Every one of the bars and pubs in London with al fresco drinking featured in SquareMeal’s list of London’s best bars and pubs for alfresco drinking have been tried and tested by critics and our own customers. For more drinking inspiration, see our recommendations for the best bars in London. Each SquareMeal listing features an independent review, as well as reviews from those who have visited, together with unique special offers such as free drinks and discounts.
The Trafalgar Tavern
£30 - £49
Park Row, London, SE10 9NW
It’s hard to beat the riverside location of this historic Greenwich boozer (dating from 1837). At high tide, take a seat in a bay window projecting over the Thames – ideally with a pint from the
choice of guest ales – & you’ll feel like you’re practically in the water. The atmospheric bar, with its dark-green walls & oil paintings of naval battles, seems to have changed little
since Charles Dickens & William Gladstone drank here. By contrast, the large Collingwood Restaurant (fish is a forte) feels rather corporate, packing in tourists & displaying special offers
on wine. All this history comes at a price; whitebait with paprika mayonnaise, the house special, costs £7 & you’ll pay upwards of £15 for mains, including baked haddock & Welsh rarebit, or
spiced leg of lamb.
More about The Trafalgar Tavern
The Amersham Arms
388 New Cross Road, London, SE14 6TY
This imposing, scruffy boozer opposite New Cross station scores top marks for effortless cool. The Amersham Arms houses a random assortment of antique radios, binoculars, kitsch crafts & old
radios. It appeals to a motley crowd of Goldsmiths students, young artists, & media professionals priced out of more salubrious areas. Proper ales & draught lagers compete with £6 cocktails
at the bar; order two of the same & pay only £1.50 extra (Mon-Fri 5-10pm & all day Sunday). Cheap bar food includes burgers, sandwiches, Saturday breakfasts & Sunday roasts. The large
back room & upstairs gallery play host to regular DJs, monthly ska nights, film screenings & exhibitions. Every month there’s a jumble sale of vintage clothing & bric-a-brac,
accompanied by DJs, live bands, tea, cake &, of course, booze.
More about The Amersham Arms
The Old Brewery (bar)
The Pepys Building, The Old Royal Naval College, London, SE10 9LW
With around 60 beers to choose from, the stylish café-bar at the historic Old Brewery is an ale-lover’s paradise. Owner the Meantime Brewing Company supplies draught lagers, stouts, IPAs &
porters – some produced at the brewery next door – but you’ll also find bottled beers from afar. The choice is helpfully listed by style, so you can decide between hoppy ales, fruit beers, Trappist
brews & sour lambic beers from Belgium, among others. The double-height, brick-lined interior contains a scattering of tables; on fine days, the popular courtyard garden outside is a good bet.
The short bar menu has been designed with beer matching in mind, so try some fish & chips with a crisp Meantime Helles lager.
More about The Old Brewery (bar)