Summertime Bars in London
Chilling with chums in the sun is a great way to relax. You know the best way to relax though? Doing that with an ice-cold beverage in hand. So whether it's a fun, frolicking jaunt in the city or just somewhere to make the most of the lighter hours, make sure you're enjoying the sun with a tall pint in a beer garden, cruising down one of London's many canals on a boat bar, or reveling in the rays on a rooftop. Vitamin D is down right good for you don't'cha know. Check out our recommendations for some great summertime bars in London and make the most of that golden beauty (while the sprightly son of a gun is sticking around).
Last updated on 11th July 2016
When it comes to whiling away the evening under the London sun, there's not many pubs that offer views and sunshine rays quite like Founders Arms. Join them as they promise authentic British drinks and dining alongside the Thames, all summer long.
London's squares, those beautiful green oasis' of calm, are often overrun with herds of London's sunseekers as soon as the temperature gets hot enough that you can take off your jumper. Avoid the panic to lay stake to a patch of Exchange square this summer by rocking up to Corney and Barrow and relaxing in their lovely, sophisticated greenhouse bar. No itchy picnic rugs necessary here - just a few pounds for a relaxing glass of Pimms.
If sipping on a refreshing beer, watching the world and the water go by floats your boat, then make sure to visit The Union Tavern. Brilliant for hot summer days and after work drinks; its foliage-filled, umbrella shaded terrace won't disappoint. Head on down for a jaunt by the canal, and get to grips with London's favourite hobby: drinking in the summer sunshine. It isn't hard to master, we promise.
If you're in London for the summer then there's no reason to miss out on this chilled out waterside bar. Feel like you're on holiday by taking in London's iconic sights in a way that you never have before. The Northbank Restaurant's gorgeous outside deck will delight you with picture-perfect views of the arty Southbank and intricate Millennium Bridge. A truly cosmopolitan affair, if you ask us.
Even if it isn't summer outside, then it will be inside Kanaloa. A truly tropical experience for those that like their evenings out with a side of hula, try out this tiki inspired party haunt for tasty cocktails served in pineapples and cheerful customers. Discover the beach in the centre of the city with this leafy rainforest where the retro music is pumping and the dance floor is jumping.
All of this world-cup business and the unavoidable beautiful shots of Brazil that comes with it are making us itch for sunnier pastures. For those of us that can't afford to shell out for a plane to some beautiful Latin city where the BBQ is always cooking and the cocktails are always flowing, Barrio Shoreditch is a more than adequate substitute for the real thing. It's got beautiful bright interiors and enough party vibes to keep you going until easy-jet has a 70% off sale.
Step aboard the Canal Party Club boat for a fun-time day out with your nearest and dearest. Aside from the captain, you’re welcome to bring your own food, booze and music with you to really make a day of it as you enjoy a leisurely cruise down the Regent’s Canal. Worried about bad weather ruining the fun? Don’t be! The boat comes with transparent covers and a heater.
Marvel at the views from The Banker's cheerful outside terrace as you sip a real ale. Watch the boats and enjoy the broad range of architecture than London has to offer. From Shakespere's Globe to The Shard, glinting like glass in the summer sun... we're getting all poetic and whimsical just thinking about it.
If you love a cheap drink and a lively beer garden then look no further than the Grand Union Brixton. With space for 300 people and films and sports shown on the big screen, Grand Union is perfect for making the most of those lovely summer evenings. From its adorably lit trees and shack-style garden nooks, to cracking cocktails, this destination is laced with summer fun.
Ahoy! Is that a boat we spy on the banks of the Thames? It looks like it has loads of tables full of rather fashionable good-looking people having a great time on it. They all have delicious looking drinks in their hands and some of them are even dancing to the selection of excellent tracks that the handsome disc jockey is playing. It's either Bar & Co, the most happening summer boat bar this little island has ever seen, or we need to go for a check up at the opticians.
To quote the (admittedly rather rubbish) Mariah Carey impersonator we saw last night; 'All I want this Summer is Jam Tree's beer garden'. Wise words Mariah, because Jam Tree Chelsea certainly know how to tick the boxes on the ultimate summer bar check list - they've got a great selection of beers that'll slide down a treat in hot weather, super fun and friendly clientele, and last but not least an absolute corker of a garden that catches the sun just right.
This tavern has got the jubilant good vibes that England only lets slip from under its stiff upper lip in summer time. That's because beer gardens this good make even the most prim and proper British gentleman want to kick back, crack open a beer and get chatting to the people in the next booth along.
Perfectly suited to after work drinks, a spot of dinner or busting shapes at the weekend, Gigalum is a vibrant oasis at the core of Clapham’s social scene. Head over for some food or a few drinks in their beer garden, it’s a lovely alfresco space and there are parasols and heaters on cue for when the sun has gone down. There’s no admission fee, a cracking range of drinks and an uplifting house playlist guaranteed to get those hips shaking.
The Gun is a spooky one. It can read our minds. It knows exactly what we dream about on chilly winter nights... the spectacular river-side views, bright parasols, seaside lounge chairs, and cheerful bunting blowing in a cool, wistful breeze. It's got it all. So if you want to visit the soothsayer of British pubs and have your dreams of summer-time materialize before your very eyes then head down to The Gun.
We doubt you've seen a plot quite like this one. Raise yourself above the city for a night in Kensington's gorgeous Roof Gardens. Though a little on the pricey side, it's worth it for the lush gardens and plant-covered terrace. A truly lush botanical experience hidden in the city that can sometimes feel like a concrete jungle, this is a secret garden with top tipples and a BBQ thrown in for good measure.