East London's Best Beer Gardens

East London's Best Beer Gardens

Our personal pick of east London's best beer gardens.

Pub on the Park, perched above London Fields.

Prospect of Whitby, Wapping

Supposedly our city's oldest riverside inn, you might recognise the Prospect from an appearance in Netflix's The Old Guard (2020). Unsurprising this pub was chosen out of all of London's for the denouement scene: it's a combination of historic, sinister, atmospheric — and downright beautiful.

Previously answering to the name of The Pelican and later The Devil's Tavern, and with a pedigree stretching back to 1520, it was already getting on a bit when Shakespeare first came to town. The pub plays into the area's history of piracy, with a much-photographed noose dangling round the back. Inside's all pewter-topped bar and creaky wooden interior, rebuilt following a fire in Victorian times and a further refit in the 1950s, though some of the flagstones are reckoned to be centuries old. And the outside's just as ramshackle — a tiny but lovely terrace, with a staggering view of the river.

The Nag's Head, Walthamstow

'They got palm trees', reads our entry for this one in our pub database. It's a fact. They also have some stuff other than palm trees, to wit: decent pizza, big garden, good beer list, a lot of heaters, and a pub cat. Good all round.  

People's Park Tavern, Hackney

Just next to Victoria Park, the People's Park Tavern has an enormous beer garden with dozens of benches, little cabins, and a shaded area — and a scattering of heaters. The garden has its own bar,  and the beer list includes stuff from their on site microbrewery.

Pub on the Park, London Fields

Does what it says on the tin. Drink pints from east London breweries, on some decking raised over the lovely London Fields. Heating and shelter is minimal, but on the flip side: good beer list, good people watching, great spot to watch the sun set across the park, and it's dog-friendly — friendly all round, actually.

Crooked Billet, Clapton

Shady trees, deckchairs, fairy lights. Tucked away nooks, wooden booths with some shelter, benches in the central sun trap courtyard area: the Crooked Billet's sprawling beer garden contains multitudes, literally. A crowded crowdpleaser with decent food — and sometimes hosting food pop ups in the garden, including Andi Oliver's Wadadli Kitchen last year — Clapton locals keep it permanently busy, but it's worth a trip from further away.

Chesham Arms, Hackney

The Chesham Arms is historic pub, saved from the flames — okay, from being developed into flats — in 2016, after Hackney Council gave it protected status by declaring it an Asset of Community Value. Hard to argue with that assessment, when you see the beer garden — massive, scattered with pot plants, benches, and greenery, and with a big, (and we guess retractable?) canopy installed this winter across part of it. There's no kitchen, but you can order pizza from Yard Sale to eat in the garden.

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Last Updated 21 May 2021