Beer Gardens Rise in Popularity across the UK
What is a beer garden, you ask? It is exactly what it sounds like. No, no – not a garden made of beer, the other one. It is a garden of individual or shared tables where you can find the local beer and foods in a company of people with whom you will share the entertainment on the menu. Music, games, live performances and such will all be present to give you a pleasant experience while having a tankard of good old beer with a friend, acquaintance, or a friendly persona in the garden.
Beer gardens have their roots in Munich from all the way back in the 19th century, and the name is basically a translation of the original Biergarten. They have been around for quite a while, but only now have they so risen in popularity, that many places want to get in on the action and make for a livelier pub. Beer gardens are rarely standalones and are usually connected with some pub or beer hall so that there are always provisions at hand and they always have plenty of guests to entertain. They are, of course, completely unofficial and everybody who attends them should not be expecting a classy party with lots of suits. Beer gardens are places for relaxing and enjoying time with friends over a pint with chips, not for business deals and anything that can even remotely be related to stress.
London has its various beer gardens all around, giving life in the pub’s courts, giving some purpose to all the gardening and garden maintenance given there. They are not famous for the grand landscaping attempts by exterior designers, but for the atmosphere they offer to the customers who come to sit and read and drink and talk and relax. Here are but a few of them:
Canonbury pub is one of the more famous hangouts in North London, where you can enjoy the scenery which 1984 author George Orwell enjoyed back in 1944. It provides the bare minimum you need to have a pleasant experience without actually taking anything from you: rest in the rattan sofas, surrounding the basic tables, have a pint of cold beer from the outside bar, and rest from hunger with the burgers and casserole on offer. Add the right company and you’d feel right at home. Albion is another North London hangout you can enjoy for its olde English charm. Wooden tables and chairs on a modest patio will invite you to sit and drink in the company of a mate, surrounded by trees and walls of green that have seen little grass cutting, but still remain a welcoming sight.
East London gives you Scolt Head, an old-fashioned pub that will accommodate you for a summer’s rest with friends in a classic atmosphere with great ale, proper wine, and home-made sausage rolls. Or, instead, you can visit the Water Poet: a walled-up garden (or yard, some would argue) where you can enjoy some favourite British beers and some of the barbecue events hosted from time to time.
If you reside in South London, then you can go to places like Avalon, a huge garden where landscape gardeners have run wild to provide for a pleasant view while you sit back in the modest chairs in one of the terraces and enjoy proper ale. If you want a more humble experience, then go to The Castle: a fresh (renovated in 2014) beer garden with cabana-style huts, simplistic but colourful tables under the bright blue sky, and with a menu that thrives on the classics – beer, chips, burgers, pies, and roasts.
West London can offer you an even more lax atmosphere in the Eagle: a gathering of beanbags on which you can fully relax while hanging out with your favourite company over a pint. And for a more classical feel along the shore of the River Thames, go to Old Ship where you can rest at the simplistic tables, or directly sit out in the yard in wait for the amazing barbecues.
These and hundreds of other options across the UK show that there is no shortage of beer gardens that await not customers but friends to come over and sit and dine and drink and enjoy the company of your mates or family, or even have a lively discussion about last night’s game with a stranger.