23 perfect pub late summer lounging
Summer ain't over yet! Here's to alfresco basking and plenty of booze. These are the best pub gardens in Berkshire from snazzy pods to our favourite local beer gardens. Cheers!
The Greene Oak, Windsor
Looking for a place to perch and enjoy outdoor dining where the food is the star of the show? Head to the Greene Oak on the outskirts of Windsor. This modern inn is gastropub heaven with a lovely garden and funky horsebox tables on the terrace offer something a bit different. The atmosphere is relaxed, the food it unpretentious with pizazz – and we would expect nothing less from owners James Lyon Shaw and Jamie Dobbin, who met while working at The Ivy in London. Menus use the best of the British larder and offer a mouth-watering mix of dishes. The three-course set menu is a steal at £19. Tuck in. The Bottomless Brunch is epic (review here).
Coppa Club, Streatley on Thames
A riverside location to sit back and soak up the R&R vibes. The newest Coppa Club in Berkshire boasts a large riverside terrace enclosed by a glass structure with retractable roof that give your 180° views across the Thames, and al fresco dining all year round.
The Royal Oak, Yattendon
The Royal Oak in Yattendon is a stonking country pub with one of the loveliest gardens in the county. Expect the warmest of welcomes from Rob and his team. Grab a table or sofa, soak up the rays and eat and drink on repeat. Once perched, you’ll never want to leave. Tel: 01635 201325
The Crown at Bray, Maidenhead
The Crown at Bray has always had a fabulous pub garden, but during the delicate times it’s been covered by a giant marquee and showered it in sparkle. Enjoy the special occasion vibes under the marquee, surrounded by trees and twinkly lights. For more drop-in informality, the lower beer garden is available for walk ins. Great if you have fidgety kids or need space to roam.
Head into Bake Off country (a place familiar with a big tent) and you’ll find the Five Bells in Wickham. It’s a stunning, thatched 17th century inn with a large garden and countryside views to die for. There are plenty of covered outdoor seating areas, but pick a table with uninterrupted views of the rural landscape.
The White Oak, Cookham
Great gastropub food in a setting that’s not too stiff. The White Oak in Cookham, owned by Henry Cripps, balances the art of being a welcoming local and foodie destination. To the rear of the main dining area, is a stylish courtyard garden. It’s a lovely sun trap and after enough rosé you could think you’re in the south of France.
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 or a picnic table and the outside bar will keep the drinks coming until closing. The food is a selection of crowd-pleasing dishes made from local produce.
The Golden Ball, Pinkneys Green
The Golden Ball in Pinkneys Green (read my review) is said to have been the old stomping ground of Dick Turpin and his band of dandy highwayman. Now it’s home to a very good pub surrounded by National Trust land. Cue visions of knee-high boots and lots of thigh slapping. I digress. This buzzy pub does seriously good pub food and the outside area is a sun trap for anyone looking to soak up the rays with a rosé wine. There’s plenty of space for the tiddlers to do cartwheels, so parents won’t need to abort their bank holiday pub mission early.
The Dog and Duck, Emmbrook
The Dog & Duck in Emmbrook is on the outskirts of Wokingham. The stylish pub has a garden with plenty of tables, twinkly lights and a great selection of fuss free, good pub grub. Like all pubs, is best to book. Tel 0118 978 0544.
The Beehive, White Waltham
We’re a sucker for a pretty village pub and The Beehive, run by Chef Dominic Chapman has the sort of spot that inspires writers. Think Midsomer Murders – it’s a period red brick gastropub with views across the cricket pitch and a relaxed atmosphere for much-deserved foodie blow out.
The Pot Kiln, Frilsham
Wowzers! That is quite the view. The Pot Kiln in Frilsham (yes it is one of my locals) is a favourite of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when visiting Ma and Pa Middleton. It has recently undergone a big refurbishment, adding rooms and extending the kitchen and dining room. They have a new garden menu, with plenty of game dishes and ingredients from the wild food larder. Grab a table, the view is breathtaking. You will most certainly see horses and cows grazing and, if you’re lucky, you can spot deer on the hill opposite.
The Market House, Reading
If you love supercool London street food scene, then you’re go nuts for The Market House in Reading – a laidback hangout to eat and drink on repeat. It is without doubt one of the most Instagrammable bars in Berkshire and can be found in the old Lloyds Bank building in the centre of town .The roof terrace is is cocooned with living walls and botanical prints that whisk you away from Reading to a more exotic locale. What’s on the menu? Street food, cocktails, nice wines and craft beers. Fine dining it is not, but it’s definitely fun.
The Belgian Arms, Holyport
Table with a view, madam, when it looks this pretty it would be rude not to. The Belgian Arms in Holyport is set back from the village green with a great view of the pond. It’s a relaxed pub with a decent wine and beer list. If you fancy a bite, the food has a really good rep – seasonal, reasonably priced and delicious. It’s a fuss-free but fabulous.
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. It has a pretty garden, that wraps around the front and side of the building. A nice spot for a cold rosé and al fresco lunch or dinner. Tel: 01344 882242
This garden is a whopper. Plenty of space for kids to run without annoying the rest of the world, while you sip a chilled Chenin Blanc in the sunshine. If it rains (it better not! dive into The Old Boot‘s ‘Boma’ tip, a nod to landlord Andre’s South African roots. ‘Boma’ loosely translates as livestock or community enclosure which is pretty apt. The menu is packed full of comforting pub classics, generously portioned and done very well. If the chateaubriand is on the menu, order it. It’s one of the best we’ve ever had.
Coppa Club‘s infamous igloos are still dotted outside at Sonning! But there are plenty of outdoor tables, deckchairs and places to perch on a sunny day. The menu focuses on unfussy, European food from small plates and snacks to grilled mains, sourdough pizzas, and healthy salads.
The Last Crumb, Caversham
The Last Crumb in Caversham has not one but four outdoor areas to hangout and open-sided shipping containers with canteen style tables, each with an overhead heater and light. What’s on the menu? Dirty burgers, wings, pizzas and the truffle parmesan chips are heaven. A super-cool pub that wouldn’t look out of place in London’s Shoreditch.
The Beetle and Wedge, Moulsford
Sashay a little over the West Berkshire border into South Oxfordshire to The Beetle & Wedge. After a complete refurbishment inside and out this riverside pub is desperate to show off its new look. The menu features gastropub favourites alongside more adventurous options – Lamb rump, lamb harissa spring roll, mushrooms Bourguignon, spiced aubergine yoghurt anyone? Before or after lunch you can always hit the water and take one of their boats for a spin. The eight-seater comes with the skipper but you’re free to captain the hybrid pedal/electric boat yourself.
Bottle and Glass Inn, Binfield Heath
The Bottle and Glass has gone all out on its outdoor offering with the rustic-fabulous Burger Barn serving beef from the much lauded English Farm near Henley, famous for its longhorn cattle. There’s also the Horsebox, which is Dobbin-free and instead offers snacks, soup, sarnies, burgers and hot drinks. Book ahead to secure a table at the Burger Barn.
The Pheasant, Shefford Woodland
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 – featuring in this year’s prestigious Top 50 Gastropubs list – has 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 gatherings with friends and family.
The Wellington Arms, Stratfield Turgis
This classic British pub is a whopper. The Wellington Arms at Stratfield Turgis straddles the Berkshire/ Hants border. It has oodles of space outside – so if you’re jittery about going out, this could be a good option. Local food, cosy vibe and a grand ol’ duke next door. Although there is a relatively busy road, the garden is lovely with lots of tables and view across the fields. First person to spot the Duke galloping towards the bar wins, well, nothing. But wouldn’t it be fabulous.
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.
Bel & The Dragon, Cookham
Great pub, fab 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 á la carte. Plus there’s an enclosed garden with a playhouse for little ones giving frazzled parents five minutes peace. Tom Hiddleston has been known to pop in, so plenty to distract you from your noisy offspring.