You are packing at least one pair of shorts to your trip to London, right? Since London’s climate can be chilly at times, sunny days bring out both eager residents and visitors to the outdoors. When it’s a sunny day in London, soak up the fantastic weather with a tasty drink in hand. If you don’t want to spend a fortune, but you still want to have a great view and a sunny seat outdoors, the following 10 spots are wonderful patios, rooftops bars, and beer gardens in London you’ll absolutely want to visit.
The Carpenter’s Arms
Located in Fitzrovia, the Carpenter’s Arms might seem like a standard pub and bar at first glance. If you are in the know, however, head up the rooftop terrace, which opens up into an entire outdoor world of relaxation. There are seats for just 30 people, so it can be crowded during summer weekends, but getting there a little early is definitely worth it. As a bonus, The Carpenter’s Arms doesn’t demand higher drink prices thanks to this stunning location. Beers on tap, wines, and cocktails are priced comparatively to the other bars and pubs in the area, which makes it appealing to the budget-conscious drinker.
Located in Peckham, Frank’s Cafe is a seasonal outdoor drinking spot which is part art installation and part bar. Believe it or not, the cafe is actually located on the 10th floor of a parking garage, which means they can keep prices low due to the impossibly affordable rent. Frank’s Cafe is only open during the summer, since it is a completely outdoor space, but there is a roof covering that protects you from the occasional midday rain.
As the last remaining galleried inn in London, the George Inn is a National Trust destination dating back to the 17th century. The interior is historic and fascinating, but the real appeal is the large outdoor garden, which is just steps from the London Bridge Station. After a day of work or sightseeing, grab a spot at the picnic tables, mingle with friends, and enjoy affordable pints in a relaxed and completely unpretentious environment. Summer evenings are packed, but that is to be expected from such an appealing spot in the city.
Pub on the Park
When a great summer soccer match is on, some sporting enthusiasts might be torn between soaking up the sun outside and catching the soccer on the big screen. Pub on the Park makes that a problem of the past thanks to outdoor television screens where you can watch everything from soccer to Formula 1 as you enjoy the warm London weather. Pub on the Park, located just next to London Fields, boasts a huge beer garden where travellers and locals alike stop by to and from work or a shopping trip at the Brick Lane Markets. Despite the ideal location and great outdoor space, Pub on the Park still boasts drinks for a reasonable price.
Located in the trendy district of Shoreditch, The Strongroom appeals to a younger crowd with definite hipster tendencies. As far as drinks, prices, and seating is concerned, however, this bar can’t be beat. Inside, The Strongroom boasts a small dining area, a small concert venue and even a recording studio, which means that it is busy no matter what the season. When summer rolls around and the sun comes out, however, hip residents of Shoreditch flock to the outdoor courtyard. Seating is limited, but the place gets packed with standing drinkers happy to enjoy great music, warm temperatures, and cheap drinks surrounded by friends.
Quirky and fun, the Faltering Fullback is a pub located just off of Stroud Green Road. Although the location isn’t widely advertised, it is always busy thanks to great service, affordable drinks, and a variety of spots to mingle, watch a game or just admire the views. The best bit about the Faltering Fullback is the variety of zones, including a bustling bar, a barn space that is music free and often full of students, and a rooftop spaning the entire pub. The rooftop beer garden is a hit each spring as the weather starts to heat up, and you will definitely notice that an afternoon with a few drinks can easily stretch to a late night thanks to the comfortable surroundings.
With views of the Shard and a charming, open space in the heart of London, you would be forgiven for assuming that the Rooftop Cafe was prohibitively expensive or perhaps even a membership-only spot. In reality, the Rooftop Cafe is open to the public, and prices are surprisingly low for the quality. As a bonus, there is a full kitchen onsite, which means you can pair your pints, cocktails, or glasses of wine with shared appetisers or even full meals featuring organic ingredients and regional produce.
If what you really want is to escape the hustle and bustle of London, then an outdoor beer garden like The Albion is perfect. The drinks menu isn’t long, and you’ll typically have a choice of just two or three beers on tap, a few wines, and a signature cocktail or two. However, The Albion makes this list thanks to the peaceful location and the walled garden shielded from traffic and noise.
Dalston Roof Park
Quirky and fun, the Dalston Roof Park is covered in astroturf, and a pink flamingo gives it a playful retro feel. The decor is purposefully silly, but the cocktails are upscale, and the rooftop garden provides the herbs and fruits for the drinks.
This pub is the best of a beer garden and a more upscale bar. In the outdoor space, there are covered areas and heat lamps so keep you comfortable whatever the weather, and servers come to the table so you don’t have to trek inside to the bar for each round. On the weekend, show up around lunchtime for the mouth-watering barbecue.
When the weather cooperates in London, you will absolutely want to head outdoors and enjoy the sun. These 10 spots are some of the best patios and outdoor beer gardens offering cheap drinks in London.
What’s your favourite summertime drink?