The tradition of beer gardens is one that’s thoroughly Germanic in its origin. The best beer gardens in London are the ones that embrace the simplicity of the idea: when you’re drinking a lot of beer, you want somewhere nice to sit. In modern terms, it’s the seasonal variance that is all the rage at the moment. Visit a central London restaurant and you’ll notice how the space is transformed throughout the year. In the winter, there are warm colours, thick rugs, hints of fur and fire throughout. Spring brings fresh flowers, lighter colours, dishes with refreshing touches and a general frivolity. Summer’s heat is so often accompanied by a rise in chilled desserts, clean white colours and an atmosphere of cool. When you have place settings and flower arrangements and detailed menus, such things are easily done. When you’re serving lager in a dark pub room, it’s a little harder.
Hence the beer garden’s immense popularity. When the weather is good, the pub itself becomes a sort of back room and the outside space dominates. No one wants to be stuck inside during the withering heat, so instead we see people head outside and soak up the sun. The best gardens understand this atmosphere and leverage it appropriately. The ability to use the fun loving vibe that comes from the outdoor setting is the key to any good establishment, and is something that we have looked for keenly in all of our entries. So without further adieu, we present to you our list of the top 10 London beer gardens.
The Flask Tavern
The Flask isn’t pushing the boat out. As these places go, it’s fairly standard in most ways: it has the appearance, atmosphere and general quality that we are hoping to see. So what is it that makes this place worthy of a spot on our list? Well, simply put it’s because it’s the perfect example of the standard template. Yes, nothing is especially revolutionary but it nails all the classical elements to an extent that few others can compete with.
The Flask Tavern is located at: 77 Highgate West Hill, London, N6 6BU
To find out more please visit: http://theflaskhighgate.com/
Richmond is a beautiful area and we would have been deeply disappointed if there wasn’t a venue here that could make our list of the top 10 beer gardens in London. Thankfully, the Greyhound is well worth a mention. Situated next to the river, this traditional pub has a beautiful, great beers and reasonable prices. What more could you want on a hot summer’s day?
The Greyhound is located at: 82 Kew Green, Richmond, London, TW9 3AP
To find out more please visit: http://awtrestaurants.com/the-greyhound/
The size of this colossal pub should prepare you for what’s coming, but when you first head out back, it’s hard not to still be a little surprised. It’s stunningly large, easily able to fit over a hundred people within its leafy boundaries. When a party really gets going here, the whole place is rocking with the sort of shared frivolity that few others can match.
Leather Bottle is located at: 538 Garratt Ln, London SW17 0NY
To find out more please visit: http://www.leatherbottlepub.co.uk/
The Lock Tavern
As the name might reveal to you, this little pub is situated by Camden Lock. Achingly cool, the area has been the cool destination of the ultra hip for some time, and it shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, despite the arrival of the pretenders in the east of the city, Camden remains one of the most trendy destinations in the entirety of London.
We can feel your eyes rolling already but give it a try. It’s trying very hard not to be pretentious and it actually succeeds in many ways. The experience there is actually fun and genuine, and it’s an ideal place to head for a lazy Saturday lunch before an evening out.
The Lock Tavern is located at: 35 Chalk Farm Rd, Camden, London NW1 8AJ
To find out more please visit: http://www.lock-tavern.com/
Duke of Edinburgh
If the Leather Bottle is big, then the Duke is astounding. This Brixton hotspot really does take the biscuit when it comes to size, and remains ever popular because of it. Even at the busiest of times, you’d struggle not to find a table, which is of course a pretty essential part of the whole process. The beer is delicious, the garden both expansive and characterful, the staff polite and attentive. An easy inclusion on our list of the top 10 London beer gardens.
Duke of Edinburgh is located at: 204 Ferndale Rd, Brixton
To find out more please visit: http://www.thedukebrixton.com/
Earl of Essex
You might recognise this place. A high profile PR campaign has seen its image appear in every form of media, and we felt as if we knew the place before we even set foot inside. Once there we realised that it’s an excellent effort: a dolled up pub with huge helpings of style. Sit next to the petrol panelling and take in a nice cocktail in the bright and airy bar or head to the back and lounge around in a thoroughly laid back beer garden.
Earl of Essex is located at: 25 Danbury St, London N1 8LE
To find out more please visit: http://www.earlofessex.net/
No, this isn’t a pub named in honour of Glen Johnson, it’s a stunning example of space management that would make even the most ambitious architect feel proud. Why? Well, because it’s a small space, far too small for a real beer garden most would say. So, they did what they could with the area and built upwards. The terraced decking is tiered, and creates the illusion space wonderfully. Somehow, they managed to turn an enclosed little backyard into a beautiful and inventive area with plenty of intimacy.
Faltering Fullback is located at: 19 Perth Rd, London N4 3HB
To find out more please visit: http://thefullback.co.uk/
We couldn’t write a list of the 10 best London Beer gardens without mentioning the food. In theory, the beer and the space are all that matters but nothing goes better with a cold pint than a decisively meaty burger. The Junction Tavern delivers perfection in all 3 areas.
Junction Tavern is located at: 101 Fortess Rd, London NW5 1AG
To find out more please visit: http://www.junctiontavern.co.uk/
Craft beers are still a huge thing in London, and this Islington has them in abundance. Sample the finest malts, doppelbocks and IPAs and you’ll never want to go back to the mass produced stuff again.
Alwyne Castle is located at: 83 St Paul’s Rd, London N1 2LY
To find out more please visit: http://www.thealwynecastleislington.co.uk/