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The Best Outdoor Drinking Spots in London

Food & Drink /

Where to drink outside in the capital

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Wondering where to book for al fresco tipples? Spring has arrived, and London’s outdoor drinking offering is better than ever. From Shoreditch to Peckham, the capital is filled with pretty terraces and lively beer gardens for catching up with friends – below we select our favourites. 

The Best Outdoor Drinking Spots in London

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Flora at Sofitel St James

Flora at Sofitel London St James 

A new al fresco spot has popped up at Sofitel London St James, inspired by the floral and fauna of the nearby Royal Parks. Designed by London-based experiential architect, Meredith O’Shaughness, the space offers a summer garden oasis in the city, with two hand-carved swan seats alongside live music and an afternoon tea menu on weekends. It was created in partnership with ALL (Accor’s free to join loyalty programme, Accor Live Limitless), Moët & Chandon and William Grant & Sons premium non-alcoholic brand Atopia, and is open until the end of September.

Vinegar Yard courtyard with big screen

Vinegar Yard, London Bridge

London Bridge’s Vinegar Yard comes from the team behind Flat Iron Square, another popular al fresco destination. Filled with street food traders (we’re particularly a fan of the ‘Doughvid-19’ at Bad Boy Pizza Society), pop-up bars and a huge outdoor garden, it’s a buzzy post-work drinks spot open till late, offering unobstructed views of The Shard. You can also catch sporting events and popular TV on the courtyard’s big screen, so drinks and dinner with a show is guaranteed. So far this summer, Vinegar Yard has shown the Womens Euros Final, the Commonwealth Games and (perhaps most importantly) the Love Island final.

Summer in the Square

Summer in the Square

Back for the second year running is Summer in the Square, Chelsea’s popular al fresco pop-up. A partnership between Sloane Square’s Royal Court Theatre and neighbours The Botanist and Côte, the terrace has plenty of open-air seating, surrounded by bunting and twinkling festoon lights. Dine on salads and burgers at The Royal Court Theatre; wood-fired pizzas at The Botanist or sharing boards and champagne cocktails from Côte.

a bottle of veuve cliquot champagne with two glasses and a small plate

Veuve Clicquot’s Rosé Together Terrace at Hotel Café Royal

This lovely summer pop-up brings sumptuous tranquility to one of the busiest parts of London, Picadilly Circus. On Air Street, tucked behind glass boxes filled with wildflowers, is Veuve Clicquot’s Rosé Together Terrace at Hotel Café Royal, with a special menu of elegant and refreshing rosé, vintage wine and Champagne, and summer cocktail offerings, alongside a bespoke menu of wine-matched food pairings designed by Hotel Cafe Royal’s head chef Eliano Crespi. Escape from the bustling city onto cushioned wicker chairs and sofas, with soft blankets for cooler evenings. Try the Provence Fizz for a refreshing taste of southern France, and the Chicken Bonbon for a succulent, tasty delight. Open Thursday to Saturday until the end of September;

Terrace at The Maine Mayfair

The Maine

London’s hottest new terrace has launched at The Maine in Mayfair, just off Hanover Square and overlooking Medici Courtyard. Designed in collaboration with BradyWilliams, the spot is suitably chic, with striped awnings, wicker furniture and lots of greenery. On the menu you’ll find a variety of raw bar items, charcuterie, small plates and wood-fired fish and meats, alongside a large collection of rosés and cocktails, served from a standalone outside bar.

St Felix's Place

St. Felix Place

This outdoor drinking and dining venue was launched last year in the heart of Borough, from the team behind Flat Iron Square. Titled St. Felix Place and located under the arches on SE1’s The Low Line, the space features a craft beer brewery and taproom alongside an eclectic food offering – think Tex-Mex BBQ from Texas Joe’s Adobe and focaccia-styled pizza from The Good Slice. The venue will also play host to weekly local DJs, live acoustic sessions and a book swap programme, plus a permanent busking pitch.

Mercato Metropolitano

Mercato Metropolitano

Covering 15,000 square feet with over 500 seats, there’s ample space for al fresco drinking at Mercato Metropolitano, a food and drink metropolis in Elephant & Castle. You’ll find over 40 food and drinks vendors, plus an on-site craft micro-brewery serving fresh German-style beers. It’s a pretty space too, decked out with over 200 plants ranging from ferns and bamboo to hop plants and olive trees.

The Ship, Wandsworth

The Ship, Wandsworth

If the South Bank isn’t your vibe, join the rest of London’s grads at The Ship in Wandsworth for waterside al fresco drinking. The landmark pub dates back to 1786 and continues to draw in the crowds. Not the place to go ‘for a quick pint’.

Magic Garden

The Magic Garden, Battersea

This Battersea pub does boho chic at its finest. The Magic Garden boasts live music and DJs from all genres, where creative south-west Londoners flock on weekends. With its laid-back Glasto vibes, the so-called ‘festival in a pub’ is the kind of place you’ll struggle to leave.

The Albion, Islington

The Albion, Islington

Arguably one of the most beautiful beer gardens in London, The Albion’s garden space is flooded with wisteria and flickering candles which make for endless Instagram opportunities. The French windows in the restaurant open onto over 450 metres of wisteria-filled English country garden – truly breathtaking.

Image: Instagram @thealbionpub

CRATE Brewery

Crate Brewery, Hackney Wick

A former print factory transformed into a brewery and pizzeria by locals, CRATE Brewery is hipster London at its peak. Sip on house-brewed beers and thin crust pizzas while watching boats cruise along the canal.

The Regent

The Regent, Balham

South London’s answer to Narnia has launched at Balham pub The Regent: a pop-up garden accessed through an old wardrobe. Once inside you’ll find yourself in a botanical hideaway, decked out with festoon lighting, flowers and bamboo. Nab one of the cosy lounge chairs and settle in for early evening drinks and upmarket pub favourites including sharing boards, burgers and arancini.

The Prince, Fulham

Boasting the title of London’s largest pub garden, The Prince has ample space for outdoor drinks with friends. Hang out under the pergola with street food from the likes of Wildcard and Utter Waffle.

Dalloway Terrace

Dalloway Terrace, Fitzrovia

Named after the eponymous character created by Virginia Woolf, forever a Bloomsbury association, Dalloway Terrace is similarly elegant, poetic and quintessentially English. Its flower-covered outdoor space makes it one of the city’s most sought-after al fresco drinking spots across all seasons. Diners can enjoy lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and cocktails amid the Instagram-friendly setting, which undergoes a seasonal makeover every few months.

The Duke of Edinburgh

Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton

The Duke of Edinburgh’s beer garden is legendary – and it’s one of the biggest in south London. With a large bar, BBQ pit and extensive seating, it’s made for a slow (and boozy) Sundays with friends. 

Image: Instagram

The Ivy Chelsea Garden

Ivy Chelsea Garden, Chelsea

Well, it would be wrong not to include this ever-popular Chelsea haunt. Whatever the weather, few places beat The Ivy’s garden. The perfect spot for people-watching.

Bussey Rooftop Bar

Bussey Rooftop Bar, Peckham

With 360 degree views across London, Bussey building’s rooftop bar is rather spectacular come sunset. It’s one of Peckham’s buzziest venues year-round, especially on weekends when the party continues late into the night.

Image: Instagram @busseyrooftopbar

The Rose, Fulham

The Rose, Fulham

Known as Fulham’s ‘Village Pub’, the garden at The Rose is typically quaint. Enjoy a refreshing drink as you listen to the gentle swell of the water features and admire the carpet of flowering shrubs. Just perfect for a lazy afternoon drink or meal with friends. Totally unique, the layout provides private and secluded areas perfect for a quiet (or not-so-quiet afternoon.

Image: Instagram


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