It’s summer, which means one thing – sun, beers and BBQs. But in London, where there is a bountiful choice of beer gardens and rooftop bars, al fresco drinking and dining takes on a whole different meaning. Whether it’s clasping on to a brew in an enormous outdoor pub setting, sports playing out before you on a flatscreen; supping cocktails on a stylish rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city; or relaxing in a leafy, ornate riverside watering hole, the capital has it all to offer.

The Roof Gardens in Kensington is a luxurious haven in the sky, its 1.5 acres of highly cultivated surrounds a world apart from the hustle and bustle of the busy street below. “A night at The Roof Gardens is a unique experience that has something for everyone,” club manager Matt Roper says. “You can dine at one of our summer BBQs, watch the sun set in the Spanish gardens, say hello to one of our four flamingos or hit the dancefloor until the early hours. “No two nights are the same – every week we introduce new DJs in the clubhouse or bands, and every month we host a spectacular fireworks display.”

Across the city, east London is no slouch either. The Queen of Hoxton has its own rooftop bar, with a plethora of special events going on this summer. “The London bar scene is really exciting at the moment,” PR manager Freya Coote says. “There is such
a variety of places to go to. The Queen is one of the largest, non-members rooftop bars and kitchens in east London, offering some of the most amazing views of the city. “You can spend the whole day up there and be fed and watered to your heart’s content.”

The Queen also has ‘silly sports day’ No Sweat coming up in July and hosts one-off parties throughout the summer, as well as a full live music and arts programme. It is also one of two stunning venues, along with The Roof Gardens, to host The Rooftop Film Club. If it’s straight-up beers and BBQ you’re after, though, then you need look no further than The Ship, on the banks of the Thames in Wandsworth. “It’s not only a vibrant and popular destination pub in south-west London, it’s also a cherished haunt of foodies,” manager Oisin Rogers says.

“Famed for our open kitchen and barbecue, which serves our sprawling beer garden, highlights include our Thursday and Sunday night live bands, our regular live Irish music and weekly quiz nights.”As the world’s eyes focus upon London as the Olympics take centre stage, there will be no better place, or time, to grab a beer, enjoy the show, and soak up the scenery.

“With so much going on in the capital this summer, our pubs and bars are coming to the fore as the place for people to be as they watch the action unfold,“ Roper adds. We’ll drink to that.

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