Best Places To Drink Outside
While cold-weather drinking is really more of a necessity (whisky=instant warmth), summertime boozing is a legitimate leisure activity best enjoyed al fresco. Here, the rooftops, backyard gardens, and patios that after a cocktail or three, can make the muggiest of concrete jungles feel like an oasis.
The Albion10 Thornhill Rd., Islington | +44.20.7607.7450
Tucked away on an idyllic street in Islington, this pretty Georgian pub boasts a lot of outdoor space—a rarity in London. On summer evenings and weekends, the best spots in the house are in the front courtyard for beers and cocktails, and out back for classic pub fare in the wisteria covered courtyard. This being one of the most popular gastropubs in the area, dinner and Sunday roast reservations come in handy.
Frank’s Cafe95a Rye Lane, Peckham | [email protected]
Ever since 2008, Frank's Cafe—a bar located on top of a parking garage in Peckham—has been the neighborhood's main hub for summertime drinking. It's fairly bare bones when it comes to drinks and presentation—cocktails are pretty standard and you dine at shared picnic tables—but the sunset views across South London make navigating the always crowded concrete rooftop worthwhile. There are a lot of good up-and-coming galleries in the area, too, including Hannah Barry and The Sunday Painter. This means that the best nights to head over are after the gallery openings, when many of the neighborhood's young artists and curators head out for a celebratory drink, and this installment of the pop-up's light, Mediterranean-inspired fare.
Selfridges Rooftop RestaurantSelfridges, 400 Oxford St., Marylebone | +44.20.7318.3287
Selfridges may sometimes be a bit of a tourist trap, but the rooftop restaurant and bar always feels like a well-kept local's secret—it's hardly ever crowded, the casual English fare care of restaurateur Des McDonald is excellent, and the views over Mayfair's rooftops are striking. The theme of the rooftop changes seasonally as does the menu and the cocktails.
The Boundary Rooftop2-4 Boundary St., Shoreditch | +44.20.7729.1051
For those missing out on the Shoreditch House's private member's rooftop and pool next door, The Boundary Hotel comes to the rescue with a rooftop bar and restaurant that's open year-round, under a canopy of grape vines, no less. You'll also find a kitchen garden upstairs, along with an outdoor lounge that's set around a wood-burning chimney, ideal for a lazy afternoon in good weather. Being part of Terence Conran's empire guarantees that everything from the Mediterranean food, to the wicker furniture in the rooftop lounge, is in great taste.
Crate BreweryUnit 7, Queen's Yard, Hackney Wick | +44.20.8533.3331
On weekend afternoons, this warehouse bar and brewery is a haven for locals and young families who come for the wood fired thin-crust pizza served both indoors and canal-side. And, as the afternoon wears on, and the music turns up, the kids pizza parties get replaced by older groups of friends who come for the brewery's excellent beers, ales and local ciders. In other words, it's a pretty ideal place to while the afternoon away, in the sprawling, industrial space, drinking at the large communal tables both indoors and out. Open year-round, it's best in the summer, when you can take a leisurely walk down the canal until you reach the brewery.