Everyone likes a good place to enjoy a pint, and with the summer fast upon us there’s none better to soak up the sun and a couple of good drinks than in a leafy beer garden. Here we look at some of the gay scene pubs with the best outdoor areas in London…
57 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 7PL
It’s what The Edge’s sister venue is famous for; a cosy and intimate decked outdoors area – perfect for drinking al fresco and social smoking (or flirting your ass off). The Yard also has a mezzanine level that overlooks the beer garden, so you can have a browse of the boys before making a move; actually that sounds a little stalker-ish.
152 Bath Road, Hounslow, TW3 3ET
It’s been home to mud-wrestling, bouncy castles and rodeos – and no it’s not the Playboy Mansion’s annual pool party. But Hounslow’s Windsor Castle knows how to throw a memorable outdoor soiree. And when you haven’t got these fun festivities going on, you’re left with a traditional (and spacious) pub garden – wooden benches on grass an’ all!
THE BLACK CAP
171 Camden High Street, Camden, NW1 7JY
North London’s camp cabaret bar has a spacious beer garden situated on the first floor – making it a great suntrap during the warmer days. The rows of benches beneath the pergola add an intimate feel and with food served daily – you can really appreciate the open-air dining. At night-time the area becomes a social hub where gays and girls alike gather beneath the warm heaters.
56 Pope’s Lane, South Ealing, W5 4NB
If one thing can be said about West 5’s beer garden, it’s that it’s almost as flamboyant as the venue’s weekly cabaret acts. With water features, topiary, and blossoming foliage it’s one of the most relaxing al fresco hotspots in the city. Grab a pint and pull up seat (under the parasol if you’re a pasty bitch) and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere that comes with the venue in summer.
349 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5QY
It may be known for its booze ‘n’ cruise nights, but that’s just one of things that separates the Eagle London from some of the competition. Their summer BBQs are infamous (and the food is free, might we add); not that we’re surprised, the Eagle are always willing to provide you with plenty of meat. The plants and decking provide a relaxing space to catch a breath from the much hotter action inside.
Canal Road, Strood, Kent, ME2 4DR
Based in Strood, the Riverside Tavern is situated along the banks of the Medway, with lovely views overlooking the Kent skyline. Whether you’re catching one of the impressive live PAs on a Saturday night or just chilling out on a sunny Sunday afternoon, the beautiful lawn and seated area is perfect for evening flirting or a Sunday roast.
37 Wharfdale Road, King’s Cross, N1 9SD
The roof terrace at Central Station is the perfect suntrap to enjoy a drink and a chat in an intimate atmosphere, surrounded by hanging baskets with beautiful flowers and gently drifting green foliage. An oasis of calm and tranquillity to relax in, with the hustle and bustle of King’s Cross cut off across the rooftops. And of course on those huge Central Station nights when the bar is packed from wall to wall the garden comes into its own as a place to get a breath of fresh air or a breath of heavily tobacco-scented air, in the form of a fag.
BJ’S WHITE SWAN
556 Commercial Road, Limehouse, E14 7JD
Everyone who’s anyone knows BJ’s White Swan in East London, offering a bustling atmosphere, big name cabaret stars and sexy strippers on its eclectic itinerary all week long. Outside you’ll find a great, well-lit and trellised beer garden, which is the place in which to chat, flirt and ogle the good-looking Essex-type lads that frequent the Swan. If you’re looking for a handsome geezer with a bit of cheeky charm or a six-inch heeled drag queen, it’s time to hop on the wings of the Swan…
STAR AND GARTER
227 High Street, Bromley, BR1 1NZ
One of the benefits about frequenting a bar a little more on the rural side of town, is that there’s generally more outdoor space; or at least this is true for the Star and Garter in Bromley. With a more cosy inside, the large outdoor space makes a welcome change from busy nights indoors. It’s easy to see why it’s become a favourite with the gays out past zone 4 (yes, there is a world further out than zone 4).
188 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 4QH
A welcoming, fun and friendly boozer for all those of a gay persuasion in the North-East of London’s boroughs, situated just inside Zone 3, The Victoria is definitively the homo hangout-du-jour of Walthamstow! It also includes a wonderfully secluded smoking terrace where you can catch up on your gay gossip or indulge in some flirtation over lighters with a handsome stranger…