Food & drink

Are you al fresco-ready?

Discover 8 great British beer gardens and outdoor eateries…
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It’s been an unconventional summer so far – but as the majority of pubs, bars and restaurants start reopening their doors, we’re fast recapturing our love for being wined and dined.

With social distancing and public safety quite rightly front-of-mind, those able to offer excellence in outdoor catering are sure to enjoy a successful summer.

Here we quench your thirst for a season of outdoor indulgence, with a handful of our favourite outdoor food & drink spots from across Great Britain.

1. The Faltering Fullback, N. London
This unassuming boozer rightfully lives up to its billing as the ‘hidden gem of Finsbury Park’, as anyone who’s spent a sunny afternoon in its sprawling outdoor area can vouch for. What at first appears as a fairly standard back yard setting soon unravels into a multi-levelled, treehouse-like labyrinth of secret seating areas and foliage laden pathways – a spectacular beer garden you’ll struggle to drag yourself away from (even if you wanted to!)

Make a night of it: Best Western London Highbury

Faltering Fullback

2. Double Zero 00 Neapolitan Pizza, Manchester
Widely considered to serve the best pizza in the city, if not the North West, this slick little outfit in leafy Chorlton provides a blissful setting for a summer evening. Known for good value, a laid-back BYOB vibe and large, sizzling Neapolitan style pizzas that have to be tasted to be believed – Double Zero also boasts plenty of outdoor seating, for those who want to watch the world go by.

Make a night of it: Best Western Manchester Altrincham Cresta Court Hotel

Double Zero 00 Neapolitan Pizza 

3. The Original Oak, Leeds
Known across West Yorkshire for its hospitality and sheer scale, The Oak’s beer garden is the stuff of legend. In a normal summertime its vast, iconic outdoor area can be found packed with hundreds upon hundreds of guests – many taking advantage of the cinema-like screen which makes its way up for special occasions. While we can expect things to be scaled down for 2020, this green and spacious garden remains just the ticket for those lucky enough to bag themselves a coveted area with friends.  

Make a night of it: Best Western Plus Milford Hotel

Original Oak 

4. Stac Polly, Edinburgh
One of Edinburgh’s original Scottish fine dining restaurants, this Dublin Street mainstay has been serving up exiting interpretations of modern and traditional local cuisine for over 30 years. So what’s new? Well how does the addition of a secret gin garden, hidden in plain sight, sound for starters? Lying below the main street level and filling glasses with an extensive range of Scottish gins, wines, campaigns and local ales – this al fresco option even has cheeseboards and soft jazz. Need we go on?

Make a night of it: Best Western Plus Edinburgh City Centre Bruntsfield Hotel

Stac Polly Edinburgh 

5. Simpsons Restaurant, Birmingham
While this long-established, Michelin-starred favourite has found new life in 2020 through its revolutionary ‘Simpsons at Home’ offering – as normality edges closer, regulars are licking their lips at the prospect of returning to its resplendent outdoor terrace. From tasting menus to 3-course, lunch and plant-based alternatives, Simpsons is a safe and stylish pair of hands to get you back into the swing of premium summer dining.

Make a night of it: Best Western Plough & Harrow Hotel


6. The Ostrich, Bristol
A recent refurb cemented this historic harbourside inn’s reputation as Bristol’s most popular outdoor drinking spot – its sprawling grounds now kitted out with colourful deckchairs, lush greenery and an exclusive outdoor bar. Run by famous Bristol brewery Butcombe, it’ll come as no surprise that The Ostrich supplies a selection of the best beers in town to enjoy as you look out on unrivalled views of the glistening Bathurst Basin.

Make a night of it: Best Western Henbury Lodge Hotel

  The Ostrich Bristol

7. CRATE Brewery, E. London
If you like the suggestion of a hipster vibe with your waterside draft beer and stone baked pizza – the CRATE Brewery’s Tap House in Hackney Wick is right up your… well, canal. A tastefully-curated, effortlessly chilled-out venue with hand-picked brews, great views and imaginative pizza – think sage and truffle – means you can’t really go wrong. As CRATE says itself: “Because beer and pizza go together like beer and pizza.”

Make a night of it: Best Western London Ilford

CRATE Brewery 

8. The Old Neptune, Whitstable
Known affectionately as ‘The Neppy’ or ‘The Pub on the Beach’, visitors to this idyllic Kent seaside town have flocked to its famous beachside watering hole since the early 19th century, and with good reason. Worth it for the undisturbed sea views alone – not to mention those glorious Whitstable sunsets – The Old Neptune is also much-loved for its freshly-caught fish, beach BBQs and of course, finest local ales.

Make a night of it: Best Western Abbots Barton Hotel, Canterbury

The Old Neptune Whitsable

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