These days, given the chance, Londoners are an outdoorsy lot. Gone are the slick, faceless style bars of old where Prada-clad darlings bathed in the ‘mood lighting’, sipping Absolut vodka. Instead, we seem to want to forget we’re in a city at all and drink Magners whilst sitting at a three-legged picnic table round the back of a pub. And long may it continue. So if you’re after an alfresco ale or two this summer, check out the best beer gardens the capital has to offer…
The Albion, 10 Thornhill Road, Barnsbury, London, N1 1HW
Situated in the leafy conservation area of Barnsbury, this sprawling pub boasts a massive garden which, once upon a time, even had a pool table in it. Fact. Despite its N1 postcode and the fact that it’s just a stones-throw away from the traffic of insanely busy Upper Street, it really is as quiet as the countryside.
The Junction Tavern, 101 Fortess Road, Kentish Town, NW5 1AG
The Junction is the epitome of a North London Gastro pub, (tarted up boozer to the uninitiated), but it does do it exceptionally well. The food is fantastic, (though without question overpriced), and tacked onto the conservatory dining area is a small but perfectly formed walled garden. Be prepared to hover near a table for a while as it is always busy.
The Crown & Greyhound, 73b Dulwich Village, SE21 7BJ
A beautiful example of a restored Victorian pub in the heart of pretty Dulwich village. It offers a great selection of ales and ciders, plays cool and eclectic music, and most importantly of course, has a lovely two-tiered garden with plenty of seating. With the menu being as good as it is, you could happily while away a day here – but drinker beware – this is a very family friendly pub, if you don’t like kids – best to stay away!
The Garden Gate, 14 South End Road, Belsize Park, NW3 2QE
As it’s just round the corner from Hampstead Heath – one of the largest ‘gardens’ in London – you might wonder why anyone would bother hanging out here, but after sampling it’s BBQ offerings, it’s pretty obvious. The pub is dog friendly for those that have been out walking on the heath, and on hot days the large shady garden offers some blessed relief from the sweltering sun for both man and beast.