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.
Last updated on 26th February 2018
A beloved Drake and Morgan spot in the heart of Waterloo, The Refinery does outdoor drinking in London proud. With its smattering of cutesy tables and botanical plotting, to lush summer menus and inherent British charm, this grandiose outdoor space serves well for any and all occasions in the city.
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 flouro-feathered like oversized umbrella cocktail sticks together with its impressive wall art and urban graffiti make for a wonderfully wacky feel, encapsulating that typically quirky East London atmosphere.
Hop aboard the Canal Party Club for a tranquil cruise down the Regent’s Canal. The boat is all yours (except for the captain), so you’re welcome to bring your own booze, food and music as you take in the sights of North London on a leisurely voyage from King’s Cross towards Camden. With transparent covers and a heater, there’s no need to worry if the weather should deteriorate either.
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 lovely relaxed outdoor terrace with plenty of room for when the sun makes an appearance.
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.
Gracing South London with palm trees, Pimm's and a party atmosphere Gigalum in Clapham meets the criteria for Mediterranean alfresco drinking in London. The cream of the crop of Ibiza DJs hit Gigalum's decks on weekends while the outside decking provides a sublime setting for alfresco dining as well as drinks with a tapas menu that's perfect for sharing.
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.
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 to Bird Of Smithfield can tuck into a top selection of drinks while getting a good old fashioned dose of the good stuff. And by good stuff, we do mean sunshine.
Offering two terrace spaces right beside the river, you won’t be surprised to see The Riverside fill up quickly for after work drinks in the summertime. It’s one seriously stylish place to enjoy a few bevvies, with cracking views and a buzzing atmosphere (there’s room for up to 200 guests) as well as a comprehensive range of Young’s ales, wines and cocktails.
A lush lavender toting garden in the heart of Battersea, The Four Thieves may be a new bean on the block, but they're coming up trumps when it comes to beer gardens 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Clapham's old town is one mighty brunch babe, and prime for alfresco 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 spot to beat.
Alfresco drinking doesn't just mean standing out in the rain by yourself with a cheeky smoke; it means embracing a meditteranean joy de vivre, a love of nature and the great outdoors as well as the community. 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.
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.
The hip and trendy Shoreditch venue that is Queen of Hoxton boasts a remarkable open top terrace that's always a big hit amongst patrons and visitors alike. Coming with its own bar, garden, kitchen and BBQ, it's a truly ideal spot for alfresco drinking, especially during summer nights. Next up for this summer, head over for your taste of Neverland...
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 terrace and a chilled out garden, this is a versatile space perfect for escaping the constant hubbub of city life outside.
A beautiful spot complete with plenty of tables for relaxing and drinking while you enjoy the views with a riverside terrace, the Northbank Restaurant is a true gem. One of the top alfresco drinking spots in the area, enjoy some incredible food and drinks but get there early as you can't reserve the popular terrace tables!
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 1960's style décor and vibrant artworks. The menu is excellent and varied, meaning you can choose from American, French, Asian and English cuisine. Yum.
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.
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.
With an extensive drinks cabinet (we're talking 38 bottles of wine) and a fantastic garden, Chelsea's Jam Tree offers a top Alfresco Drinking experience to discerning drinkers from all over the capital. The garden comes with extensive covering and heaters so it's perfect to visit all year round - but it really comes into it's own during the summer, when the delicious drinks can be enjoyed alongside Hog Roasts and Meat & Fish cooked over charcoal.
Just a stone’s throw from Holborn Viaduct and St. Paul’s Cathedral, Jamies Fleet Place is an informal space rounded off with an extensive outside terrace for those hazy after work sessions in the summer. Head out here come 5pm and grab a glass of wine, there’s over twenty by the glass to make up their extensive selection.
A warm and welcoming boozer located on the banks of Canary Wharf’s riverfront, 28 West’s alfresco space draws a lively after-work crowd. Pitch up on their terrace area and get comfy; there’s a global range of craft beers, experimental cocktails and a fine choice of wines that should help. Hungry? Wholesome Americana burgers, steaks and lobster take care of that.
Bar Elba is based on the tropical island of the same name, meaning this rooftop bar is complete with sunny colours, block lettering and serves over 20 different cocktails. So go sunning and drink all your favourite cocktails like Aperol Spritz, Violet Femme and this year’s biggest trend, Frose (that’s frozen Rose to me and you).
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 is excellent and the rooftop terrace enjoys views over the park.
With a heated rooftop terrace and garden, Inamo in Camden has a range of outdoor areas to drink in. Head to north London to enjoy a range of sushi, sashimi and Pan Asian food along with a range of Asian spirits.
When the sun rears its head in Lewisham, there's normally only the one spot for it, and that's The Station Hotel. Not just a spot for the odd hotel stay or a whopper of a Sunday roast, head on down to their charming beer garden for lazy pint drinking in the afternoon.
The cutesy new plot from the Simmons brand, Simmons Fitrovia is a corker of kitsch cocktails, darling innards and top notch antics to boot. While heralded for their interiors, Simmons Fitzrovia also boast a neat wee selection of alfresco seats for outdoor supping. With its fake grass and white picket fence, it's a cute ol' place to grab a cocktail or three.
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. Idyllically name the Wild Country Beer Garden, you can glug on your refreshing pint or crisp glass of wine on their beautiful terrace - an oasis space in the heart of London.
Laurel hedges enclose the delightful and spacious 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 watching sport on TV with drinks in tow, there’s also plenty of cover to retreat to if the weather should turn.
The Sipping Room in Canary Wharf is the latest addition to the Drake and Morgan family of venues. Open early in the morning and shutting up shop close to midnight each day, the 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 toddiess during the colder months.
Colourful, creative and cultural, Barrio Shoreditch brings the Caribbean to East London with its quirky, bubbly outdoor terrace. Fairy lights-clad, 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 out back. Pick out a sunny day and set up camp here for the day; a top choice of ales, craft beers, spirits and wines should spoil you for choice, and there’s plenty to feast on when they fire up the BBQ a little later in the day.
A greenhouse style bar, Corney and Barrow Exchange Square is the perfect place to be in the summer months. With a croquet pitch and seating outside it is made for alfresco drinking and chatting in the sunshine. Ideal for some after-work drinks or a long, relaxing lunch. Serving up the delicious wine that it's known for, it is a great place to grab a drink in the area.
A good ol' fashioned gastro boozer with the neat treats to boot, The Cross Keys is suburban pub material with a dash of London attitude. But you're here for the garden, right? With its cutesy wooden awnings, sprawling of potted plants and outdoor heaters, drinks in this London beer garden are a noted charmer.
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.
Cosy, warm and familiar once inside, 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 coming as an extra bonus.
A Hammersmith hottie with the back garden to boot, not only is The Eagle an absolute treasure when it comes to their gastro grub offering, alfresco drinks in London have a neat contender on their hands. From cutesy bunting and shed shaped booths, to beanbags and grassy knolls, this sweet garden is a sight to see.
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 deck rooftops and enjoy celebrations featuring Pimm’s, BBQ and amazing views, with DJs and dancing to follow a little later.
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.
A pedigree destination in the heart of Liverpool Street, Devonshire Terrace is an outdoor space in London with plenty of architectural cool on its side. An embedded plot of bespoke tables and darling foliage, grab a glass of champers and indulge in this cool space. With two terraces to boot, it's coming up alfresco trumps.
A Grade II listed early 19th century building, The Gun is an excellent pub sitting on the banks of the River Thames with amazing views of the river and the O2. With a great riverside terrace, enjoy a seasonal and fresh British menu with some exquisite drink options to accompany it.
Looks like you're churning for a drink in Chiswick; you've come to the right place. Premium when it comes to alfresco drinking in London, No 197 is one of the prettiest plots yet. Head on down for humble, and flourishing plates alongside seasonal cocktails in this stunning sunshine plot.
Sitting under the Simmons umbrella is another corker of a pub in London, with a neat wee alfresco garden to boot. Now known for their vintage interiors and cracking collection of dated collectibles, those looking for a pub with a little oomph head to Chelsea Pensioner for the cool innards and cutesy garden to boot.
Tucked away in a secretive Mayfair courtyard comes Hush, a swanky restaurant and bar. Join the venue on their gorgeous outdoor terrace for amazing seafood and steak along with a sizeable collection of whiskies from around the world.
The Dog & Fox’s inviting alfresco space is one of the best beer gardens in south London. 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.
Why limit yourself to one roof terrace when you could have two? That’s the trail of thought at Broadway House; the effortlessly chic private members club on Fulham Road. Lap up those rays in some style as you meander between the chic members lounge and one of the aforementioned terraces.
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 resident chefs to cook up a host of BBQ treats for when the weather is fine.
The beer garden in London to envy nearly any and all beer gardens, you may have to travel to see this absolute dime of a drinking space, but by golly is the journey worth it. Not only grand in size, it's grand in style. From cutesy circus themed booths and trails of fairy lights, to outdoor heaters and blankets for chilly nights, as far as alfresco spots go, this has quirky on tap.
Become acquainted with Brazil's famous carnival vibes this summer on Floripa's fun-filled, lively outdoor terrace. This vibrant and colourful Latin oasis is a haven for crazy-about-cocktails fans and ravers ready for festival season with its stream of upbeat sounds and its dynamic atmosphere. Sumptuous South American cuisine, live music acts and elaborate, cultural décor make Floripa an authentic slice of Brazil inside the Big Smoke.