the renovated Victorian pub’s al fresco space has really come into its own. A pergola covers the huge terrace with drapes of wisteria, there are secret cabins, and food comes from the likes of Patty & Bun, Begging Bowl Canteen, Coqfighter and Foley’s. The best bit? If the weather does threaten to turn, then the retractable roof comes into play.
14 Lillie Road, West Brompton, SW6 1TT

Pub on the Park, Hackney

Located on the very edge of London Fields, Pub on the Park has spectacular views across the greenery. Filled with rows of two-seat tables and banquet-style benches, the pub’s decking area is designed for long afternoons and sporting screenings. At the weekend, DJs are on hand, Big Belly Chefs take control of the kitchen and boules are available to play.
19 Martello Street, Hackney E8 3PE

The Ship, Wandsworth

Perhaps one of the capital’s most popular Thameside drinking destinations, The Ship has been serving pints to thirsty Londoners since 1786. Comprising a gastropub, outdoor barbecue kitchen and riverside terrace, The Ship is a particularly popular place for groups to share jugs of Pimm’s and for lively al fresco birthday parties. Make sure you book one of the 15-capacity outdoor cabins, complete with a private TV screen, for a great view of the sunset.
41 Jews Row, Wandsworth, SW18 1TB

Garden Gate, Hampstead

Indoors, this is a 19th-century boozer decked out with original wood panelling, period features and stained-glass windows. But hidden away at the back, as its name suggests, there’s an enormous beer garden. Billing itself as the perfect spot for “lazy afternoons, outdoor dining, or just the simple enjoyment of a glass of something special on a sunny day”, this is a great spot for family get-togethers and long weekend afternoons with friends.
14 South End Road, Hampstead, NW3 2QE

The Water Poet, Spitalfields

One of Shoreditch’s most popular proper boozers, The Water Poet contains two dining rooms, a pool parlour, a cinema and an enormous beer garden. This walled garden is filled with plants and wooden furniture, plus rain-proof awning. Adjacent is an undercover area of the garden which is filled with fairy lights and heaters. For private parties, look to The Barn, a quirky space that can be hired with a portion of the garden for up to 100 people.
9-11 Folgate Street, Spitalfields, E1 6BX

The Guildford Arms, Greenwich

This relaxed pub and kitchen is so good that it’s made its way into The Good Pub Guide 2018 and the Michelin Guide 2017. Set in a three-floor Georgian building, this is one of the cosiest spots in Greenwich in the winter months but come summer its extensive sunken garden comes into its own: picture a terrace with well-kept lawns, white birches, tall grass and a kitchen herb garden.
55 Guildford Grove, Greenwich, SE10 8JY

Four Thieves, Clapham

Housed in a former music hall, this Battersea hotspot is less a pub and more an arcade extravaganza. Away from pulling pints (from its own on-site brewery, no less), groups can get stuck into VR games, a remote-control car racing track, retro arcade games and mini-golf. When the sun’s out, head for its wisteria-lined courtyard – the perfect spot to continue the fun after one of Four Thieves’ bottomless Sunday brunches.
51 Lavender Gardens, Clapham, SW11 1DJ

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