Restored to its former Victorian glory, The Tankard is a gorgeous spot for a drink in the sunshine. Run by the Draft House, the beer at this Kennington watering hole is excellent and the rooftop terrace enjoys views over the park and the Imperial War Museum.
Alfresco Drinking In London
When it comes to stylish pub gardens and trendy rooftop terraces; London suffers from an embarrassment of riches. Frankly, anybody who argues that the capital isn't the greatest city to enjoy an ice-cold drink in the sunshine, is lying through their teeth! Here's a list of recommended venues perfect for a spot of alfresco drinking in London.
The Dog & Fox's inviting alfresco space is one of the best beer gardens in Wimbledon. The front garden fills up quickly at the first sight of sunshine, as drinkers and diners flock to this Wimbledon Village hub to enjoy quintessential British food and a vast array of boozy favourites in sunny style. There's also a roofed hotel garden available come rain or shine.
A greenhouse-style bar, Corney & Barrow Exchange Square is the perfect place to be in the summer months. With a croquet pitch and outside seating, it is made for alfresco drinking and chatting in the sunshine. Ideal for some after-work drinks or a long, relaxing lunch, you'll find them serving up the wine that it's known for, alongside cocktails and pints aplenty.
Take your drinks outside with a visit to one of Vagabond's various terraces. From a stunning fairy-lit snug in Battersea through to street-side wining and dining in Fulham, you're guaranteed quality menus in gorgeous settings.
While many may think that Jugged Hare barely has any space outside at all, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find the plot that they're boasting across the road. With a whole area dedicated to drinks and summertime fun, hop across the street and take to a cutesy space of plotted tables, plants and more.
A "stylish gastro wonderland" just around the corner from King's Cross, head to the rooftops to find The Fellow's handsome open-air terrace. Fitted with a handful of wooden tables and cosy corners, settle in for the long run and knock back a few of the venue's signature cocktails. It's heated and covered too, so there's no need to retreat inside should the weather turn.
Laid-back beers on a summer evening aren't hard to come by when The Miller has anything to do it. A cool plot for London Bridge locals and after-work patrons alike, grab a seat in their heaving garden and work your way through their ice-cold drinks list, there's even a roof terrace for those with more summer hankerings.
Sitting at the base of the gherkin, it's highly unlikely that you'll find as iconic an alfresco space in London as this. With London's most recognised building looming over guests in the sunshine, The Sterling is just that, a truly sterling plot. From its grand selection of tables and notably large space, parties are ever hankering to get their mitts on it.
Camden's Prince Albert offers one of the areas best alfresco drinking experiences. Quality battered cod and chips comes on wooden serving boards with a refreshing slice of lemon on the side. Or if it's just the refreshing part you're after, then its very popular beer garden is a haven for a zingy tipple.
Cool off after an innovative fusion meal of modern Indian cuisine and classic British touches at Cinnamon Kitchen by heading out to their large outdoor terrace for some alfresco drinking and dining. Candle-lit tables and comfy chairs set the scene for an atmospheric night of sipping under the stars, perfect for a summer evening spent in the buzzing heart of the capital.
A lush lavender-toting garden in the heart of Battersea, The Four Thieves are coming up trumps when it comes to scoping out alfresco drinking spots in London. From their green hue and tinkering of fair lights, to craft beers and home-made gin, The Four Thieves is a good ol' dose of something different.
If you're looking for alfresco sipping in Chiswick, you've come to the right place. Fronting a gorgeous covered terrace, No. 197 is one of the swishest spots yet. Head on down for pretty plates alongside seasonal cocktails in this stunning sunshine plot.
Colourful, creative and cultural, Barrio Shoreditch brings an exotic twist to East London with its quirky outdoor terrace. Spend your summer months in its kitsch but cool garden area as you absorb the chilled-out, Cuban quality of life. Cocktail heavy, revel in the fragrant fruit juices or sup at some cold beers.
A trusted boozer on the Balham High Road since way back in 1821, one of the biggest draws of The Devonshire is its beautiful garden. Pick out a sunny day and set up camp here for a top choice of ales, craft beers, spirits and wines that should more than spoil you for choice.
Alfresco drinking doesn't just mean standing out in the rain by yourself for a smoke, it means embracing a love of nature and the great outdoors. People's Park Tavern has a beer garden which creates a sense of love for our British environment, with its views of Victoria Park and constant influx of happy smiling sun-revellers. There isn't anywhere better to drink alfresco in East London.
A nice wee spot by the river in Notting Hill, those looking for alfresco drinks in London won't be hard pushed to enjoy the pub antics of this babe in the west. Grab a pint and settle down for a drink by the river as The Union Tavern not only boasts a top selection of beers, their suburban hankerings are more than adored.
Take things to the next level and elevate your usual alfresco drinks with a visit to this West End favourite. Not only will you find a gorgeous garden setting, but there's even classes in everything from pasta-making to wine tasting.
This beautiful bar in Vauxhall also houses one of London's most gorgeous gardens for summertime sipping and alfresco eating. Stop by Brunswick House & Gardens and you'll be amazed by the botanical beauty of it all, complete with refreshing cocktails and seasonal plates.
A Grade II listed early 19th century building, The Gun is an excellent pub sitting on the banks of the Thames. With amazing views of the river and the O2, this charming boozer with let you enjoy their great riverside terrace, alongside a seasonal British menu and some exquisite drink options to accompany it.
Home to a pretty and expansive outdoor terrace, this excellent bar and restaurant offers a premium selection of sippable cocktails and tasty dishes. Head over to New Street Square, or their Bankside location, when the sun is high and bed down with an Aperol spritz in one hand and a plateful of bar snacks in the other.
Clapham's old town is one mighty brunch babe, and prime for outdoor spots; but when it comes to serious dining and drinking under the London light, there's no better than No 32. Seasonal, stylish and boasting a really - and we mean really - nice roof terrace, this is a hard alfresco terrace to beat.
Cool, casual and cosy, The Castle's beaut of a rooftop terrace helps it to stand out from its Pentonville Road neighbours. Get yourself up here for some pub grub and a few drinks, with a delicious open-air vantage point over Islington, and plenty of heaters to keep you toasty in the evening.
Set within the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, The Old Brewery is a unique and historic pub located just yards away from the legendary Cutty Sark. An ideal spot to sample London-brewed craft beers and a healthy range of distilled spirits, there's a relaxed outdoor terrace with plenty of room for when the sun makes an appearance.
Mooch around the delightful outside area of The Fentiman Arms and soak up the sizzling sounds of their BBQ's during the hazy summer months. Here you can glug on a refreshing pint or crisp glass of wine on their beautiful terrace which offers an oasis space in the heart of London.
Most venues close to the stunning Battersea Park are playing for second place when it comes to outdoor space, but not The Prince Albert. This gem of a gastropub features an award-winning terrace, which becomes a popular grazing spot for SW11's after-work crowd when the sun is out.
This Spanish restaurant and bar brings you small plates, tasty mains and delicious wine in the heart of the City. Head out to their alfresco terrace in the summer and lose an evening in the company of good friends, and a few bottles of fine wine.
West End on the Thames is all about “the sun above, the water beneath and 360 degree panoramic views of London.” Perfect for office summer parties of anywhere between 2 and 500, head out onto the spacious rooftop and enjoy celebrations featuring Pimm's, BBQ and amazing views, with DJs and dancing to follow.
There's so much going on at The Star of Kings it can be tricky to keep up. Offering a completely different dining experience every three months, fronting an entertainment schedule brimming with live music and DJs yet retaining the good old-fashioned feel of a solid pub, The Star completes its impressive résumé with a lovely alfresco area.
Rooftop gardens in London get everyone going wild come summer, and it's no exception when it comes to this corker in Farringdon. With a hot-to-trot plant-laced roof terrace, guests at Bird Of Smithfield can tuck into a top selection of drinks while getting a good old fashioned dose of Vitamin D.
Open early in the morning and shutting up shop close to midnight each day, this pretty venue serves breakfast, dinner and everything in between. If that wasn't enticing enough, the venue boasts a cosy outdoor terrace that's perfect for both cocktails in the scorching summer and hot toddies during the colder months.
Overlooking Notting Hill from the banks of Little Venice, Skylark really is a unique rooftop drinking den in London. If you're a sucker for cocktails, this all-new bar concept will provide the perfect setting for after-work tipples and date nights alike.
This cheery beer garden doesn't need the sun to shine to make it smile. Bright yellow cladding surrounds comfy booths, heaters warm happy boozers and fairy lights cast a flattering glow. Potter inside and peruse the stylish 1960s décor and vibrant artworks, and make sure you check in with their programme of fun events.
Explore four floors of modern elegance and timeless style before arriving on The Driver's prized rooftop terrace. Towering high above the King's Cross metropolis, drink in those picturesque views and while away those sunny afternoons with a few cocktails for company. There's also resident chefs on-hand to cook up a host of BBQ treats for when the weather is fine.
A gastropub wonder at the heart of the Lee community, The Crown Tavern is known for its stunning front terrace, which becomes a hive of activity for contented drinkers when the weather is fine. Pop along on your way home from work where you'll find a selection of cask ales, world-class wines or refreshing long drinks waiting for you.
Offering a gorgeous sun trap stretching out over Eccleston Yards, this steak and seafood restaurant is one of the top spots in London to grab a quirky cocktail and soak up some fresh air and sunshine. Head over for the chance to enjoy a decadent meal, complete with quality sips and a sublime alfresco terrace.
Tear yourself away from Flight Club's cool third instalment for a sunny outside terrace in the heart of Victoria. A circus-themed dream of festoon lighting and tasty frozen cocktails, you'll be able to hide away amongst the surrounding building between rounds of high-tech, high-octane darts.
You can't get much more alfresco than on a boat, surely? Bar&Co is permanently moored a stone's throw from Temple Station, sitting on the iconic River Thames. With views looking out on the OXO Tower, the London Eye and Big Ben, this wondrous vessel is ideal for an after-work tipple, full on party night or private function.
Become acquainted with Brazil's famous carnival vibes this summer on Floripa's fun-filled outdoor terrace. This vibrant and colourful Latin oasis is a haven for cocktails fans, as well as catering to ravers ready for festival season with its stream of upbeat sounds and its dynamic atmosphere.
Laurel hedges enclose the delightful outdoor space at the Coat & Badge, which is rightly considered one of the best beer gardens in South West London. Ideal for everything from people-watching to live sport with drinks in tow, there's also plenty of cover to retreat to if the weather should turn.
Shoreditch sunshine is starting to peek through the clouds and it's time to take advantage of those oh so tasty beer gardens. Cargo with its outdoor parasols, impressive wall art and urban graffiti make for a wonderfully wacky feel, encapsulating that typically quirky East London atmosphere.
With a heated rooftop terrace and garden, Inamo in Camden has a range of outdoor areas to enjoy. Head to North London to enjoy a range of sushi, sashimi and Pan Asian food along with a range of Asian spirits in the pretty surround of their alfresco drinking spots.
Regularly playing host to amazing live music from both bands and DJs, The Lock Tavern has become a part of nightlife folklore in these parts. Alfresco drinking seekers have been enjoying the cosy garden for years with its thick beamed wooden canopy wrapped in ivy keeping you dry through those typical English summers.
Kitted out with mismatched furniture, snug sofas and an airy ambience, this neighbourhood gastropub also features a courtyard for sunny season drinking and dining. Freshly prepared British grub is on the menu, washed down with a whole catalogue of wines, ales and craft beers. Bliss.
An elegant private hire venue in Isington, The Chapel Bar's Terrace Room rightfully earns it a slot on our best alfresco bars in London list. Coming equipped with a fully stocked bar, a heated outdoor space and a chilled out garden, this is a versatile offering is perfect for escaping the constant hubbub of city life outside.
Smollensky's brings delicious cocktails and a feel-good spirit to its terrace that looks out across Canary Wharf. Bartenders are given creative licence to offer contemporary twists on old school classics, with a few new-found favourites as well as a good choice of wines, spirits, champers and beers also up for grabs.