Nothing epitomises a balmy summer day more than a refreshingly cold drink in a beer garden. Though there are pubs on almost every street corner in London, beer gardens are a bit more far and in-between. To make the most out of the warm weather, we’ve rounded up some of the best beer gardens throughout the city to meet all of your alfresco drinking needs.
The Albion, Islington
What: Come summertime, you won’t find a spare inch in either the front courtyard or the large, comely, wisteria-draped beer garden out back in this Islington pub. As spacious as it is charming, guests can sip on draught beers such as Amstel or Guinness to keep in line with the beer garden nature while nibbling on a selection of savoury bar snacks, which feature fish goujons and buttermilk chicken bites.
Where: 10 Thornhill Road, N1 1HW
The Avalon, Balham
What: This archetypal gastropub suits the bright young things who live on the Clapham/Balham borders and frequent it. With an enormous back garden that is ideal for summer Sunday afternoons, diners can enjoy small plates such as garlic and lime tiger prawns, mac and cheese croquettes with bacon jam or jerk chicken skewers before washing them down with an elderflower margherita, choice of cask ales, or bottled or kegged beers.
Where: 16 Balham Hill, SW12 9EB
The Crown & Shuttle, Shoreditch
What: With its courtyard as an added urban bonus, The Crown & Shuttle slakes Shoreditch boozers’ thirsts with fine London ales such as Five Points Pale Ale and Redchurch Brick Lane Lager. While drinking in the sunshine (and alcohol) out in the courtyard, guests can nibble on a selection of bites ranging from braised lamb shoulder and Scotch egg to dal makhani with crispy onions and flatbread.
Where: 226 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6PJ
The Drapers Arms, Islington
What: The Drapers Arms is a lively place, with the ground-floor buzzing when the locals flock in and a spacious patio garden for them to spill out onto for some fresh air. To drink, there are real ales at the bar and a wine list offering glass and carafe options. For those feeling peckish, order a summer mezze and flatbread, or a lamb rump with freekeh, tahini and braised courgettes.
Where: 44 Barnsbury Street, N1 1ER
Ealing Park Tavern, Ealing
What: A splendidly renovated old coaching inn and brewery in South Ealing, this spacious neighbourhood gastropub has a massive beer garden that serves both drinks and bites. The outdoor menu provides a choice of barbecued meats, fish and pizzas to enjoy alongside a by-the-glass selection of wines, pale ales, bitters and seasonal specials from the pub’s microbrewery.
Where: 222 South Ealing Road, W5 4RL
The Junction Tavern, Kentish Town
What: Home to a leafy backyard garden with spacious bench seating and handy umbrellas for any unprecedented rain showers, this spruced-up Victorian tavern takes its drinks just as seriously as its food. Drinking options include a changing line-up of Adnams Lighthouse, Otter Ale and Naked Ladies, while the bar menu ranges from summer barbecue options to chorizo croquettes or a Scotch egg.
Where: 101 Fortress Road, NW5 1AG
The Malt House, Fulham
What: With a snug, sheltered garden hidden from street view, The Malt House boasts options ranging from a selection of craft lagers, cocktails and an international wine list. If you’re in need of a bite to eat, this food menu features British classics such as a steak, Guinness and mushroom pie, or your choice of a Sunday roast.
Where: 17 Vanston Place, SW6 1AY
Spaniards Inn, Hampstead
What: Dating back to 1585, the famous old Spaniards Inn is a must for literary buffs and beer garden enthusiasts, as John Keats apparently penned Ode to a Nightingale in the garden. With the aforementioned green space housing an outdoor bar, the inn is home to an extensive drinks list that covers all bases from British cask ales to global wines.
Where: Spaniards Road, NW3 7JJ
The Swan, Chiswick
What: With a flower-festooned Victorian exterior, large garden dressed strung up twinkling lights, this Swan is no ugly duckling. The boozy part caters admirably to local needs, offering a batch of three cask ales and an appealing selection of moderately priced wines, while peckish drinkers can enjoy gusty Mediterranean-influenced menu.
Where: 1 Evershed Walk, 119 Acton Lane, W4 5HH
The White Horse, Fulham
What: Occupying the space of a former coaching inn on the corner of Parsons Green, this pub’s devotion to beer will lead even the most dedicated of real ale drinkers to find something new to try. On a balmy day, enjoy a happy encounter with locally brewed Camden Hills or Bluepoint Toasted Lager while drinking in the gorgeous weather out on the pub’s spacious outside terrace.
Where: 1-3 Parsons Green, SW6 4UL