The Blue Anchor, Fulham
The Blue Anchor's beer garden is a little different; rather than being tucked away between buildings out the back of the establishment, it proudly spills out of the front door and sprawls out, occupying a generous chunk along the Thames path. On sunnier days, watch paddle boarders and boaters meander past. If you bag a table during the annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, this spot gives you a front-row seat to the action as the competitors row by on their way from Putney Bridge to the finish line in Mortlake.
Address: 13 Lower Mall, London W6 9DJ
The Dolphin, Sydenham
Easily walkable from Sydenham rail station, The Dolphin leads visitors through its refurbed mock-Tudor building and out into – lo and behold – a capacious, grass-clad haven, with gravel paths leading to hedged circles that orbit a pretty, central water feature. In short, the beer garden here feels more akin to a boutique country dwelling than a city pub, and it's one that can be enjoyed in peace, as the adult-friendly policy allows only older children into its midst. Not ideal if you have several toddlers in tow (though there are a plethora of south London boozers nearby that come complete with play areas if that's what you're after), but a gentle way to while away an afternoon if you're after a relaxing drink in the sunshine.
Address: 121 Sydenham Rd, London SE26 5HB
Tamesis Dock, Vauxhall
Another riverside entry, this time from on the waters themselves. Tamesis Dock on the Albert Embankment fills the bows of a former 80-year-old Dutch barge and bobs gently from its mooring spot on the stretch of river between Vauxhall Bridge and Lambeth Bridge. The pub doubles as a music venue, and so summer visits are a treat of open-air tables on the top deck, with views over the Houses of Parliament and London Eye, live music and – thanks to the breeze that drifts off the river – an ideal spot for any upcoming heatwaves.
Address: Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TY