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Ten places Time Out writers like to drink outside

Posted at 5:30 pm, June 6, 2015 in Food & Drink, Outdoor London

When it comes to summertime sipping, it pays to think outside the beer garden. Here are ten places – some well-known, others less so – Time Out staff like to get boozy and bucolic when the sun’s shining.

On the benches outside We Brought Beer

This Balham shop (28 Hildreth Street, SW12 9RQ) is no ordinary offy – it stocks more than 150 varieties of beer by the bottle or can, or dispensed in gas-primed takeaway ‘growlers’, a dedication that’s unmatched in south-west London. Best of all, a recent update to their licence means you can now drink on benches out the front, at takeaway prices. Guy Dimond, Food and Drink editor

Out the back at Scootercaffè

This café and former scooter repair shop in Lambeth North (132 Lower Marsh, SE1 7AE) only has a tiny bit of outdoor space at the back, but it’s the perfect laid-back place to drink when it’s warm. Plus they do these great big bottles of delicious French cider that basically just taste like boozy apple juice. Jonny Ensall, deputy editor

On the steps in Kingsland Basin

Just a stone’s throw from the madness of Regent’s Canal proper and accessible by a gateway down the side of the Proud Archivist, the little bit where loads of boats park up is a great place for a civilised tinny. Just remember that it’s close to where a lot of people (and loads of ducks and geese) call home, so make sure you take your empties with you. David Clack, senior content editor

Pub on the Park, London Fields

Amid the throng on London Fields

It’s hardly a secret, but London Fields is like a mini-Glastonbury during weekends over the summer. Someone needs to tell revellers to put a bloody brick under their barbecues though – the grass is always a mess come Monday. Cath Clarke, Film editor

By the arches in Peckham


[Photo: Thomas Brasington]

When the sun’s shining, everywhere’s nice. And that’s why, every summer, I seem to end up standing by some bins with a whisky sour out the back of Bar StoryGuy Parsons, social media manager

The roof of the Red Lion in Hoxton

This rooftop space (41 Hoxton Street, N1 6NH) is simple and effective, and never seems to be packed, even on a scorcher. It’s a luxurious way to spend an hour or two, but still manages to keep you grounded – by virtue of the fact that it overlooks a Job Centre. Oliver Keens, Music and Nightlife editor

On the canal in Hackney Marshes

When the sun comes out I head to ‘the Stonehenge of London’ – that weird bit by the canal between Clapton and Walthamstow, near the filter beds. It’s a great place for a hippy picnic and you can use one of the lumps of stone as a cocktail bar. Katie Dailey, Style editor

hackney marshesPhoto: Fabio Venni

 Out on the National Theatre’s new Riverside Square

The NT’s Understudy bar (South Bank, SE1 9PX) has more or less revolutionised our nation’s flagship theatre by finally allowing you to buy a decent pint there all year round (the made-on-site Meantime Fresh Brew is recommended). The warmer months have seen an ad hoc mass of tables and chairs spill out from the Understudy onto the new ‘Riverside Square’, which will host free live performances of all kinds throughout July and August. Andrzej Lukowski, Theatre editor

On high at the Lyric Hammersmith‘s newly re-opened rooftop terrace

After a two-year makeover, the Lyric Hammersmith theatre has finally reopened and with it, its very lovely roof terrace. Adorned with hanging foliage, plant beds, comfy benches and wooden tables, it feels like a little natural oasis amid the otherwise urban west London surroundings. Over the warmer months don’t miss the barbecue out there too. Daisy Bowie-Sell, deputy Theatre editor

 By the river in Hammersmith

With several pubs nestled along the stretch of the Thames that runs from Hammersmith Bridge towards Barnes, this is my favourite spot for riverside drinking in the capital. When the weather’s balmy you can expect queues stretching out of the doors at The Ship, so save yourself the hassle (and pay a helluva lot less than a fiver a pint) and pick up a few tinnies or a bottle of vino and settle down on the grassy patch next to the pub’s beer garden instead. Mark O’Donnell, UK digital content editor

Find more places to drink outside at our fave rooftop bars in London.

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