The British summer is an unpredictable thing. With the weather swinging between scorching sunshine and torrential downpours, you’ve got to be ready for all eventualities – and that includes having a go-to list of beer gardens for those glorious sun-soaked days. If you’re out and about in north London, here are some of the best pub gardens to keep in mind.
The Albion, Islington – This handsome Georgian pub boasts one of the prettiest pub gardens in London. When the sun’s out and the wisteria is in bloom, there are few nicer places to drink and dine alfresco. On Sundays, they serve superb roasts, many available as larger sharing-style options – perfect for big groups and hungry families. It’s worth visiting mid-week too, for classics like beer battered fish and chips or rib eye steak.
The Edinboro Castle, Camden – Escape the bustle of Camden High Street and unwind in the garden at the Edinboro Castle. There’s a BBQ and an outdoor bar, plus heaters and fairy lights for after dark. The menu covers all bases with sharing plates and light bites alongside pub classics like burgers and sausage and mash. If it’s a Sunday roast you’re after, we can recommend the whole roast chicken – a proper feast for two to share.
The Clissold Arms, East Finchley – Situated between East Finchley and Muswell Hill, The Clissold Arms is a family-friendly pub with a garden that fills up quickly at the weekends. Once the sun sets, it’s illuminated by a canopy of lightbulbs – ideal if you fancy a late night drink.
The Drapers Arms, Islington – Whether you’re popping in for a glass of wine or settling in for dinner, this Islington gastropub never fails to impress. The menu changes daily to showcase the freshest seasonal produce and the wine list is a real treat for connoisseurs (and enthusiastic novices) with over 15 choices by the glass. With a sun-trap garden as an added bonus, it’s easy to see why the locals love it here.
The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park – The outside space at this well-loved Irish pub is less of a beer garden, more of a treehouse, with stairs leading up to decked seating areas surrounded by plants and flowers. On sunny days, you’ll have to be quick to beat the locals to a table. There’s cheap and cheerful Thai food on offer but you can eat really well at local favourites like Season Kitchen, Pasta Remoli and Walnut – all just a stroll away.
The Woodman, Highgate – With seats for over 200 sun-seekers, The Woodman’s garden is one of the biggest in north London. There are outdoor TV screens so you won’t miss any sporting action, plus covered areas if you need a little shade. They serve seasonal British comfort food and Sunday roasts that taste even better in the sunshine.
White Hart, Stoke Newington – Stokey’s not short of great pubs but the White Hart manages to stand out from the crowd thanks to its laid-back vibe and massive secret beer garden. The food is a step up from standard pub grub – expect dishes like smoked duck salad and scallops with chorizo jam and pea puree. We’re big fans of their sharing boards – perfect for soaking up those post-work pints.
The Stag, Belsize Park – Friendly staff, hearty pub grub, and a huge garden – there’s a lot to love about The Stag. The garden has tons of seating, including several heated cabanas that make alfresco dining an option even on chillier evenings. If you’re a bit of a beer nerd, you’ll be spoilt for choice – there are 24 taps and over 50 bottles and cans to try.
The Red Lion & Sun, Highgate – The Red Lion & Sun is the sort of pub we’d all like to have in our neighbourhood. The food is first class and there are great beers, a huge selection of whiskies, and an impressive wine list to get stuck into. They were named Best Wine Pub of the Year in 2016 so if you need a recommendation, just ask the clued-up staff. Best of all, there are two gorgeous gardens to choose from – both well-suited to alfresco suppers after a walk on nearby Hampstead Heath.
The Canonbury, Islington – This busy gastropub – complete with a glorious garden – is just a five minute stroll away from Highbury & Islington station. It’s tucked away on a leafy street but the bar and dining room are nearly always packed. It’s a great place to settle in with a bottle of wine and if you’re feeling hungry, the menu features dishes like chargrilled venison and pan fried hake with butter bean puree.
The Engineer, Primrose Hill – After a trip to London Zoo or a walk in Regent’s Park, you can relax and refuel at this pub in leafy Primrose Hill. The bar is fully stocked with real ales, craft beers and interesting wines, and they also make an excellent Bloody Mary. If you can bag a table in their pretty walled garden, you may never want to leave.
Have we missed your favourite? Let us know in the comments.