Spring is the season for budding flowers, easter eggs and new beginnings. It’s also the season for heading down to your local to make the most of sunny weather before it turns inevitably to snow, rain or hail the very next day.
One thing Brits can agree on is there’s no better place to celebrate these random pockets of feel-good weather than a pub garden. Sinking pints with your mates, afternoons blend into evenings. Picture the scene: the sun is shining, and bank holiday weekend has arrived. It’s only Friday - all is right in the world.
That’s why we’ve curated a list of the seven best pub gardens you can visit with family, friends or colleagues. April showers were a thing of the past this month with many enjoying warm, sunny weather over the bank holiday weekend. Fingers crossed our luck will last through May. If not, there’s plenty to be said for wrapping up warm for Sunday roast in windy weather, or catching up over cocktails in a state-of-the-art heated patio.
The Cornish Arms, Tavistock, West Devon
Potted trees and caged electric fires give the Cornish Arm’s beer garden a distinctly modern feel. It’s the perfect space to soak up Devon’s sunshine with a pint in hand, or perhaps a meal picked from the pub’s seasonal menu. Will this be the Cornish chicken curry, roasted fillet of Newlyn cod or sticky toffee pudding?
Pipe and Glass, South Dalton, Yorkshire
The Pipe and Glass has reopened its gardens after an ambitious makeover in 2014. Guests are invited to explore the picking garden and herbarium, where chefs source ingredients for the kitchen all year round.
From a large fairy mushroom, to a stag made from larch bark and rhododendron stems, there’s plenty to pique curiosity in the pub’s outdoors. When conceptualising the future garden, master designer Stephen Bean wanted every plant in it to be edible.
“People could come out here and we could confidently say that every single thing is used in the kitchen, And people will say ‘you can’t eat a rose, can you?’- but you can,” he said.
Shibden Mill Inn, Shibden Valley, West Yorkshire
Live performances are a regular feature at the Shibden Mill Inn’s sun terrace and beer garden. Local musicians take to the stage, while guests watch on in an expansive patio area.
Customers can dine outside during warmer months, with the current April menu showcasing dishes from steak and blue cheese pie, to a mushroom burger to crayfish sandwiches.
The Cross, Kenilworth, Warwickshire
The Cross’ green and spacious pub garden is the perfect spot for aperitifs, cocktails and post-dinner drinks, as well as the pub’s Michelin-starred, traditionally British meals.Come summer, the terrace will be furnished with a stretch tent, cosy blankets and heaters, so that guests can eat al fresco in almost any weather.
Labelled as ‘dog-friendly’ and with a children’s menu, the Meynell Ingram Arms ideal for a family day out. Outdoor dining rooms, situated in the pub’s garden, can be booked by groups to enjoy the range of food available- from the vegan menu’s spiced cauliflower steak, to the main menu’s Thai massaman curry or stone-baked pizza.
The Meynell Ingram Arms, Hoar Cross, Staffordshire
The Roebuck Inn, Mobberley
The Roebuck Inn’s tiered garden is tucked away behind the back of the building. The outdoors area has played host to many a wedding, yet the greenery can make even the most mundane of occasions special.
Whatever the time of day, there’s a meal to suit. Hearty breakfast options like scrambled eggs and Scottish salmon are on offer at the pub, but main plates are also available, as well as dairy-free and gluten-free options.
The Thomas Lord, Hampshire
The Thomas Lord’s outdoor spaces played a huge role in keeping the pub open throughout the pandemic. Yet, the garden’s open, green area and flora and fauna mean it continues to be a huge pull.
The pub also has a kitchen garden which is nurtured and tended to each day, as well as a free-range chicken run. Nestled in the village of West Meon, there is also beautiful scenery to explore on foot, meaning the garden could be just the first stop in a day of exploring nature.
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