Tis the season, regardless of what the thermometer says. And to ensure you're in the right place when the mercury does hit, say 15, following are 10 spots to plant yourself al fresco and toast the Great British Summer.
A Primrose Hill institution, the Engineer can do little wrong for the regulars who flock there for favourites such as miso-marinated sea bass with bok choi. Despite the ample dining space, the bar area is on the small side, but there is respite in the form of a back garden, which is an ideal spot for long summer lunches.
With a beautiful riverside setting and a large decked terrace to embrace the British summer, The Gun is one of the best dining experience in the Docklands offering a great British pub menu. In the summer, be sure to visit A Grelha at The Gun, an al fresco Portuguese barbeque of fresh fish and meats on the decked terrace.
The Albion is a traditional English country pub in the heart of London, with the main attraction being its garden. The French windows in the restaurant area open onto a terrace of over 450 square metres, which can seat more than 120 people for dining and drinking surrounded by herb beds, fruit trees and an original Georgian walled garden. In the summer months, the outdoor barbeque is a real draw, as well as the whole roast suckling pig for 10 to share.
The Avalon has three impressive outdoor spaces, including a front terrace, a side garden and a beautifully landscaped rear garden, which features an al fresco Mediterranean menu complete with charcoal barbecue and rotisserie. With plenty of space for diners and drinkers, The Avalon is set to be the pub of choice for South Londoners.
Housed on the banks of the Thames by Wandsworth Bridge since 1786, The Ship may be a bit of an effort for most, but it is widely considered to be worth the effort. With a quiet and relaxing front bar, a large conservatory and an excellent garden overlooking Wandsworth Bridge, The Ship is a lively and sociable spot for summer drinking.
Covered with beautiful wooden floors and panels, and with its labyrinth of connected rooms, the Windsor Castle is an authentic, historic British pub. The relaxed and friendly feel extends to the rear garden with its ivy-clad walls, which is always bustling in the summer.
The Stag, Hampstead
Situated on the Hampstead/Belsize Park border, a short stroll from Hampstead Heath, The Stag’s main selling point is its spacious garden, which is ideal for the summer and also when it becomes a little cooler, as some of the cabanas come with their own heaters. The Stag is known for its decent ales and classic British menu, which also features a barbeque in the garden in the summer.
Mall Tavern, Notting Hill
From the team behind The Stag in Hampstead and The Regent in Kensal Green, featuring a chef with an impressive background, including Gidleigh Park, HIX Soho and Balthazar in New York, the Mall Tavern features a well-executed and daily changing classic British pub menu, as well as a lovely and intimate garden at the rear.
The Crabtree is a newly refurbished Victorian pub set on the river between Hammersmith and Putney, which has stunning views of the Thames. Although they serve classic gastropub food, the main attraction is the lovely and extensive beer garden, right on the edge of the Thames.
Nestled on a leafy street, just moments from Upper Street, The House is a gastropub with higher ambitions in the kitchen. Along with a cosy and intimate interior, there’s a fairly spacious front terrace from which to enjoy a beer in the sun.
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