Bank holidays are those eight days a year most of us rejoice and celebrate the luxury of an extended weekend. They’re also the time that most Brits pray for sunshine in the hope that we can pair the bank holiday tradition of drinking lots and spending our precious extra day recovering in bed, with basking in the great British sunshine. If the weather turns lovely and falls on a bank holiday weekend then there won’t be a beer garden in all the land that isn’t bursting at the edges.
The recent bank holiday wasn’t the best weather we’ve ever seen, but it was nice enough to enjoy being outdoors and I visited a few outdoor drinking and eating spots over the weekend that were all really different to the bog standard beer garden.
I kicked off the weekend at Dinerama in Shoreditch which is run by Street Feast, the folks behind Dalston Yard (Dalston), Model Market (Lewisham) and Hawker House (Canada Water) – they are London’s street feast kings and in the summer people flock to Dinerama on Friday evenings after work to grab a drink and a bit in what is an both an outdoor and indoor spot of sorts.
It feels as if the whole place has been thrown together from scrap metal, wood and storage containers and it’s built across two levels. We didn’t go upstairs but its good to know that there’s so much space to stand as it can get super busy. We arrived at around 7pm walked straight in and stayed for a couple of hours as we left the queue was pretty long and I think it costs £3 entry after a certain time, but its well worth it as it had great music playing, a great atmosphere and so much food to choose from including mini donuts, pizza, burgers and more.
On Sunday I headed west to Wandsworth for a friends birthday. The plan was to visit some pubs that had been recommended and enjoy the sunshine, so we were of course praying for good weather! It didn’t look good at first but eventually brightened up and both pubs we visited ended up being really busy as a result.
We began the day at a pub called The Ship which has a beautiful beer garden situated right on the Thames. It was crazy busy from midday, and we were lucky to have a bench to plot our group up at and put all our drinks and bags. Pimms was the order of the day, they sold it by the jug which was handy and I really enjoyed it as it was my first Pimms of the year. We chilled there for a few hours before we (and there was about 16 of us) all decided we wanted some music!
A few of the girls I was with recommended a pub in Wandsworth Town called the Grand Union so we all headed there in search of music and more sun.
The Grand Union had the cutest beer garden i’ve ever been in, it was full of huts (that you can reserve for groups) that looked like they were from a beach in Hawaii. There were colourful flowers, bunting and decorations everywhere with all the wooden huts and bar painted in a lovely light blue beach hut colour. The best part was the swing seats that were suspended from the ceiling around the bar area that you could sit on while you enjoyed your drink – although i’m sure after a few too many this could go wrong as they certainly werent the most stable of seats! They also had two ping pong tables free to use which were fun, and soon escalated into beer bong after we asked for some plastic cups from the bar.
The bank holiday weather was surprisingly un-British in the end, with only a slight sight of rain and lots of sunshine. I found some lovely little drinking gems that I will definitely be revisiting over the summer, which is actually only getting started! I’m sure there will be beer gardens a plenty ahead of us.