High 5: London’s best beer gardens
Summer is almost here and the sun has started to shine. Here are my five favourite beer gardens dotted around London:
The Albion – Islington
I’ll start with one of the prettiest gardens on my list. It’s gorgeous, in fact. Tucked away in the back streets of Islington, it’s open and spacious with stunning wisteria hanging from its pergolas. It gets busy but, if you find yourself a spot, you won’t want to leave. It’s won a few awards for its food in recent years and I’m not surprised – it does a cracking Sunday lunch. I had my birthday here a few years ago; the outdoor areas are perfect for private hire.
Faltering Fullback – Finsbury Park
While there are bigger beer gardens to be found in the capital, this outdoor space is definitely one of the cleverest I’ve seen. The owners built upwards – creating a tiered village out of decking, with room on the various split levels for lots of tables. In keeping with the exotic-themed surrounds, the cooking is of the Thai street food variety: think stir-fries, curries and noodles…and it’s all delicious.
The Avalon – Balham
This is certainly one of my favourite beer gardens in South West London – I became a true Avalon-local when I lived in Balham a couple of years ago. The pub’s al fresco options comprise front and side terraces and a huge, beautifully-landscaped garden at the back – wonderful for children with this good weather.
Grand Union – Brixton
Grand Union is a real gem of a pub, situated half way between Brixton and Clapham, and has one of the biggest outside spaces in London. What’s quirky about this beer garden is its four Thai-style tree houses, funky water fountain and enormous 25 metre-squared outdoor film screen. It serves great cocktails and both the gourmet burgers and pizzas are pretty impressive.
The Marlborough – Richmond
It would be rude not to include a beer garden near to Travel PR’s office, wouldn’t it? Well, The Marlborough is last but certainly not least. Located a stone’s throw from Richmond Park, in a quiet residential area, it has one of the best beer gardens in London. There’s an enormous amount of seating, a children’s play area and a handy gazebo, which provides great shelter should the unpredictable British weather turn. What’s lovely about this pub is that it never seems to get too busy, so it’s the perfect setting for a tranquil summer’s day drinking.
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When I first started out travel writing, twenty years ago, I was writing a weekly round-up for The Independent. The first PR agency I ever tapped into for their clients' holiday ideas was Travel PR; they were always full of great suggestions for the column and responded quickly. Over the years, I've worked with them on many occasions and their close association with AITO has always paid dividends. Nothing has changed; some of the best story ideas I get herald from them, and their response time remains very speedy. They are a pleasure to work with.Mark Stratton, Freelance Travel Writer
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