Spend your summer evenings sipping an ice-cold G&T at one of our favourite outdoor bars and drinking areas in London
Words Helen Brown
The sun has got his hat on – time to seek out the best sun traps for post-work drinking. What you need is an al fresco area to enjoy an ice cold gin and tonic, share a pitcher of Pimm’s or sip on a chilled cider. Whether you’re after a traditional beer garden or a canal-side terrace, we’ve got an ideal outdoor drinking spot for all. We’ll be whiling away our sunny afternoons at one of these outdoor bars and drinking areas in London.
Tom’s Kitchen, St. Katherine’s Dock
Only a hop, skip and a jump from the Tower of London and with a dreamy waterside location, Tom’s Kitchen St Katharine Docks is the perfect city hideaway. This casual space is ideal for all-day drinking with across Central London’s marina. There are plenty of cocktails and craft beers on the menu to help you while away a Sunday afternoon.
Grain Store, King’s Cross
The Grain Store terrace is open throughout summer and boasts views across Granary Square. On hot days this sun trap is a magnet for city slickers looking for the ultimate in alfresco drinking. An outdoor bar serves wine and prosecco on tap, along with slushies for grown-ups. A refreshing selection of spritzers are additionally available on the terrace this year.
Gin Garden By The Water, King’s Cross
From creative cocktails and craft beers to a selection of over 20 wines by the glass and even more by the bottle, Rotunda bar has it all. This summer the terrace is transformed into a Botanical Gin Garden, complete with fresh herbs and berries to garnish the perfect G&T. Pull up a deck chair on the water’s edge, snack on light bites and nibbles with a canal-side view. Look out for live music sessions and social media competitions too.
The Imperial, Chelsea
The Imperial is the perfect city sun-trap with a cocktail list to match. This tranquil garden just off the busy King’s Road is a go-to location to grab a bite and spend a sun-filled afternoon. Here, you can also tune into the Wimbledon tennis action without the queues or warm beer. The garden will be complete with big screen TV, dedicated outside bar and specially laid lawn.
The Garden Lounge, Westminster
With its well-stocked bar, terracotta mosaics and lashings of gold, The Garden Lounge will be a summer-sipping hotspot. Spend hours sampling the exceptional cocktail menu and grab a bite from the all-day menu. The perfect secluded garden to escape to.
The Ship, Wandsworth
The Ship is one of the oldest pubs south of the river and gets absolutely heaving as soon as the sun shines. It boasts a huge conservatory by the Thames and a garden overlooking Wandsworth Bridge. You’ll want to get there early to bag a spot, but once you’re settled you seriously won’t move all day.
The Jam Tree, Chelsea
Get to The Jam Tree in Chelsea for its fantastic open-plan garden, complete with its own bar and BBQ pit. The spacious al fresco area is an ideal location to relax for a post-work drink, or spend a leisurely Saturday afternoon. The bar serves a vast selection of bespoke cocktails and one of London’s best Bloody Marys.
Hope & Anchor, Brixton
Formerly the Grand Union and now newly refurbished, this pub garden is a departure from the usual. The whole place has had a Thai-style makeover and promises to be the ultimate summer holiday experience. Here you can hire a tree hut, relax in a hammock and cosy up by a giant fire pit. There’s also ping pong tables, outdoor stadium, giant outdoor projector screen and full-size tuk-tuk to enjoy.