32 Places to Drink Outside in London
At Last! The Sun Is On The Way!
Let us waste no more time, and get on with what we enjoy most – drinking, outdoors, in the sun. Perfect.
Here are our 32 top places to drink outside in London. If you think we’ve missed any gems, just let us know – we’re all about democracy here!
Wilton’s Music Hall
Tower Hill/Aldgate East/Shadwell
If you don’t mind standing you’re in for a treat outside the world’s oldest surviving Victorian Grand Music Hall. Ok it’s an alleyway but it’s gorgeous and hidden vibe is worth walking to.
A perfect canal-side oasis in the heart of Hackney Wick, with views of the Olympic Stadium and the Arcelor Mittal Orbit… That is, if you’re not swooning over the CRATE Brewery beers, munching your way through epic, freshly cooked pizzas, and discussing the latest provocative theatre show at The Yard theatre (just nearby).
Hare & Billet
Pretty much the closest you can get to the very centre of the heath and still be in a pub! One of our Blackheath haunts – in the summer, take your pint outside and across the road to sit on the grass and while away another sunny evening. The food is good too, and it’s just a short walk across the heath to another of the pubs on our list, the Princess of Wales (see below).
People’s Park Tavern
Nestled on the Homerton side of Victoria Park, the People’s Park Tavern is ALL about the garden – huge, with covered, heated area in winter, fire pits, comfy seating… Pretty much perfect. And when the sun is out, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more vibrant, buzzing beer garden.
Our newest New Cross local, The Rose is the Hobgoblin pub repackaged and smartened up. There’s a mouthwatering food menu, a re-decorated interior, and best of all, a refurbished beer garden to soak up some rays (and a pint or four).
The best bar in Peckham – simple. Perfect all year round really, whenever you’re in need of some awesome railway-arch based cocktails. Ideal from sunset onwards – pull up a bench outside and booze the night away. Oh, and amazing pizzas.
The Captain Kidd
Our second Wapping pick, again right on the river, and this one is a Sam Smiths pub. We’ll be honest, there’s sometimes a funny smell inside, but it’s all about the outside seating here. Knock back the wheat bear and the pure brew, and hail passing boats with gusto. If you want.
We’ve always thought that what most multi-storey car parks really lack is a good bar. Problem solved in Peckham at Frank’s, part of the Bold Tendencies Sculpture Project. No 10th floor of a car park has ever been this cool. Ever.
A National Trust pub a short walk away from London Bridge station. Packed on a warm summer evening, so arrive early if you want a seat – but the atmosphere is definitely worth it.
The Midnight Apothecary
The Brunel Museum roof garden once again hosts The Midnight Apothecary – hailed in 2012 as ““the hottest pop-up cocktail bar in town”. Until the summer properly arrives, check out the special Saturday events…
New Cross House
A To Do List local – we love the pizzas, and the drink selection, but we had to include this pub because of its great beer garden out the back. You wouldn’t even know it was there! (But it is, plus a cute barn-conversion type thing to hide away in… and did we mention the pizzas?)
Number 90 Bar
A fab canal side bar/restaurant at 90 Main Yard in Hackney Wick, open everyday from midday until 11.30pm.
Fill up on super tasty food (including yummy Sunday roasts) and an ace selection of drinks, relax listening to some cool music, catch a film on cinema night, or maybe even hop on a boat trip from the canal-side terrace. Perfect for a warm evening as the sun goes down.
The Old Thameside Inn
Surprisingly not as tourist-trap-y as you might expect. A perfect spot by the river (if you can nab a table), and after a few drinks, you’ll be formulating a cunning plan to refloat the Golden Hinde on the Thames.
An old local – if you find yourself in West Norwood, and fancy some of the best hand-made pizzas in South London, do not miss The Park. There’s a cute beer garden out the back, and Norwood Park is an overlooked gem, with great views of London at sunset.
Pub on the Park
The best park-side pubs turn the park into one huge beer garden – and this pub definitely achieves that. Soak up some rays while soaking up the units after a Saturday morning stroll through Broadway Market.
Where culture and binge drinking meet. Scrabble your way to the bar, beg/steal/borrow a drink, and then reap the rewards – a huge outdoor terrace overlooking the river.
A To Do List haunt in the summer months – the courtyard can be packed when it’s sunny, although if you pick your moments (i.e. go when you really should be working) you can have a quiet drink in the sun, with some great food too. Maybe pop in after brunch at Duck & Waffle (15 minute walk away) – you’ll need a drink after the lift experience!
One of our favourite pubs in London, which would be higher on the list if it had more outdoor seating. Still, the windows looking out on the river are so massive, you can bask in the sunshine even sitting inside. Arrive early for the best seats next to the windows, and at high-tide, you’ll feel like you’re at sea (or river).
Underbelly Festival Bar
The boozy gathering point at the centre of the Udderbelly Festival – pre- and post-show drinks-a-plenty for those entering the murky depths of the big purple cow, or just a jolly place to get drunk on the south bank for everyone else…