Sun’s out! 18 fab pub gardens in Berks
It's going to be scorchio this Easter bank holiday weekend, so here’s where to soak up some rays with a chilled glass of rosé to hand. Cheers!
Is there anything more British than a beer garden in the sunshine? Whether you want your green space near a river, meadow, fields, village or city, we’ve scoured Berkshire for the best in show. And, yep, I’m sure I’ve left off some goodies so if you think there’s been a disgraceful admission please let me know! So drinking heads on and enjoy!
The Winning Post, Winkfield
The Winning Post Winkfield is a pub with rooms, think Four Weddings cosy and a lovely spot to eat, drink and is popular with celebs and polo people. A few drinks by the open fire and a boutique room to rest your weary head, but if the sun shines then the bijou pretty garden comes into its own. A nice spot for a cold rosé and al fresco lunch or dinner.
Swan at Streatley, Streatley
If Cher did hotels, it would be the Swan at Streatley. In the final stage of a gargantuan renovation, it has had some serious work done. But it is going to look mighty fine when it’s completed with the addition of a new Coppa Club opening this summer. There’s every reason to visit right now because not only is the cafe-bar open from 7am-11pm, welcoming dogs, kids and laptops, you cannot wish for a prettier spot. The garden stretches down to willow tree-lined riverbank, swans pootle around and there’s a lot of messing about on the river to watch.
The Swan, Pangbourne
Literary lovers get thee to The Swan in Pangbourne and drink in the view that inspired Kenneth Grahame’s Wind In The Willows and the pub itself also features in Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat. A 17th century inn tucked up against the Thames, make a beeline for the small terrace and sit directly on the waterfront the view is to die for. Think tree-lined meadow, large and small boats (some even moor at the pub for lunch). The food is unpretentious but stylishly presented and a nice spot for a family lunch.
The Rowbarge, Woolhampton
As riverside pubs go, The Rowbarge in Woolhampton has one of the biggest gardens, perfect for energetic kids. It’s a bit of a hidden gem, a little of the beaten track and the food is good and reasonably priced. Kids are welcomed with opened arms, it has a superb section of wines and beers, plus 93 different gins. Slow down the pace, watch the canal boats make their way through the lock and drift down Kennet.
The Little Angel, Henley on Thames
The Little Angel has just undergone a very stylish refurb, and we totally approve. It’s a favourite with rowers and regatta goers because of its proximity to the rowing club (alumni include Pinsent and Redgrave, no less). Dating back to the 1600s, The Little Angel is child and dog friendly, serving gastropub food so you get a cracking triple cooked chip and side order of Lyra-clad six pack. The garden is more of a courtyard but is very sunny spot to sink a a few al fresco drinkies. Add to your must try-list.
Coppa Club, Sonning
Since George Clooney moved to Sonning, you can’t keep me away from the place. No need for a restraining order, George, there’s a new love in my life – the Coppa Club. Cool interiors with pops of colour, cabanas in the summer, the Insta famous igloos in the winter and a garden that runs down to the river. There’s a lovely towpath walk, The Mill theatre is just over the bridge and you’re within stalking, I mean waving, distance of George. Or simply slump into a deckchair and don’t move all day. You’ll never get out of it gracefully anyway.
The Dolphin, Newbury
For more grown up garden action, head to The Dolphin in Newbury. The outside space is not huge but book a beach hut for you and your gang and the outside bar will keep the drinks coming until closing. If the weather doesn’t play ball, the interiors are pretty foxy here too, so you’ll find a cool and cosy spot to scoff and quaff all weekend long.
Roux at Skindles, Maidenhead
I’m cheating on pub gardens (just this once) with a restaurant – but one with a stonking view of the River Thames and a couple of sunny terraces to enjoy a few cheeky drinks. Roux at Skindles is the place to be when the big yellow ball is in the sky. Enjoy drink and snack in upstairs on the cocktail bar balcony or grab one of the few table outside in the brasserie. If you’re not there early, you’ll have to wrestle table hoggers out of their prime location seats
Dog and Duck. Emmbrook
The Dog & Duck in Emmbrook is on the outskirts of Wokingham. The pub was given a top to toe makeover last year and the garden, although, not massive, is nice spot to sink a few jars on a balmy Berkshire weekend. Plenty of table, twinkly lights and if you fancy a bite, it offer fuss free, good pub grub.
The Crown, Bray
Sink your bottom into the plump cushions, flirt outrageously with Heston and eat, drink and have fun in the relaxed splendour of The Crown. Oh, alright, so Heston won’t be there but the lush garden awaits and it comes with its own special menu – think posh burgers, open steak sarnies and the barbecued pineapple is better than sex. FACT! Kid and dog friendly, everyone will be happy here.
Dundas Arms, Kintbury
In the pretty village of Kintbury, West Berkshire, you’ll find the rather lovely Dundas Arms. It’s nestled on the River Kennet and boasts a rather lovely with a views of the water and enough grassy space for the your little people to let off steam without being annoying. Leaving your to to watch the long boats pootle along while you work your way through a bottle of Chablis.
The Old Boot, Stanford Dingley
I see you, knackered parents, totally frazzled by your energetic kids. This one is just for you. Make haste to The Old Boot at Stanford Dingley, grab a table in the enormous garden and relaaaaaax. Yes it can be done. The garden has an outside bar, a wooden play set and tons of space for the little blighters to play. Enjoy a few minutes of adult chat, eat a hot meal and regroup. That’s an order.
The Rowbarge, Woolhampton
A bit of a hidden gem, The Rowbarge Woolhampton, has a garden so big it’s practically a paddock. Perfect for energetic kids who have energy to burn. If the river is freaking you out, there have been no reports of anyone falling in… yet. Take a seat, watch the narrow boats drift by and tuck into the 100 bottles of gin. It also serves good, reasonably priced pub food.
Bel & The Dragon, Cookham
Great pub, great food and a gorgeous garden. The Bel & The Dragon caters for the whole famalam. Kids menu, light bites from the garden menu or bring out the big guns and go al la carte. Plus there’s an enclosed garden with a play house for little ones giving frazzled parents five minutes peace. Tom Hiddleston has been known to pop in, so plenty to distract you from your rampaging kids.
The Bladebone, Chapel Row
Lovely country pub with a nice big garden. Chef-owner Richie Sanderson offers a superb menu with loads of pub classics and a cracking Sunday roast. If the sun is shining grab a spot al fresco and spend hours relaxing and quaffing till the sun goes down. The Bladebone is the perfect spot to soak up the sunny bank holiday weekend vibes. If you fancy working up an appetite, there are plenty of woodland walks or pop down to Bucklebury Farm Park and make a day of it.
The Boatman, Windsor
Windsor’s only riverside pub, The Boatman is practically the Queen’s local and is a prime spot for people and boat watching. In the shadow of the castle and facing onto the Eton side of the Thames, it is idyllic when the sun shines. Grab a table on the terrace and join Her Maj for an 11am G&T. The conservatory has a retractable roof, making the most of the waterside location without getting wet when it rains.
The Pheasant, Hungerford
In the heart of National Hunt country there are plenty of walks across the North Wessex Downs to enjoy before you tuck into a nosebag at The Pheasant. This is characterful country pub, with quirky touches and a fantastic rep for unfussy, fabulous British food using local, seasonal ingredients. The garden is bijou, but what is lacks in size it makes up for in style. We love the benches and wide tables, perfect for social gathering with friends and family. thepheasant-inn.co.uk
Golden Ball, Pinkneys Green Maidenhead
Quirky, cool interiors with a menu that will keep everyone happy – large and small. There is also a lovely sunny terrace and garden so space for kids to play and pretty nearby walks. Or simply find your spot, watch the cricket on the green opposite and relax. thegoldenballpub.com