Few people have felt the turning of the season as viscerally as Ross Masters, who got in touch to say:
@deserterblog Can I request a Tactics post on outdoor winter pints? With the weekend weather, parks are right out, and if you can get into a pub it feels a bit like sitting in a hospital waiting room. We need covered beer gardens or comfier bus shelters.
And with the rainy season starting in earnest, not to mention Tier 2 pub restrictions, we immediately put out a call for South London pubs featuring marquees, canopies, awnings and velaria. Here’s what we’ve got so far. Check back for additions and use the map below for pub details.
The Eagle Ale House was the first London pub on the front of The Good Beer Guide. And now they have another cover – a massive one in their garden.
Dirty South put on his sou’wester to bring us some intel from SE3. The Princess of Wales has cover and heaters in its back yard, but Dirty’s pick is the roof terrace of The Railway. ‘Particularly good as all the muggles go to the non-smoking garden downstairs’.
A few people have sent us pictures of the new multicoloured slop-shop outside the Hootananny (this one’s from @dzejmsk). If you missed Glasto, this is probably your next best bet.
The Sheaf, not previously known for its outside space, has transformed its back yard into a glorious arch-covered sup spot. Feast your eyes on the booze miracle that is The Sheaf in the Yard:
Our Brockley correspondent, Megan Eaves, reports that booze shelters can be found at the London Beer Dispensary, Crofton Park Tavern (front and back) and The Chandos, where the early birds catch the bench tables in the shed. And Neil urges us to include the Talbot as a late entry. And why not? Gotta love a gazebo with a window
The garden cover at the Shortlands Tavern deserves some sort of construction award. Stick it on your must-see architecture trail along with Bromley Palace and that windmill at Keston. At least you’ll get a pint at this one.
The Joiners has added some outside tables to the smoking alley, but the big news is the covered back garden. ‘Cushions!’ squeals Patrick Bill. The Phoenix at Denmark Hill has now put out tables on the pedestrianised road outside, but experts know to blag one of the benches under the awning for a pint with a view of the helicopters.
Our Dirty South kept himself busy over the weekend with a photo-research trip to the Rose of Denmark where a sturdy-looking gazebo has allowed the inside to come outside.
As well as the covered tables out front, The Falcon at Clapham North has a huge garden littered with covered areas, some with heaters. Perfect for a date with a smoker, says Goose.
Never been, but blimey, the garden of the Dog & Bull looks worth an afternoon of anyone’s time. HT Andy.
The Alma features a canopied never-ending back garden, ideal for hiding away on drizzly afternoons.
When you’ve no faith in the weather, head to the Little Faith Taproom (below) – a sheltered shoe-in for this list. And how could we forget the covered back yard at perennial favourite, the Dog & Bell?
Alice reminded us that the Watson’s Telegraph has a giant all-weather garden with cover and a real fire. The fire pit hadn’t been lit on my visit but it was still 15 degrees, to be fair. And while some tables had umbrellas up, the big cover was conspicuous by its absence. Not quite there yet for storm supping, in our view, but one to keep an eye on.
As well as covered tables at the front, the Great Exhibition has a partially covered courtyard – a great spot to avoid wind, rain and working from home. And we’re pleased to see that Deserter favourite, the Dulwich Beer Dispensary now has plenty of cover in its front yard. But Dulwich’s winner is probably the Wood House on Sydenham Hill. ‘Best covered garden in South London’ is a bold claim, but who dares refute it?
The side terrace of the Blythe Hill Tavern is already covered but Big Al had word from landlord, Con, that canopy action in the extensive back garden is imminent. In the interests of veracity I visited to see for myself. Con told me that it might have happened last week had the government not suggested that pubs might have to close. ‘Led by dickheads,’ was how he summed up the mood amongst publicans. The marquee is now planned for next week and Terry has promised to send us a pic. UPDATE: This from Paul. The magic has happened.
Bob Miller got in touch to tell us he’d been reliably informed that the Pelton Arms ‘is at the planning stage of having the entirety of their extensive beer garden covered by a weather repellent structure. The garden of Eden, with ribs on the barbecue, beer on tap – and no apple trees. Almost heavenly.’ Update: Pelton Paradise found:
And Daddy Timmers insisted we add The Vanbrugh who, he tells us, have just added an extension to their outdoor space. Go, Daddy.
Someone got in touch to tell us that both Canopy and Bullfinch tap rooms now have extended rain cover, but we can’t remember who because we’re a bit shit like that. Was it you? Let us know and we’ll send you a pound. Top idling spot, the Commercial in Station Square, has generous awnings out front with a couple of heaters. They go off every couple of minutes but offset the beer calories with some thumb exercise as you re-press the magic button.
Brockley Brewery’s Hither Green Tap Room has a covered outside space big enough for six a side match. Currently, though, each team is required to remain seated and rehyrdrate with fine ale. Back of the net.
What the covered space at the Dacre Arms lacks in area, it makes up for in cuteness. Given they have now opened a Garden Bar, it’ll be interesting to see if the rain cover is extended in the coming weeks. Luckily, Dirty South’s nipper goes to school nearby so we’re sure to have regular updates, possibly on a daily basis. UPDATE: Dirts reports that the whole garden is now covered, making it very difficult to wrench yourself away and get to school on time.
Skehans and the Fat Walrus both offer covered outside drinking opportunities in SE14. Thanks, Suzanne.
The back yard of the Beer Shop London is completely covered by a marquee and suffused with warm, beery air thanks to the heaters. But it is deemed as inside under Tier 2 rules and so household mixing rules apply here.
However, the Pyro now has a marquee in its front garden and the Ivy House has refurbished its partially covered back yard, in which Edward spotted this beauty. ‘Whoever designed this wet arse proof bench deserves a major international prize,’ he opines.
Meanwhile, Mel was shown a picture by a man in the EDT of the new marquee at the Man of Kent. ‘A hint of crime scene,’ she writes, ‘but it’s there for beer.’
Brick Brewery have added a marquee and benches out back to complement the covered (and heated) offerings in the front yard. Perfect for a sour in a shower.
Andrew submitted this pic of the cozy looking covered area at the Bridge House, handy for replenishing your toxins after a healthy stroll in Crystal Palace Park.
While the guvnor of The Old Mill is rightly proud of its 96-acre front garden (otherwise known as Plumstead Common), it’s only out back that you can shelter from the elements and get a Harvey’s Best delivered to your face.
No one should have to walk up Shooters Hill without a pint in the Red Lion’s heated garden tent. It won’t help you tackle the mountain, but it might persuade you to stay for another instead.
Micropubs, by their very nature, are suffering more than most in the pandemic. It is our duty to help them survive. And the Hangar makes this nice and easy with a marquee that makes every day feel like your wedding day.
Former grunge, chaos and live music epicentre, The Queens Head, is more pub quizzes and giant Yorkshire puddings these days, but it does have a daily afternoon Happy Hour and out in the back you can find peace, quiet and a covered area.
Colleen insisted that The Railway at Streatham needed to join this list and one look at their website confirmed this. Last time we were there, there was a funeral wake and we didn’t make it out to the back. (It wasn’t anyone we knew but the sandwiches were delicious.) But, yes, wow, look at it. Are you inside? Are you outside? Who knows any more? Who even cares? Cheers!
Grab a heated cabin and feel like the king of The Castle.
Ben reminded us of the Railway Tavern at Tulse Hill. ‘They’ve been doing “Are you inside? Are you outside?” for years now,’ he writes, ‘And the garden itself has those strange hut things for the truly naughty. Doing EOTHO through October, and the app means no fifteen minute bar queues any more.’ Get in. Or out.
Thanks for all the suggestions. Still looking for a velarium, though…
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Image credits: Eagle Ale house from https://www.facebook.com/eaglealehouse; Dog & Bull from https://dogandbullcroydon.co.uk; The Railway from http://www.therailwaysw16.co.uk/; The Castle from https://www.castletooting.com/