While away a sunny Saturday in one of London’s best beer gardens; from riverside retreats to hidden garden gems, we’ve got a spot for every sipper…
Words Helen Brown
With the mercury rising in London, it’s time to seek out the best sun traps for whiling away the weekend. 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. We’ve rounded up the best traditional beer gardens in London to do just that.
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. Get there early to bag a spot and you seriously won’t move all day.
CROWN & SHUTTLE, SHOREDITCH
The Crown and Shuttle has an enormous beer garden which has been transformed this summer into Shoreditch-on-Sea. Expect drinks by the bucket and spade load, including a Margate Rita, Barry Island Iced Tea or a Blackpool Donkey. They’re also serving snacks from an al fresco beach cafe all summer long.
THE WATER POET
The Water Poet has a gigantic walled garden, complete with spacious decking area, wooden tables and a rain-proof awning. It’s perfectly located for summer sipping and snacking. An additional space, decked in fairy lights, provides extra seating. Heaters provide the best of both worlds in the somewhat unpredictable British weather.
THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH, BRIXTON
Anyone on Snapchat will recognise The Duke of Edinburgh for its party vibes and packed-out beer garden that gets into full swing as soon as the sun makes an appearance. It’s certainly one of the biggest outdoor drinking areas in south London, with plenty of seating and a large bar and BBQ pit.
THE CRAB TREE, FULHAM
The Crabtree is one of London’s hidden gems. It boasts a spectacular location, with a sprawling garden opening onto the Thames. With drink in hand you can watch the sunset over the river. Look out for al fresco dining options too.
THE ALBION, ISLINGTON
Perfectly staged for Instagramming and selfie snapping, The Albion boasts a wisteria covered façade in the summer and cosy wood fires in the winter. Take a pew within this picturesque walled garden and you’ll be whisked away from city-stress. This Georgian gem is renowned for it’s food too. There’s the option of a whole roast suckling pig; for those there with a hungry crowd.
THE WOODHOUSE DULWICH
The beer garden of the Woodhouse is so big it straddles both the Sydenham and Dulwich neighbourhoods. After a complete overhaul, the vast garden now includes heated huts, which are perfect for private parties throughout the year.
MAGIC GARDEN PUB, BATTERSEA
This quirky little pub offers a twinkling garden, strewn with fairy lights and some of the comfiest sofas south of the river. With fantastic cocktails, live music, and a shelter should the rain appear, you’ll be here midday-till-dawn.